WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Private military housing residents believe their voices were heard after a town hall meeting Thursday night hosted by Sheppard Air Force Base Installation Commander Kenyon Bell; however, attendees said they do not have a lot of faith.
In December, Texoma’s Homepage ran a story about residents of Freedom Estates as they said they lived in poor living conditions that caused health problems.
After Thursday’s meeting, the residents said they believe the military will pay more attention to their problems, but the mold and rat infestations in their homes are more serious than Property Management Company Balfour Beatty Communities let on.
“My family is facing long term health issues because of the rat infestation as well as the mold that is in our home,” Freedom Estates Resident Leia Hamm said.
The meeting included the Sheppard Military House Office, Balfour Beatty Communities and Sheppard Air Force Base leadership.
“We want to make sure that the housing contractors and the residents are communicating and that the residents are getting what they need,” Sheppard Air Force Base Chief of Public Affairs George Woodward said. “It’s a little bit challenging for the base leadership because we’re not directly part of the equation but we do certainly have a voice and the health and well being of our housing residents is a top priority.”
Rebecca and Cristopher Dozier, along with Hamm, said their issues do not lie with the military, rather they feel their health and well being is not a top priority for Balfour Beatty.
“I think Balfour Beatty is doing what’s in their best interest which is to deny deny deny and save their company money,” Hamm said.
At the meeting, Dozier and Hamm said their proof of mold through photos and lab reports was disregarded by the property management company that brought in what they call a microbiology expert.
“They don’t seem to understand which I can’t fathom that just because you’ve remediated the water issue, doesn’t mean that the mold didn’t grow and it doesn’t mean that that mold doesn’t become airborne,” Dozier said.
As of Thursday, he Doziers and Hamms live in hotels. The Doziers are supposed to move home Tuesday.
Hamm said a lawsuit against Balfour Beatty Communities is being worked on.
Sheppard Public Affairs officials said residents have battled the issue for about a year and now the residents hope a solution is found quickly.