By Judy Seifert
December 6, 2008
VASSAR — Residents of Manor Ridge Apartments hope they’re seeing some light at the end of their black mold tunnel.
Owners of the 32-unit complex located on Welsh Boulevard hired an air quality company to run some tests this week. “We received a letter saying they were doing the tests, but nothing else,” said 92-year-old resident Aliene Thurston.
“We hope we hear about the results,” she said.
Their problem at the complex is a black mold problem that started several months ago with a leak in ceiling water pipes. The mold was not contained and has since spread, moving into closets and the walls.
The president of IAQ Management, the company conducting the tests, was not willing to discuss the work being done at Manor Ridge. He said he would need written permission from the building’s owners to do so.
Seventeen residents live at the complex and, last week, several consulted an attorney.
Thurston said they were advised to stop paying their rent or put the money in an escrow account until they get some results.
“The company that owns this building needs to prove to us that it is safe to live here,” she added. “And what’s really sad is that we all really enjoy living here and don’t want to move.”
Thurston said she’s already made up her mind. “I’ve told everyone that the only move I’ll ever make again in my life is either to an assisted living home, a convelescent center or the funeral home. That’s it for me.”
According to residents, when mold first appeared in the ceiling tiles, the surrounding insulation and additional affected panels were not immediately removed. Plastic sheeting was stapled over the areas, but that hasn’t solved the problem.
The complex is managed by KMG Prestige Property Management. Thurston said she’s had several conversations with a representative of the company and was told that steps were being taken to resolve any issues.
The complex is considered subsidized living, and several government agencies are involved, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Of the 17 residents living there, Thurston said only two will likely not hold back on paying their rent.
“The rest of us will though. The only way to get these people to pay any attention to us it seems is to not give them what they want – their money,” she added.
The Advertiser has been unable to reach anyone from KMG Prestige. Messages left have remained unanswered.