MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – For several months now, Elizabeth Perez Rodriguez has been worrying about the air she and her three children are breathing in their apartment.
She moved into Eden Pointe apartments in Bradenton in August 2020. A short time later, she noticed her belongings were turning black. The mess was coming from her air vents and it impacted her furniture, her kids’ toys, her clothing, and even food inside her refrigerator.
After bringing her concerns to management at the complex, crews deep cleaned her vents and shampooed her carpet, but the issue didn’t go away.
“I like my unit. I like the place where I live at, I just don’t know what me and my kids are breathing and that is very scary to me,” said Perez Rodriguez. “When I wake up in the morning and get my kids ready for school, my kids notice when they blow their nose, the mucus it’s not the normal color, it is black and it is scary,” she continued.
The family is now living with air filters covering all of the vents in their unit to help alleviate the mess. The mother of three says she’s constantly changing the filters as they turn black within a matter of days.
“I buy six months worth of filters and it only lasts me less than two weeks,” said the mother of three.
She called 8 On Your Side for help seeking a long term solution. Her financial situation is tight and moving somewhere else just isn’t an option right now.
“I don’t have the income or the money to hire movers to move me out of this apartment to another unit and I don’t know if that other unit to safe and I don’t have the income to move to another property so if they can, put me somewhere that it’s going to be safe for me and my kids, that would be great,” said Perez Rodriguez.
8 On Your Side contacted Eden Pointe’s management company, Aspen Square Management. We expressed the mother’s concerns and shared photos she’s gathered over the last several months.
A spokesperson explained the company takes these issues very seriously and said they have been working with Perez Rodriguez to rectify her concerns since last October.
“Because we have attempted to rectify this issue with Ms. Perez Rodriguez in the home, our operations team determined that its next attempt to rectify her concerns with the unit must be made while the unit is vacated,” said the spokesperson. “We do not have reports of any other homes on the property dealing with this issue. Our actions and attempts to rectify these requests exemplify our own commitment to provide a safe and secure place for our residents and their families to call home,” he continued.
Aspen Square Management officials tell 8 On Your Side the company will cover costs for the family to move to another unit on site.