Fort Meade Mold Remediation 70% Complete After Pause Due to Pandemic

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Families on Fort Meade have repeatedly complained of mold in their homes.
According to a lawsuit filed against the property management company Corvias, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Buitrago's family repeatedly requested maintenance for water leaks and mold in places throughout their home, such as on this window frame. (COVINGTON LAW FIRM/DISTRICT OF MARYLAND COURT FILING)

Corvias Management-Army LLC has finished mold remediation on 70% of homes on Fort Meade, Maryland, according to the most recent housing town hall at the military installation.

Mold remediation in the homes was paused in March, due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Darla Humbles, Corvias family services manager, during the town hall. It is now back up and running.

Those who have concerns about mold remediation or need to schedule it can reach out to Corvias, Humbles said.

Mold remediation was just one of the topics at the housing town hall last week. It was the first housing town hall for Garrison Commander Col. Chris Nyland.

Housing remains a priority, he said. "But we understand there's still more work to do to earn your trust," he added.

Most of the town hall was spent answering questions from residents, especially about when amenities might open.

Corvias is currently working on reopening community centers, said J.C. Calder, operations director for the housing company. Family centers are more challenging due to COVID-19 precautions.

"We all love children, but everybody knows children are a little more difficult when it comes to social distancing," Calder said.

In order for Corvias to reopen the community centers, the reopening plan must be approved by Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, the commanding general of the Military District of Washington, which Fort Meade falls under.

The community centers are on their way to opening, Calder said. Once they do, they will follow health and safety procedures just as the one at Reece Crossing is.

"We want to make sure we're being good partners and we're opening safely," Calder said. "We want to provide the amenities to everybody, but we also want to make sure we're doing that in line with all of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines and, most importantly, what's being done here on post and the [Military District of Washington]."

The movie theater on post will also remain closed, Nyland said. The garrison commander is trying to mirror what is open in the county, he said, although County Executive Steuart Pittman decided to open movie theaters, starting Sept. 25.

Other questions included smaller items like problems with trailers parking in areas they are not allowed or work orders.

Corvias resumed work orders on June 10, with a backlog of 900, Calder said. Those completing work orders will be following safety protocols.

Quality control has fallen behind due to COVID-19, said Debbie Faux, Installation Housing Office chief.

The housing office tries to inspect homes and make phone calls about work orders.

"We do our best to make sure you're happy," Faux said.

Before the backlog, about 10% of work orders were inspected by a quality control manager, Calder said.

"We need to know where we're falling short," he said.

Corvias is also working on home modernizations, with 120 older houses getting new HVAC systems, regardless of when the resident moved in.

"Every home on the installation will be touched to some degree," Calder said.

Fort Meade started the town halls following national outcry over poor housing, including at Meade.

Corvias is currently facing a lawsuit from Fort Meade families over the poor conditions, including mold.

A judge recently refused the majority of claims from Corvias asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

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This article was written by Heather Mongilio from The Capital, Annapolis, Md. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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