A Massachusetts mother is demanding answers from her local housing authority after a strange substance in her walls forced her and her sons into a hotel.
Jessica Pacheco, of Shrewsbury, has a son who is severely disabled and taking care of him is why she had to quit her job and rely on public housing.
She says it took years to get a handicap accessible home for her and her two sons, and now she fears that home may filled with dangerous mold.
“This is still wet — this has been leaking for over three years,” said Pacheco, showing NBC Boston a hole in her wall.
When Pacheco called to have the washer hookup fixed inside the home she leases from the Shrewsbury Housing Authority, the plumber found black mold inside the wall.
“That whole slab that they took out was all black,” she explained.
The drywall was tested for mold, and Pacheco said the town gave her documents showing that in some areas “50 percent of the surface was covered with fungal matter indicative of active growth at some point in time.”
She said officials told her that it is not at a “critical level” but the family should be relocated.
For the past couple of weeks, Pacheco has been living out of a Worcester hotel with her two sons — one of whom is severely disabled, needing specialized equipment to keep him alive.
“I cry and cry and then I look at him and he’s smiling and he goes through all of that and just comes right back like nothing, so I can’t get sad or stop,” Pacheco said.
But Pacheco also doesn’t feel that it’s safe to go back home because she doesn’t believe the mold has been remediated properly.
Pacheco asked the housing authority if she could go inside her home on Monday even though they were still spraying for mold.
The housing authority maintenance workers didn’t want to answer questions from NBC Boston, who went with Pacheco, but Pacheco pointed out to our camera the areas that are still concerning to her.
“It’s not dirt, it’s not dust — whatever it is, it needs to be tested properly,” Pacheco said.
The Shrewsbury Housing Authority would only say it, has been “working closely with DHCD [the Department of Housing and Community Development] and the Board of Health regarding [this property.] The Housing Authority has been in strict compliance with what they have asked and are still working together to get this family home.”
Pacheco says she has asked to pay for independent testing but hasn’t been given permission.
The housing authority has told Pacheco the final inspection to allow her back in her home is set for Tuesday, and if it passes inspection, her hotel room will no longer be paid for.
Aspen professionals are licensed and insured and members of the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI) and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
Please contact Aspen Environmental Services for mold testing and removal at (978) 681-5023. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.