DOLTON, Ill. (CBS) — Mold.
A woman said all are connected when it comes to serious issues with the house she is renting in south suburban Dolton. Her landlord is an elected official.
As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reported, the resident said she has reached out to her landlord for two years about the problems that are making the house unhealthy for her and her children. And she questioned if the Dolton trustee who owns the house could be trusted.
“It started over here in the corner, and that’s where it started, and then it just spread,” said Jacaline Smith as she pointed out evidence of mold in the room.
Smith said she has been battling mold in many places – a result of unrepaired leaks in her Dolton rental home.
“It leaks in the corner where the roof or the ceiling is damaged, and then it leaks on into my kitchen, and then the windowsill leaks in my daughter’s room,” she said.
Smith provided photos of what she said was rain dripping from her daughter’s bedroom window. She said mold also grew on her daughter’s shoes and is all over the side of the house, which is owned by Dolton Trustee Tiffany Henyard.
“Frustrating, irritating – I just don’t feel that I should be living like this,” Smith said.
Smith has lived in the house since 2017 with her two children and said she noticed problems right away. She still has her 2017 texts to Trustee Henyard telling her about the leaks and mold, to which Henyard responded by text.
“I’ve reached out multiple times. She said she’s going to send someone. No one comes. She has sent someone out here for the mold, one time – and they just sprayed the oven spray,” Smith said.
Smith was left feeling helpless.
“But then I felt like my back was against the wall because you are a trustee,” she said.
It is why the single mom, a domestic violence survivor whose rent is subsidized, said she reached out to CBS 2. She is also concerned about her children’s health.
Kozlov briefly spoke with Henyard by phone. Henyard said she wondered if Smith’s claims may be political in the oft-politically-charged suburb. Smith denies that.
“No one’s put me up to this,” Smith said. “I have to do what I have to do as a mother, and as a concerned citizen, for myself and for my children.
Through a representative Wednesday night, Trustee Henyard said the house just passed an inspection in May. She said she relies on a handyman and is saddened to hear of the house’s condition – and also said she will address it immediately.