Mold Takes Over South Park Family’s Home

SOUTH PARK (KDKA) — A local family says they’ve been fighting for four years to get mold removed from their rental home that is owned by Allegheny County.

Now they say they’re being evicted because they wanted it to be cleaned up to a higher standard than what was offered.

They say the management company refused to bring in a cleaning company that specialized in mold removal. When they refused the help, they got an eviction notice, even though they say they paid their rent.

The Hinerman family says at first they tried to take care of mold in their South Park home by themselves.

“You know my wife has always come down and cleaned the mold from the walls and it would reappear like within a month to two months,” Joseph Hinerman said. “She would come down and clean it and it would just keep reappearing.”

The problem got much worse and they had to call in the Allegheny County Health Department. They say test results showed several toxic types of mold in the home and it’s everywhere.

Hinerman says they asked for help from the county and the management company.

“And they said it’s not their problem,” he said.

Hinerman says his wife, Claire, 13-year-old son, Lance, and 5-year-old daughter, Clarissa, all have serious health problems. He suspects they are at least worsened by the mold.

Then there’s the emotional toll.

“And you know, it’s really hard on the children and what’s even harder is we’ve been here for four years,” Claire Reaghard said. “This is our home.”

The family has been living in a hotel for the last two months and would just walk away from the situation except that most of t heir belongings, including furniture and mattresses, are covered with mold and they can’t use them unless they’re cleaned which may not even be possible.

They say they’ve been told they’d have to pay for anything themselves.

“But when you don’t have the money, I mean we’ve lost everything, and the county and the real estate company could care less and they treat us like we’re trash,” Reaghard said. “And I’m sorry, we’re not.”

More Local News
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Allegheny County Official Website


One Comment

  1. Calvin Jones says:

    This is how our state treats people. I know this as fact!!!!! The world we are used to is changing for the worst. People just dont care about one another any longer. PAY UP ALLEGHENY COUNTY!

    1. Frank says:


      1. Daisy says:

        Why should Allegheny County pay up when he owes them (meaning us taxpayers) almost $2,000.00 in fines & fees to the Allegheny County Court Records – Criminal Division!

        Yeah, I’m sure when this goes to a jury, These two bozo dirtbags will get alot of sympathy from their peers. They’ll get laughed out of the Courtroom! HAHA!

        We’d all be better off, and safer, if they left our community! Drug use, fighting, harassment, drivign with suspended licenses and vehicle charges… what else do you think these folks have done without getting caught?!!! And they have Children?!!!

  2. John Delniccio says:

    Allegheny County is as corrupt as any other county in this state. Give these people a house and pay for the damaged furniture. They have been through enough already.

  3. Sandy Rahal says:

    What a sad story. What can we do as a city to help these people. Our city is about helping people not turning our backs on others. God bless this family, and the people who allow these nice people to suffer will feel the wrath of God.

    Please Channel 2, help this family. Do your jobs

    1. Sara Sams says:

      What do you think Channel 2 should do? It is only a News Station. Maybe Allegheny County should pay up. The MOLD is too far gone to just keep cleaning up. It is in the walls ,,,,,,,,,furnitur and everthing else in the house. i say bring in a Special Unit of people to TEAR down the Mold Infested structure. MOLD can KILL !!!

      1. Dumb Dumb says:

        The media sucks……People need to die before anything gets done. Sara wake up, the news controls everything….EVEN YOU

  4. Annonymous says:

    Sounds like Southpointe Towers Apartments in Pleasant Hills. The Allegheny County Health Department has looked past the mold issues there. Lots of residents getting sick and hospitalized. I am a former resident and am very suprised the complex is not closed or fined.

    But now after watching this………Nothing suprises me about this atate.

    1. none says:

      That place is a dump. move

    2. Mike S. says:

      If anyone care, Joseph Hinerman owes the Federal Government IRS TWENTY ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, yes $21K in IRS Tax Liens! How can you get housing Subsidies if you owe this much in TAXES!!!! its unfairm to those of us that PAY OUR BILLS! Also, they walked away from their house in Munhall, Wells fargo had to recover it at Sheriff Sale. Obviously, some folks think its OK to NOT pay their BILLS like the rest of us!!!! Why help out folks who abuse the system meant to really help the TRULY NEEDY?

    3. BJ says:

      They cant pay bills PERIOD! Mold or no mold. Looks like Claire Reaghard defaulted on her prior mortgage for $60,789.79! The Bank then resold for $33,000, so essentially she stole $27 Thousand dollars from the bank! I hope they got 1099′d for the difference!?

      Plus, doesn’t he owe child support to someone from Glassport?

  5. Bernadette Huggins says:

    Mold is a health problem. My daughter is very allergic to mold. Were these people told about this health problem before they moved into the house? I doubt it. They should be put up in a safe house away from mold and health problems and this house should either be rid of all the mold or condemned.

  6. sean says:

    Sounds like Allegheny County has really dropped the ball on this one, along with their hired management agency. It is their responsibility to take care of their tenants. It is NOT the homeowners role to do that. Edgar Snyder would have a field day on this one. The County and management association should both be sued for negligence and be forced to pay health costs associated from mold exposure, new furniture or cleaning services, if that can be done, any hotel bills this family has incurred. Unreal!!!

