FORT MYERS, FLA — From her temporary home at America's Best Value Inn, a Fort Myers mom says she hopes the worst is behind her.
"It's better, but it's hard. The better part is because we outta there is because we're not in a place of our own," said Charlisa Hood.
She's referring to the Lago Del Sol apartments in Fort Myers, where she and her seven kids lived for several years.
"If this landlord had been fixing stuff like she was supposed to then we probably would have still been there," said Hood.
A FOX 4 investigation found that Hood's unit was in poor condition. In fact, it was so bad that it failed back-to-back public housing inspections earlier this year.
When complex management failed to fix the problems, the Housing Authority for the City of Fort Myers cancelled its contract with them for the unit and stopped paying the bulk of rent.
"My landlord was really angry. She continued to torture me the whole time I was there," said Hood.
Because of the cancelled contract, Hood and her kids had to move out by May 31, and they did, but now they're in need of a new place that takes public housing vouchers.
"I need a four-bedroom, two-bathroom. I need a landlord that's going to fix whatever goes wrong in the home. If it's my part I'm more than happy to fix it, but if it's your part please fix it," said Hood.
Right now, Hood says she's getting help from a local agency to cover the cost of the hotel while they wait, but she's not sure how long that money will last.
But, despite the circumstances, she's encouraging others at the complex who are facing similar conditions to step up and speak out.
"A lot of people keep quiet. If it's going to keep a roof over your head then you keep your mouth closed. But when the roof over your head becomes unsafe and dangerous to your kids, you can't keep your mouth closed any longer," said Hood.
And to Hood's point, it appears that other people in that complex are dealing with similar issues.
The Housing Authority for the City of Fort Myers has released 2019 data that shows out of 171 HUD inspections at that complex, 56 units failed at least one inspection and 11 of those failed twice. We are still waiting on documentation to show if the tenant or the owner was listed as "at fault" for those failed inspections. We're also waiting for inspection data for 2020 and 2021.
If you want to help Ms. Hood and her kids, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find us on Facebook at "Fox 4 Fort Myers." We can then pass the information along to her.