Lincoln Military Housing president answers questions about mold and unsafe living conditions

Posted at 4:22 PM, Nov 29, 2011
and last updated 2012-04-09 17:28:33-04

For months, military families say they couldn't get Lincoln Military Housing to do anything about the mold that was taking over their homes. They asked NewsChannel 3 to take action.

After seeing our reports, the president of the company agreed to sit down with NewsChannel 3's Laurie Simmons to answer some questions.

Jarl Bliss runs national operations for Lincoln Military Housing and he came to Hampton Roads after seeing our stories. He wanted to speak directly to the military families who have been coming forward with mold, water damage and maintenance complaints.

“Over and over again they have been told it’s company policy that you don’t test for mold, and you don’t ever admit mold is a problem. You call it growth; you call it anything under the sun except for mold. Is this company policy? Is this the way the issues are dealt with?” asked Laurie.

“Our company policy is to follow industry standard guidelines and when guidelines call for a certified inspector, and that inspector says they want to test, we test. We have tested,” responded Bliss.

“The guidelines talk about spraying with bleach on hard surfaces and for building materials. You cannot kill mold with bleach on building materials. As president of the company, do you feel that it is following proper EPA guidelines?"

“We follow the EPA guidelines; That’s what our procedures call for,” said Bliss.

“They show systemic problems for months and months and months that are not fixed by your maintenance workers. At what point do you say ‘We need professional help here to fix this water issue?”

“We do bring in outside contractors,” said Bliss.

“How long does it take though? How long does it take for you to seek other help?”

“We're working on the issues. Water is a difficult issue-enemy of any building,” said Bliss.

Laurie Simmons and Bliss talked about many other issues including the company's plans to inspect the homes of residents and make sure they are happy in their homes.

The president of Lincoln also promised that no retaliatory actions against families who come forward will be tolerated, including evictions.