Military families say Pearl Harbor housing plagued with toxic mold, rats

Rats and mold: Military families at Pearl Harbor Hickam plea for better housing conditions

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Living with mold and rat infestations, military families at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam say they deserve better.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is managed by a private housing company called Hickam Communities LLC.

The Facebook group Hickam Communities Has Mold posts multiple times a day horror stories from residents living at the base.

Residents claim a variety of toxic molds have been found inside the walls, floors, and AC units inside their homes.

"The rats had actually chewed and bit into the pipes and the ceiling and then that came down and then that caused mold in the home," one resident said.

The resident asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, not from the military, but from Hickam Communities.

“They’re tasked legally and by the military to provide health and safety for service members. But they will very, very gladly let a home go to hell,” he said.

Hickam Communities LLC said, " Over the past year, we have made substantial investments in staffing and technology to address work orders at a faster pace and created an enhanced customer service training curriculum to deliver the best possible resident experience to on-base families.”

The man said crews fix small things like loose screws or broken appliances. But says requests to clean up the mold have fallen on deaf ears and he's not alone.

"There's over 50 families that are reporting that their children have reoccurring allergy symptoms that are persistent. That's sneezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, headaches."

The health hazards have caught the attention of Congress.

In April, United States Senator Brian Schatz visited the base and co-sponsored legislation to empower base commanders to withhold money from a privatized military housing manager who does not meet standards.

“Servicemembers and their families at bases like Pearl Harbor-Hickam should never have to put up with unsafe living conditions,” said Senator Schatz.

Chuck Anthony, Director of Public Affairs for the base also released a statement saying, “Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam works closely with our Public/Private Venture partners to ensure that our military families are provided housing accommodations befitting their special status as heroes. “

“Any help or attention that can be brought to this issue to advocate for us to help get our homes back to a healthy and safe place is monumental,” said the anonymous service member.

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