FAIRBORN — Black mold, water leaks and drains that don’t function, these are all concerns from people living a one Fairborn apartment complex. While it’s not new to have an apartment residents complain about a landlord, it’s a little more rare when city inspectors have some of the same concerns about their living conditions.
Residents at the Fairborn Apartments on June Drive, such as Michaela Carpenter, showed News Center 7 what they’re currently living in. Carpenter moved into her apartment a year ago and said she’s had to try to use duct tape to hold plaster and paint in place.
“I tried the emergency maintenance line,” Carpenter said. “They never called me back, until the city had to get involved and they wouldn’t reach out to the city either.”
Carpenter, who’s apartment has since been condemned, told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that she wouldn’t turn on her heat because she believed her basement also had mold in it. Our photographer masked up, went to her basement and found what appeared to be mold on the walls.
>> PHOTOS: Residents, city raise concerns over issues at Fairborn Apartments
Carpenter told us she got sick, went to the doctor and showed us the medical records that indicated that she was diagnosed with shortness of breath because of suspected exposure to mold.
LaToya Pate also lives in the complex and said that she fears her building is structurally unsafe.
“When we moved in, they told maintenance not to tell us this building would eventually collapse, knowing we have children in the building,” Pate said.
She showed our crews a missing piece of pipe under the since that is keeping her from being able to use the water. She claimed the maintenance department has not acted on her request for help.
Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson said the city code enforcement inspectors spend roughly 25 percent of their time in this community of apartments. They’ve found suspected mold and confirmed sewage in basements from inadequate drains. They’ve also discovered unsafe structures, condemning other buildings and forcing evacuations.
“We don’t have a way to test for mold, so we don’t want to make a guess that it is mold,” Anderson said. “There are things growing on the wall that we can’t identify.”
News Center 7 went to the management office and they wouldn’t comment on the reported issues and referred us to MurphyEpson, a public relations firm for Wallick Communities, a third party management company. We asked the firm multiple questions and they told us Wallick took over running the complex in April 2022. Since then, they have received 238 service requests. 129 of those have been resolved and the “remaining requests are in the process of being addressed.”
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A spokesperson for MurphyEpson said all 177 units were inspected over the summer.
“If mold had been found during these inspections, it would have been noted by the team conducting the inspections and they would have followed the service request process,” the spokesperson said.
Our crew learned the community is subsidized housing under the United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD). News Center 7 reached out to HUD regarding the property and are awaiting their response.
Anderson said city inspectors can fine the management company for code violations and safety issues, but city officials said that hasn’t led to many changes.
“Unfortunately, HUD has been an impenetrable bureaucracy,” he said.
In this situation, Anderson said the residents are the ones being hurt by all of this.
“Our residents shouldn’t have to live in those conditions,” Anderson said.
The fate of the building is now tied up in legal proceedings to determine whether it will be demolished or repaired properly.
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