Kennewick mother fears for her family’s health as ‘hazardous conditions’ take over apartment

This is the second time the Rodriguez family has encountered mold, flickering lights, and sewage water floods in under two years

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Valerie Rodriguez and her three children woke up at 1:30 a.m. on July 26 to water seeping through their ceiling and light fixtures from the toilet in the apartment above.

“It was in my girls’ bedroom, two places in the hallway, and two places in the bathroom,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez’s family has lived at Meadow Park Apartments in Kennewick for about a year and a half. In that time, they’ve had growing fuzzy mold, flickering lights, mildew, and sewage floods down their hallway. Twice.

“I can’t believe it’s happening again, this is the second time,” Rodriguez recalled thinking as she ran to grab trash cans to catch the water flowing down through their lights.

The next four days were spent putting in multiple work orders and reaching out to maintenance, the apartment’s emergency line, corporate management, code enforcement, the health department and inspector, and the non-emergency hotline for the Kennewick Fire Department.

“It’s hazardous with water pouring down from the light fixtures,” Rodriguez said. “I haven’t gotten a single call back.”

Rodriguez said it’s “frustrating” to have unsafe conditions in a place she pays monthly to live in.

Her children have spent the past few days staying with their grandparents as Rodriguez is concerned for their health in the apartment.

“I have three young babies and they can’t afford to get sick. I’ve done everything I can and no one seems to know what they’re doing,” Rodriguez said.

The first time that mold spread and sewage water flooded the apartment from upstairs was in December 2020. Rodriguez said management “fixed” the problems by covering everything up, rather than actually looking for the root of the issues.

“They never gave me the option of moving to another apartment to get everything fixed,” Rodriguez said.

So she took to Facebook, posting videos and pictures she had taken to document the hazards.

“I was overwhelmed by the supportive response and it’s sad when you get comments from the community but not the own apartment complex,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added that being new to the area is hard since she doesn’t know which apartment complexes she should look into moving to.

“I want the situation fixed before I move in case somebody else moves in here and has the same situation happen,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want any problems, I just want them to fix this the right way.”

KAPP/KVEW’s Ellie Nakamoto-White tried to reach out to Elizabeth Larios, the assistant manager at the apartment complex. Ms. Larios was present on site but did not comment on the situation.

KAPP/KVEW also reached out to the apartment management for a statement but as of this publication, have not heard back.

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