A Paris man states the local housing authority has ignored complaints about widespread mold in his apartment.
Paris, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) – A disabled Paris man has stated he is afraid for his health after discovering widespread mold in his apartment. The man, Bobby Yates, who lives in a public housing complex, recently contacted the Paris branch of Lone Star Legal Aid for help in getting his complaint heard, after the Paris Housing Authority has failed to resolve the issue.
Yates, a double amputee who uses a wheel chair full-time, stated he was forced to move from a newer complex with better accessibility features to accommodate his needs to his current apartment, where conditions are less safe for him. Yates was hospitalized for three days after moving into the apartment with symptoms of vomiting, lethargy, and respiratory complaints. He holds the belief that the mold likely contributed to his illness. Yates says of the conditions in his apartment, “I hate to be here, but I need a roof over my head…I’m scared for my health. I didn’t know it was that bad.”
Yates has lived in the three-bedroom apartment in the George Wright apartment complex for approximately nine months. Mold can be seen on the walls and window sills of three areas in the apartment, with the most prominent display covering two walls in one of the bedrooms. Yates says he had an apartment inspection approximately three months ago, during which time the mold was brought to the attention of housing authority inspectors who reportedly stated they would send someone to paint over it.
This is not the first time the issue of mold in George Wright has been brought to the housing authority’s attention. In a 2007 Paris News article, then resident Melissa Chesser expressed to the news source she intended to move due to a mold problem in her apartment stating, “I refuse to live in that type of environment.” Paris Housing Authority executive director is quoted in the report as stating in response to complaints about mold, stopped up sinks, and failure to perform routine maintenance that apartments were inspected in accordance with Paris Housing Authority and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations.
Head is further quoted as stating of the problems with mold, “If there is mold in the apartment all you have to do is treat it with bleach, wash it out and paint over it. Black mold has been around since day one.”
Lone Star Legal Aid attorney Sharon Reynerson disagrees with the assertion that the mold is an issue residents should attempt to take care of themselves. She has stated she intends to contact the health department and send a formal request on behalf of Yates to the housing authority regarding the issue. Reynerson says, “The Paris Housing Authority is required to provide safe, decent and sanitary housing and must perform necessary maintenance and repairs to keep the units fit to live in.” Reynerson further states of intervening to help Yates, “This is what we’re here for; to help people in this situation.”
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