Resident forced out of affordable housing unit twice because of mold

(WSVN) - They look good from the outside, but tenants say there was a growing problem inside their new apartments. The Nightteam’s Brian Entin has tonight’s special report: Home Sick Home.

From the outside, Karis Village looks like a beautiful, new, affordable housing complex in Southwest Miami-Dade.

It was built in 2018, and formerly homeless families and veterans with a limited income live here.

Sandra Wilcox, Karis Village resident: “I was really excited about moving here.”

Sandra Wilcox moved into the building last year.

7News interviewed her in February, when her excitement quickly turned to frustration.

Sandra Wilcox: “At first, I smelt it. It’s like a smell you can’t forget. It’s like stuck in my nostrils, in my nose.”

Sandra was smelling mold, and then, she started to see it.

Sandra Wilcox: “The first sign was like little spots in the kitchen, little round spots.”

Sandra says the mold spread quickly on the walls and then to her furniture, clothes and even shoes.

Brian Entin: “How bad was it the first time?”

Sandra Wilcox: “It was really bad. I mean, it was really bad. I couldn’t even stay in the apartment because of the smell.”

The first time Sandra’s apartment had mold back in December, the property manager temporarily moved her into another unit, so they could do a deep clean. She thought the problem was fixed, but it wasn’t.

Sandra Wilcox (showing Brian Entin mold): “And it’s in different spots, so it’s coming back in smaller spots but more spots.”

When 7News visited Sandra’s apartment, the mold was back and in almost every room.

Sandra Wilcox: “It’s sad, like I said, because it hurts to have to come home, to where your home is, and you have mold and mildew. Your health, it’s affecting everything. Mold is no joke.”

Non-profit Carrfour Supportive Housing manages the building.

They would not do an interview but said in a statement they “took immediate action to identify the source of the odor. A professional cleaning company concluded that the odor was caused by the tenant continually leaving their sliding glass door open with the air conditioner turned off, which is a violation of our standard lease agreement.”

The property managers told us the mold was isolated to Sandra’s apartment, but neighbors say it was not.

Jonathan Dukes, Karis Village resident: “Especially on this floor, bad. It always smells like mold. As soon as you get on the floor, I don’t know if you smelled it coming on the floor.”

Brian Entin: “I smelled it.”

Jonathan Dukes: “It smells like this all the time.”

After we called, the managers at Karis Village moved Sandra into a hotel, so they could have her unit cleaned for a second time.

Brian Entin: “Did you ever leave the door open?”

Sandra Wilcox: “No, the only time I had my door open is when I would go outside, maybe smoke a cigarette on the balcony and come back in, and then, I would close it back.”

Sandra is back in her unit and says, this time, the deep cleaning seems to have worked.

The mold is gone and, hopefully, for good.

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