WASHINGTON — A D.C. mother is pleading for help. Ashley Jones and her six children live in an apartment in Southeast, D.C. that’s filled with mold and broken windows. At almost every turn, they can find something that is molding, broken, or deteriorating.
For months she’s been trying to get someone from Thomas D. Walsh Realtor to fix the problems in the home she’s renting.
“They took down a report, that was it. A couple of weeks later, they sent someone out cause the door was messed up. They fixed the door, took a picture, left and [I] haven’t seen them since then,” said Jones.
Jones noticed the mold in the kitchen first, it has now spread to the top of the cabinets and other areas. Working from home for this mother is almost impossible.
“I’m dealing with upper respiratory issues and also dealing with headaches, migraines. Four of my children have asthma and I have bronchitis,” Jones said.
In the six years and six months since Jones and her children have been tenants, she said there have always been problems, and once found rodents.
“Mice, they were mice babies, had to be over a hundred,” she said.
Last Tuesday, WUSA9 was present when Ashley filed an emergency work order with the property management company. WUSA9 has also left several messages and has not heard back.
Uncertain of what to do, she reached out to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs or DCRA. On Monday, Malik Lloyd, an inspector for DCRA surveyed her unit. He said oftentimes, holding a landlord accountable is difficult.
“Four or five times out of 10, a follow-up inspection is given, and sometimes, it may be a year later. So, there’s no real way for us to see if the problem has been abated,” Lloyd said.
In a statement to WUSA9, DCRA also added in part:
"In response to a property maintenance inspection request received from a resident of 3028 Nelson Pl SE, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has scheduled an inspection for Monday, August 22, 2022. During the inspection, DCRA will cite and issue a Notice of Infraction for any property maintenance or housing code violations found. While DCRA can cite for underlying conditions contributing to mold growth, and does make a referral to the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) mold and enforcement of any required mold abatement falls under the purview of the DOEE.
DCRA’s role is ensure a property’s compliance with property maintenance standards and has no role in the relocation of tenants."
WUSA9 also reached out to the Department of Energy and Environment and made them aware of Jones's situation. However currently, she doesn’t know where she and her children will go. She's hoping to find them a safe and healthy home before they head back to school.
“I want to be heard, that's the thing, I want to be heard. Nobody’s not listening. It sucks that it had to get this far. I’m ready to leave,” Jones said.