Tenant living with mold, cold water, and bugs at public housing unit

Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - We’re on your side after a viewer contacted us about what he calls deplorable living conditions at Butler Terrace in Huntsville.

The man’s elderly brother lives in one of the units. But now, he’s in a hotel because his brother says it’s not safe to live there.

Joe Rayford’s 79-year-old brother lives in Apartment D at Butler Terrace. Joe contacted WAFF about what he calls unlivable conditions inside the unit.

Joe’s brother has heart and lung issues. He depends on oxygen. There’s black mold growing along the walls and baseboards in his bedroom. Joe says the window leaks when it rains, causing black mold to spread around the facing, the glass and down to the tile floor. There are also large cracks running along the walls.

“It’s disheartening to think that they would allow him to stay in these conditions. It looks like it’s just a forgotten eye sore at this point and time,” said Joe Rayford.

A sizeable chunk of plaster has pulled away from a section in the living area. You can see where maintenance has come in and plastered over leaks in the ceiling and around an air conditioner. There’s also a problem with bugs. And Joe says the water coming out of the faucet is cold.

“No hot water in the bathtub. The last time we gave him a bath we had to boil water to give him a bath,” said Rayford.

Joe made the decision to move his brother to a hotel. He says he has no plans on moving him back to his Butler Terrace unit.

“It is my personal opinion that the house is beyond recoverable with the mold, with the bugs, with everything in there it’s almost beyond saving,” said Rayford.

Joe grew up at Butler Terrace in the 70′s. He says it was well maintained. The city has plans to tear down Butler Terrace and turn the property into multi-use development. Joe says until that happens the housing authority has a responsibility to make repairs and maintain upkeep on the units. He believes other residents may have similar problems.

“They have to be experiencing the same type of travesty that lie in this building. It appears they have no intention of doing anything else to it.”

We reached out to Huntsville Housing Authority who tells us they are putting together a plan of action. The Authority is in touch with maintenance and the property manager. They plan to get someone out to assess the unit immediately. Joe says there are open tickets to repair the mold, cold water, and bug problem.

We’ll stay on top of this story and bring you follow up’s as they happen.

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