Man claims apartment won’t fix mold problem


"I haven't been their best client and I have given them trouble sometimes but I have to fight for the homeless when I can"

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A resident living at 7hills Homeless Center housing is claiming the tent he used to live in is better than his current situation.

Robert Frideaux has been a resident at Walker Residential, a low income housing program in Fayetteville provided by 7hills, for three years.

“My tent that I lived in was healthier than this apartment and that is pretty sad to say,” Frideaux said. “Its saddening for me to even say that.”

He and other residents said they are having issues with mold and mildew in their apartments but the people at 7hills aren’t doing anything about it.

“I’m concerned that my landlord isn’t taking it serious and I feel like I am being treated like a second class citizen because I was homeless at one point,” he said.

As you can see in the pictures below, a black substance is seen on something from inside Frideaux’s apartment.

He is claiming it is mold but according to 7hills, a test was done last month on the area by a certified mold consultant.

The test states:

  • No evidence of current moisture intrusion was observed inside the closet.
  • No visible mold growth was seen on surfaces in the closet.
  • No mold-like odors were detected while inside the closet.

Frideaux thinks his claims were not taken seriously.

“When they came and remediated that mold they only did the limited amount that they could see,” he said. “They didn’t do a full remediation.”

Jessica Andrews is the 7hills Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

She responded in a statement:

“7hills strives every day to provide the highest quality services, resources, and programming to individuals who participate in our programs or receive our assistance. Client safety and confidentiality are our top priorities, and we do not disclose information about our clients to anyone.

All our residents and clients are fully informed of the processes by which to submit maintenance requests, complaints, grievances, etc. to us, so that we can address each of them in a timely and appropriate manner. For example, if there is a concern about mold in a resident’s unit, once we are made aware of it it is our practice to visually inspect the apartment and have a mold inspection and air quality test completed as soon as the professionals are available to do so. If there is visual mold it is removed. Following removal we have the professionals conduct a verified air quality test in a lab. If the results show that there is mold, we take immediate action to remove the mold from the unit. In the past few months, we have had professionals conduct multiple mold inspections and there has not been evidence of mold. I am sending in a separate email, for your reference, the most recent mold test we conducted on the Walker property that was negative. We have equally extensive processes for other maintenance issues that arise.

Part of our efforts to ensure the safety and well being of our residents include a partnership with the City of Fayetteville to complete deferred maintenance projects on the property. We have had this partnership for approximately 3 years and have been diligently improving our facility since then. Completed projects include replacing the majority of the HVAC systems on the property, remodeling the dorm building, and converting all lighting to LED lights. Other safety measures we have taken at our Walker property include improved outdoor lighting and the addition of multiple security cameras. We hold our residents’ and our clients’ safety in the highest regard and always strive to remedy any issues that arise. Any issue that is brought to us directly  is immediately addressed in the most timely and efficient way to ensure their continued safety, security, and overall well being.

We house over 80 individuals and families every year through our Walker community and scattered-site housing programs, with the goal to increase this number year over year to provide the best support possible for individuals experiencing homelessness. Our ultimate goal is to end homelessness by providing the education, opportunities, housing, programming, and services to help individuals re-gain stability and thrive in our community.”

– Jessica Andrews, 7hills CEO

Frideaux is claiming just like other issues within his unit, the center just does “patch work”.

“I do appreciate the chance 7hills gave me to live here and I love 7hills,” he said. “But why is this not changed? Why is it not fixed? I am not a second class human being and neither are the rest of the clients here, we are just people struggling in life.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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