Fraser " Mold contamination found in 35 Fox Run units
May 8, 2008
While housing officials attempt to address the mold problem at Fox Run, they’re finding that the cost of remediation may put a pinch on public budgets.
It has been determined that the Fox Run public housing project has nine units with crawl spaces seriously affected by fungal growth, with another 26 units in need of “some degree of remediation,” according to reports from Grand County Housing Authority Director Jim Sheehan to the Housing Authority Board of Directors on Tuesday.
A bid to permanently fix the problem, including mold removal, drainage control and replacement of walls in nine units located in the upper buildings of the complex could cost an estimated $200,000, officials say.
That quote includes an encasement system “to ensure that we’re dealing with any drainage and mold issues in the future,” Sheehan said.
Add the other 26 units to the total, and it appears the Fox Run board is looking at a potential $300,000 to $400,000 mold remedy for buildings built six years ago.
For those living in any mold-affected units, the Fox Run board has directed management to allow tenants “in good standing” with rent the option to break their leases and move out.
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Mindy McCall, for one, took Fox Run up on its offer.
The tenant, whose apartment crawl space was discovered to have mold in it following a free weatherization inspection ” prompting Fox Run directors to mold-test buildings ” moved out last week.
It was noted in Tuesday’s Housing Authority meeting that management also has been directed not to fill mold-affected vacated units with new tenants until the problem is addressed.
Since Fox Run has been at-occupancy, that means, “we can’t move them into another unit,” said James Newberry, a Fox Run and Grand County Housing Authority board member.
Efforts to contact Fox Run Board President Gary DeFrange for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
It is still unclear how long it will take to start work on the apartments.
The Housing Authority director has applied to the Colorado Department of Agriculture for $65,000 out of a $67,000 grant to fix building-perimeter drainage. Improper drainage has increased moisture and humidity levels in building crawl spaces beneath apartments, which promotes mold growth.
The director told the authority board, which includes Commissioners Newberry, Gary Bumgarner and Nancy Stuart, that some of that exterior work had been started back in the early part of November.
This year’s volume of snow did not help the situation, however, Sheehan said.
Three bids had been received for the mold remediation after an industrial hygienist inspected units with suspected mold problems, Sheehan reported. The bids ranged from $170,000 to $465,000 for remediation alone.
After determinations were made, a Fox Run meeting was held last week to discuss possible financing sources with the Colorado Division of Housing, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, the project property manager Elevation Property Services, LLC, a Grand County Housing Authority board representative and Enterprise Social Investment, a limited partner.
Based on its budget, the Housing Authority has about $15,000 that may be considered for a matching fund contribution. Board members discussed using that money to seek out other funding partners to fix Fox Run.
The Housing Authority board scheduled an executive session for later in the day to hold a more in-depth discussion about the issue.
The Grand County Housing Authority opened the Fraser Fox Run Apartments in 2002 as an answer to the shortage of affordable rental housing in eastern Grand County.
Fox Run provides 64 one, two and three bedroom units of below-market rent apartments.
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