WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – When Nyesha Lacy first moved into Brittany Place Apartments in Washington in 2021, she said it was supposed to be the perfect home for herself and her three children.

“It was cool out there, I think this is where I could be able to raise my kids for a little while, just a little while,” Lacy said. “A year or so, then everything went downhill.”

The trouble started with a leak.

“I reported it to the corporate office, I reported it to the office management out there at Brittany Place. When they did the leak, they came in and they rigged it up pretty much, they didn’t fix it how it was supposed to be,” Lacy said.

The leak revealed a bigger problem, mold.

“Mold started growing in the apartment. It had to already have been there because mold doesn’t just grow overnight, so it had to have been in places that I couldn’t see,” Lacy said.

Lacy lost furniture, clothing and toys for her children to the mold.

David Price is a local contractor and the owner of David Price Construction. He said people do not realize how common mold can be and how Eastern North Carolina has the perfect growing conditions for mold.

“Those mold spores need something organic to latch on to, but they also need a place that has zero circulation, typically is warm and damp. Obviously, our climate and humidity in eastern North Carolina, we are fully damp most of the time, even in the wintertime,” Price said.

After the leak was fixed, the mold stayed, Lacy said. She added management thought the job was completed.

“After the leak, I’m starting to see mold spreading rapidly, you know. And this is not something that I could live with, I have three small kids that it could affect them,” Lacy said. “I felt like nobody cared. Nobody cared. All in all, what if this was your family, your kids, like what would you do then? Would you be more concerned? Or not?”

Mold is hard to get rid of, Price said.

“Apartments are going to have turnover, so they’re going to start painting immediately regardless of who’s lived there, what kind of condition it’s in. They’re going to paint it, so it looks new when people move in,” Price said.

The earlier caught, the better.

“Look around the drains, the tub drains, look in the toilets, look in the drains in the sink. If you see any discoloration, pink, black, brown, whatever color,” Price said. “If you see any of those signs, I would probably look somewhere else.”

Lacy moved out a few weeks ago.

“I’m actually in a better living environment now, I have a nicer house, nicer home for me and my kids,” Lacy said.

On September 6, the Director of Partnership Property Management, Lacy Bratton, issued an e-mail statement.

“Due to previous inaccurate reporting we are reluctant to share any further information regarding Brittany Place. We are continuing to work with the city to resolve any concerns they may have. We are committed to continuing to provide safe, quality affordable housing for the Washington Community as we have for the last 35 years.”