Lincoln Military Housing president speaks about problems with mold

Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 30, 2011
and last updated 2012-04-09 17:28:33-04

“We’re looking at everything we do for families, total review of processes. We want to get better,” says Bliss.

President Jarrel Bliss came down to Hampton Roads from DC for an hour long interview with NewsChannel 3 to discuss the problems with mold and water damage that have come to light through our reporting.

“As issues have come about over the last week or so, when we became aware of them, we started working on them, reaching out. Our focus is our families – reaching out to them, trying to resolve their issues,” he says.

A maintenance remedy and review is already underway in the company. This week, several of the families NewsChannel 3 profiled told us Lincoln maintenance workers have been in and out of their homes trying to diagnose their issues.

But many say the company is still not bringing in licensed mold inspectors to test.

“I know you can’t comment on specific cases, but would you want your family to live in a home with this in there, whatever it might be? If it is mold, if it isn’t mold – would you want to living in a home that looks like this?” reporter Laurie Simmons asked.

“I can’t speculate on that, but I can tell you that I would be very proud to live in a Lincoln Military Housing home,” Bliss relied.

The president will only admit to water damage issues. And even some systemic problems with windows and duct systems in complexes like Ben Morrell.

Jennifer Lee told NewsChannel 3 about her family’s problems with mold in their Ben Morrell home because of those duct issues.

Back in 2010, she and four other families on her street demanded Lincoln fix the issue. But in our interview, the president wouldn’t speak the word mold.

“Would you admit that there have been some families that moved out of those homes because of those window problems and the duct work?” Simmons asks.

“I can’t speculate on that issue,’ he replied.

“Well, what’s speculation? You know if there were families that moved out because of these issues?”

“I can’t speculate on that issue. We do have capital projects to deal with these issues,” Bliss says.

“So basically, you can’t talk about anything having to do with mold, is that correct?” Simmons asks. “I’ve asked you several questions in this interview, and people just want to hear you admit there is a problem.”

“Working through all the issues, working with the families,” he says.

But many families tell us dealing with Lincoln has gotten to be too much. Their hope lost, that things will ever change.

“At the present time, I am in upstate New York because after my husband left for deployment, the problems with Lincoln were too much. I felt I couldn`t live there unassisted,” says one former resident.

“I am leaving for deployment on December 5th and I am scared to leave my family behind,” says a current resident.

“These are your customers. What can you say to them?”

“I don’t think they should feel that way,” Bliss says.

Lincoln insists after this holistic review of their company, things will change. And we told them, NewsChannel 3 will be watching to make sure military families get results.