Mold issues continue at Mass. housing authority

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (NEWS10) – A woman living in a mold-ridden apartment says a new report shows just how long the issue has been ignored.

Ariane Blanchard says she lived in a mold-ridden apartment for years at the Great Barrington Housing Authority’s Flag Rock Village.

Now she has a new start in a new apartment but a mold report from her former place is opening up old wounds.

It’s a new day for Blanchard after getting a new home in Stockbridge.

She’s afraid it’s too late for her deteriorating health, which she blames on her former mold-ridden apartment.

“Here we are and I’m sick with this thing called Neuro Sarcoidosis and it’s just not fair.”

NEWS10 ABC first told you about Blanchard in September 2017.

She says she spent years trying to get the Great Barrington Housing Authority to cut out toxic mold found in her apartment.

At the time, the Housing Authority told NEWS10 ABC Blanchard initially rejected their installation of a dehumidifier but, that they remediated the mold problem.

Results from a recent report, done by Nature’s Way, Inc. Mold Inspection, tell a different story.

The mold was found in nearly every room, the bathroom vent, and even a dehumidifier.

“Stachybotrys, or black mold, was found in almost every room. They found 12,000 spores per cubic meter of Penicillium/Aspergillus in my bedroom. The bedroom where I’ve been the last 12 years.”

She says she was furious after reading the report.

“I had my grandmother in that apartment, my kids. I am furious at this moment.”

A lawyer for the Great Barrington Housing Authority says they just received the report on Wednesday and still need to look it over.

“Nobody from the housing authority’s side has been able to review it with any detail. No expert has reviewed it on behalf of the authority,” John Liebel, attorney for the Great Barrington Housing Authority, said.

Blanchard is now on a mission to help other families, who may feel trapped like she did for more than a decade.

“This has got to end, more importantly, they can’t do this to anybody else, that’s the thing. It wasn’t just my unit that had this problem. There are people still living there.”

This case will go to trial in August.

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