For months, a single mother of five has fought for her home, where the air-conditioning doesn’t work and a moldy ceiling might make her children sick.
Melvina Moses lives in Section 8 housing in Northeast D.C. She says she's asked her landlord to fix problems such as mold on the ceiling, but nothing has been done.
“It looks like the ceiling up there is just gone, it's just mold and you could touch and it will fall back down. That's just not safe for my kids,” Moses says. “What if one day they have to go to the bathroom and the ceiling falls on them?”
In addition, her upstairs toilet leaks. Her doctor told her the moldy ceiling could sicken her children to the point that they might need to be hospitalized.
“Something needs to happen because if they get sick I'm gonna lose my mind,” Moses said.
She says mold's just part of their problems. In the kitchen, none of the outlets work. She has to run an extension cord from her living room, which means she can’t have her stove and refrigerator on at the same time.
“My kids can't cook when they want to, and I can't cook and bake when I want to,” she says.
Dishwasher and air conditioning haven't functioned since she moved in, Moses claims. The hassles at home have made it hard for the children in school.
“We can't do anything else until it’s fixed, we can't put our mind on anything else until it's done,” 14-year-old Stephon says.
Ten-year-old Angel says she's embarrassed to bring friends over. “I don't want my friends coming up and saying ‘oh your house stinks,’ saying ‘Angel has mold in her bathroom.’ I don't want that because it's gonna spread around the whole school, really,” she said.
ABC7 called the District Housing Authority, where a spokeswoman said the landlord has failed multiple inspections and they've stopped sending him checks. A letter is in the mail to the Moses family offering them a chance to move.