dAfter NewsChannel 3 took action against dangerous mold inside military homes, changes are now being made by Lincoln Military Housing and the Navy. But now these changes are making things even more difficult for some during the holidays.
Three days before Christmas, Meagan Sulligan moved her family into a room at the Candlewood Suites where they will stay for almost a month.
Without a permanent home, that means no Santa coming down the chimney for their three little girls.
”We had to do our Christmas yesterday – take our tree down, move everything out, and everything is up in the air,” says Megan.
Meagan and her husband George live in Lincoln Military Housing, and they are one of the families who paid for their own mold test. It showed heavy levels of stachybotrys in their downstairs bathroom and air handler.
Lincoln agreed to help them move out and clean their furniture, but the Sulligans say there was a catch.
“Sunday, sitting there after church, we got an email saying we’ve got to be out by the weekend,” says Megan.
“We need to do renovations and we’ll compensate you with room and everything else which is nice, but I have three kids, two dogs, and it’s Christmas,” says Megan.
For their little girls, all under the age of five, it’s been hard to grasp that they wouldn’t be at home for Christmas.
“We told them Santa came early because they’ve been really good,” says Megan.
The Sulligans aren’t the only ones stuck in a hotel room for Christmas.
At least two other families have come forward to NewsChannel 3 saying Lincoln will be doing work in their homes over the holidays as well.
It’s all a result of their maintenance inspections and mold testing plans put into place after NewsChannel 3’s reporting exposed at least 60 military families living in moldy or water damaged homes.
According to the Navy, Lincoln has inspected 610 of the almost 4,400 homes they own in Hampton Roads.
Those maintenance checks have resulted in 184 requests for third party mold tests.
Many families said that Lincoln has temporarily stopped these inspections so their workers could go home for the holidays.
This is a luxury the Sulligan’s don’t have.
“They’re still not doing what they should be doing, have their 8-step action plan. But I don’t have a house, don’t have a safe house,” says Megan.
Even though their situation isn’t ideal, the Sulligan’s have at least one thing to be thankful for this Christmas.
“Clean air, I can go to sleep and not look at air vents knowing there is mold there my children are breathing in,” says Megan.
The Navy is continuing their inspections on 14 homes for mold. Nine have been completed so far and the results for at least one of those mold tests have come in.
The Navy has not given that information to NewsChannel 3 because the family has to be informed of the findings first.
Of those 184 families who have requested third party mold tests from Lincoln’s inspector, Frohling and Robertson out of Richmond, we have yet to hear how many have actually been completed.