Lexington family left looking for housing after winter storms boot them from moldy home

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jan 06, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Lexington family is still looking for a place to live after the impact of winter storms caused flooding that made their rental unsafe on Christmas Eve.

Ariel Oxendine and her two daughters are among many impacted by the freezing temperatures during the winter storms.

Freezing temperatures caused a water tank to burst in the upstairs bedroom. Phone records show the water and ensuing damage was left untreated by management for days.

"I was planning for them to come out within five days that the damage occurred to get things started, but they just never reached back out. It was the sixth day that they reached back out," said Oxendine.

Because of suspected mildew and mold, she says they vacated and stayed with family until a maintenance worker finally came out.

"He (a property manager) walked out and did a walk through and said how sorry he was that he hadn't reached back out. They had 43 other units that were going through the same thing," said Oxendine.

The city condemned the property January 3rd.

Oxendine says they lost everything and are currently staying in a hotel provided by the property owner. Tuesday is the last day of their stay. She doesn't know what they'll do after because her applications for new places keep getting denied due to poor credit.

"It's just heartbreaking to know that no one will even give you a chance," said Oxendine.

While figuring her housing out, she's also thinking about her daughter's brain surgery that's set to take place before the end of the month.

"This is just a stressful situation because we won't have a place to come back to and call home," she explained.

After hearing her story, the Kentucky Tenants and HEAL organization are calling for her property owner to repair their home and house them in the meantime, or find them a replacement.

"This landlord is letting their home rot rather than fixing it for people and this is happening everyday in Lexington. This is not a unique story. Lots of tenants are facing this situation," said organizer Andrea Zang.

There were 64 complaints to code enforcement about water issues from December 23 to January 5. The city inspected and condemned 12. It's unknown how many people are currently in her same situation, without a place to call home.

LEX 18 visited Modern Property Management to see if there was anything they could or would do to rehouse the family. No one answered our questions, so we left a message.

Malcom Edison, Oxendine's dad, says their message for landlords across the city is to try to consider people over money.

"We want to appeal to landlord's humanity. This is an opportunity for all those that are in business to really help the community," Edison said.

They want their story to help show how they are weathering the storm.

If you would like to help, the family has created a GoFundMe.

If you need help:

  • Code Enforcement: Call 3-1-1
  • KY Tenants: A tenants led organization fighting for a KY where everyone has safe, high quality, affordable housing;
  • HEAL: A housing advocacy organization that helps navigate and connect people in crisis to resources; 859-787-6821