9 Investigates

Repairs being made to woman's home after 9 Investigates reports on black mold

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 72-year-old woman missing half of her brain will have a safe place to live after 9 Investigates exposed major mold problems at her condominium that were not her fault.

Investigative reporter Karla Ray first reported on those issues last year, when owner Judy Young was given a demand letter to make repairs, even though the source of the leak was in another unit.

After the story aired, the community stepped up to help Young.


Even more damage was discovered in a different portion of her condominium, caused by another leak that Young couldn’t smell due to her condition.

She is missing part of her frontal lobe, which affects her ability to smell and her memory, causing the problems at her condominium to get out of hand.

Bob Hutchinson, of Belfor Property Restoration, said Young’s condominium was one of the worst mold infestations he has seen.

"Everything was solid black mold," he said. "If it was my mother or grandmother living in this environment, I would have immediately gotten her out of here, because the health concerns are very high."

The unit has been transformed since Ray first visited it in November.

At that time, Young was facing a code enforcement fine and a demand letter from the One Thousand Oaks Homeowners Association, ordering her to pay for more than $6,000 of repairs, despite acknowledging the conditions weren’t her fault. The bulk of the issues were caused by leaks in the unit above hers.

"Unless they fix what's upstairs, whatever we do down here will get wet again," Young said in November.

The problems upstairs are now fixed, and Belfor, Indoor Air Quality Solutions, ABC Air Conditioning and Heating and Henry Electric Incorporated have teamed up to remediate the damage free of charge.

The group discovered problems at Young’s condominium were worse than first thought, with more leaks from different pipes near the kitchen.

"I was disappointed, because I've been around the industry for a long time, and I knew if Judy knew any better, she would have done something different," Hutchinson said. "She didn't know any better."

The condominium association that first demanded Young pay for repairs has also stepped in to help.

An attorney for the association said in an email to Andrew Lannon of Bogin, Munns and Munns -- who represents Young pro bono -- that, "In an effort to resolve this matter in good faith, it has agreed to make repairs to the framing, insulation and drywall."

Young has been living in a hotel room, which is paid for by donations, while repairs are being made to her home.

Once the drywall is placed, new cabinets will be installed and other work will be done to repair her condominium.

"She has many years left in this house, and she deserves to be here," Hutchinson said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Young. Click here for information.

DOWNLOAD: Free WFTV News & Weather Apps

Not near a TV? Click here to watch WFTV newscasts live

Watch Live: Doppler 9 HD

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.