Single mother of 3 faces mushrooms, mold growing in apartment

Posted at 4:54 AM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 04:54:02-05

BURLINGTON, NC (WGHP/CNN) – A single mother living in low-income housing says she’s been living with mold and mushrooms growing in her apartment, which has gotten so bad one of her children developed health issues.

Tawana Crawford and her three young children live in a four-bedroom apartment in Burlington, NC, where the mother says mushrooms and mold have been her unwanted roommates for a couple months.

Recently, Crawford took one of her children to the doctor, only to find her son has respiratory issues from mold exposure.

"Them ingesting and breathing this mold is actually giving them respiratory problems,” Crawford said.

The problem stems from water coming out of the tub, Crawford says. She’s put in maintenance requests over the past year, with people trying to fix the upstairs tub drain every now and then.

The most recent fix happened in May when plumbers opened a hole in her kitchen ceiling to address the pipes causing a leak. The hole was never patched up.

“When you have issues like mushrooms and your ceiling is missing, it goes to the point of when do you care about my safety, my kids’ safety or anything like that?” Crawford said.

Crawford says she’s noticing a pattern of incomplete maintenance forms at the Beaumont Avenue Apartments and says only two maintenance men do work for the 100 units.

The home was inspected by Burlington code enforcement, following a call from Crawford, and they deemed it below minimal housing standards for the city.

The apartments are privately owned but subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Crawford says management has turned over several times in the four years she has been living at the complex and points that out as a factor in work orders slipping through the cracks.

"We're placed here. This is subsidized housing, some of which this is all some people can afford. So just to tell them that they don't matter and their way of living doesn't matter means a lot because technically that's what you're saying if you're not getting out and trying to fix the issues at all,” Crawford said.

After requests for information about the situation, a representative for PK Management, the current owners of the complex, says repairs are underway, and the hole in Crawford’s kitchen has been patched.

"I feel better. It seems like now something is actually starting to happen,” Crawford said.

Copyright 2017 WGHP, Tawana Crawford via CNN. All rights reserved.