Veteran claims poor living conditions in military housing causes health issues for family

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A military family in Wichita Falls is preparing to file a lawsuit for negligence against a company that manages rental homes to active duty Air Force families assigned to the base.

Almost four years of living in Freedom Estates at Sheppard, Leia Hamm said she and her family are having health problems because of poor living conditions.

That includes rat infestation and mold growth, once she noticed the issue she reported it but says believes the houses in the neighborhood need to be demolished.

Hamm served in the Air Force for 10 years and is married to an active service member and said this situation has been ongoing and something needs to be done.

Hamm said she believes her and her children’s illnesses, such as rashes, respiratory infections, allergies and more have been a result of the poor conditions of the home.

“Our HVAC system isn’t properly sealed with our attic and we’re breathing in all that rat decay, the rat feces, termite, dust mite, cockroach, all of that are stuff that we have been breathing in for almost four years,” Veteran and military wife Leia Hamm said.

Now Freedom Estates is one of three distinct neighborhoods at Sheppard.

It’s operated by Balfour Beatty, which is one of the largest U.S. residential real estate companies.

Eventually, Hamm said Balfour Beatty moved her family into a hotel and then into another home recently and offered to fix the house.

Though they offered to get it fixed, Hamm asked that the mold be tested before her furniture, which she suspects has mold spores, is transferred to another home but she was refused, so she is now paying about $3,900 of her own money to a third party company to get it tested before Balfour Beatty moves forward.

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