  7. Jhon Smith says:

    I really hope anyone connected to ignoring this situation lose their jobs. They must have mold growing on their hearts.

  8. annonymous says:

    I know how they feel. I went threw the same thing with allegheny county and the same management company from april to november 2010 . I hade to hire an attorney to help us with our situation . I feel that I was not takin care of as a tenent the way a tenent should be taken care of . let alone one person treating another in that manner its unsivilized to treat another person that horable. my family from my wife my six year old daughter to my twins that are four went through so many tears and it was frustrating for me cause my job is to protect my family and my hands were tied because the people that were suppose to take care of the situation didnt do thier job. They evicted us insted of fixing the problem. I wish i could talk to those people to give them some encouragement that god will be there , dont give up , im praying for them and everyone else that the county and that managment company did wrong to.

  9. joe hinerman says:

    please call us 412 969 0774 joe and claire

  10. joe hinerman says:

    can someone help us with an attorney call us joe and claire 412 969 0774 this is destroying our lives

    1. Friend says:

      Please call this program- Homelessness Prevention Rapid Re-Housing 1-877-350-4777

      Neighborhood Legal Services may also be able to assist 412-255-1155

      Also the United Way Helpline 412-255-1155

  11. paul says:

    Note ….In areas of high mold contamination….clothing and furniture may contain mold spores that can be transported from one location to another if not properly cleaned. K9 Mold Service

  12. kim says:

    Why hasnt anyone identified this horrible management company? I would like to know the management compnay name so i would never rent from them. Sure others feel the same!

    Hope for the family, they man up and PAY

  13. annonymous says:

    Robb Realestate

    Located in Oakland

  14. Melanie says:

    This is absolutely rediculous that this family has been put through this. These management companies are responsible for the care & maintenance of the properties & the well being of the tenants that live there.
    Animals are removed from owners that live in houses that are better than this one, why did the management company & the county think that human beings, children even, should be allowed to live in this situation.
    Personally, in the end , Allegheny County is responsible for this family, their situation, their needs & their medical bills due their neglect in not monitering the management company they hired & to do independant inspections of the properties to make sure they are being kept up. I mean come on, this family was not living in public housing, they were living in a private home on the South Park grounds. Public housing is inspected to make sure it is up to code & that the tenants are safe, why should any other property owned by the county or state be treated any different.
    Our prayers go out to you & your family. I hope that someone in the county steps up & sees that it is time for a change in the government.

  15. Camp says:

    There are many different programs throughout Allegheny county that will assist you in moving costs and initial move in to a new home for you and your family. Usually these are government funded programs that can be found through a google search or United Way will give you all the resources to point you in the right direction.

  16. mariane says:

    Why do we even pay county taxes? I have had 3 family members involved in mold in there home and apartment. My parents lived in an apartment in Baldwin at the Baldwin Commons. After a few months of living there a variety of mold ie(pinkish and black color) surfaced in the bathroom and on bed clothes, on carpet, shoes and furnishings. My sisters and I cleaned house weekly for my parents. Bleach,soap and water were used regularly to remove mold it would resurface. My sister and I spoke with the apartment manager Maryann several times regarding the mold she said that there was no problem with the apartment. My sister and my parents that contacted Allegheny County Health Dept. Mrs/Miss? Higgins could not see the mold growing on my fathers shoes which we still have in a bag. We also pointed out the pink bathroom mold that I told her that comes back days later after cleaning up with bleach. We also showed her the mold on bed covers that came in contact with the rug and the mold on the new rug in the bedroom .Mold eventually took over their apartment, forcing them out and they ended up losing all their belongings As a side bar my sister came in contact at work with a new employed maintenance man ie (Ed) at a place where she currently works who was the prior maintenance person at the above apartment. Ed said an elderly gentleman who lived in the Baldwin Commons who would show Ed the mold on his clothes in the drawers. Baldwin Commons knew about the mold before my parents moved in. The county did site the building for poor water drainage at the location outside their apartment. The owner was required to put gutters on the corner of the apartment building where there were not any gutters. My parents insurance would not cover inside furnishing because the cause of mold was from outside, the apartment building, would not cover any of my parents furnishing that lost and did not give my parents there deposit back Try to get a lawyer to help they can’t be bothered because it is not a large some of fast cash for them and it requires work. I can not even describe the looks on my parents faces as all there furnishing were discarded in the dumpster outside there apartment. There is a double standard when it comes to mold even though there are no standards for mold. For instance if you live in a highrise like the one in Brookline the building will be torn down to the steel beams and rebuild however if you are a resident and own a home in Allegheny County the County can’t do anything to assist you. I think it would be informative if Dr. Dixon of Allegheny County Health Dept. would have a public forum or a website on the health hazards of mold for those people purchasing or renting housing in Allegheny County. Mold can be cleaned up but you never really get rid of it it reoccurs. My mother died a few years ago with respiratory problems.

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