Moldy South Bend apartment makes woman and kids sick

NOW: Moldy South Bend apartment makes woman and kids sick

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A woman claimed her apartment on South Bend’s southwest side is covered in mold and it has made her and her three children sick.

Brandy McGhee has been a resident at Prairie View apartments for three years, but with the current conditions, she told ABC 57 that it has been difficult to live there.

“It makes you feel helpless,” said McGhee, tenant at Prairie View apartments.

McGhee told ABC 57 she really noticed just how bad the mold had gotten back in May. Mold covered windowsills throughout the home and even the walls on the outside of the apartment complex.

McGhee filled out a work order and waited for help. After three weeks went by, she reached out to on-site management who told her the mold was just dirt, according to McGhee.

However, paperwork McGhee shared with ABC 57 from an urgent care visit pointed to something much worse than that. Toxic mold was listed for the reason for medical prescriptions.

“We cannot breathe in this mold,” said McGhee. “Me and my children are sick…we cannot do that. And before I even really got that full sentence out she told me ‘No—We’re not moving you. No. We’re not moving you,’” and I said, 'Well, what are you going to do?", explained McGhee.

The family has had a number of health problems including constant headaches, runny noses, sore throats and more, according to McGhee.

McGhee told ABC 57 that the documentation of health problems did not help her case.

“They didn’t care about me, or my babies,” said McGhee.

Throughout the past couple of months, McGhee reached out to management and corporate several times, but still did not receive help.

Last month, McGhee walked through the apartment with Code Enforcement, seeking answers.

Marlaina Johns, Interim Director with Code Enforcement, told ABC 57 that there is only so much they can do because there are so many different types of mold and that is not their area of expertise. However, they can determine whether there is an existing issue.

“That there is some kind of a substandard substance there,” said Marlaina Johns, Interim Director with Code Enforcement. “But we will not identify whether or not it is mold. We will just say that there’s something going on here that someone needs to look into,” said Johns.

At that point it would be the owner’s responsibility to take care of the issue. Johns told ABC 57 that changes do need to be made at the apartment.

“Those violations actually had a 60 day window for repairs,” said Johns. “So the owner has 60 days to go in and make the repairs for the violations that were found at that unit,” said Johns.

Code Enforcement will step back in if the repairs are not made after 60 days. Johns advised that tenants take precautions such as keeping a fan on during showers to prevent mold.

ABC 57 reached out to Prairie View property management, but they did not return the request for comment.

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