Hillsborough County

Mold problems create health concerns at MacDill Air Force Base housing

Amie Norquist and her husband were very happy when they moved into their housing at MacDill Air Force base in July of 2018.

"When we first drove through base it's very convenient, the kids can ride their bikes to school , they have a lot of friends out there," said Norquist. Her husband is active duty military and is assigned to MacDill. Soon after moving into their home on base, Norquist says her four children started having health problems.

"I would hear our two oldest coughing through the night in our beds. Our two youngest kids developed a really croupy sounding cough like all the time and had upper respiratory issues," said Norquist.

They soon found mold in the home. There was mold in the flooring from a previous leak. There was mold in the walls and in a storage area inside the home. They called the private company that is in charge of maintaining the housing. A company came in to fix the mold problems, but Norquist says it actually made things worse for them.

"We learned that they did not properly contain our belongings when they sanded all of the mold off the floors, so all the carpets were exposed, the blinds. None of the kitchen cabinets were covered, our furniture was not contained correctly," said Norquist.

The family decided to move and spent seven thousand dollars of their own money for the move and to replace furniture and clothing contaminated by the mold. Norquist says several families are having similar issues.

Congressman Gus Bilirakis grew so concerned about the problem, he's stared an investigation.
"They should be able to concentrate on their jobs and now they have to worry about their families," said Bilirakis.

He plans to meet with the MacDill Base commander to find out more about what's being done and is fighting to financially compensate the families impacted by the mold.

"I'm not the kind of guy that's going to let this settle," said Bilirakis.

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