Mold, water stains, cock roaches and flies characterize Martin Batherson's apartment in Buffalo at the corner of Main Street and E Morris Avenue. Batherson was homeless until February 2, 2017, when he moved into what he thought was going to be a temporary home.
"I want out of here because my health is going to be deteriorating worse,” Batherson said. “And I can’t breathe this mold much longer.”
Batherson has contacted Housing and Urban Development for help and they've notified legal aid. When he calls his landlord, who lives in Buffalo and New Jersey, he ignores his calls.
“He don’t care about me as far as I’m concerned," Batherson said.
The apartment's ceiling is falling apart, so much so that Batherson can tell when the neighbor that lives above him has the light on. He said that building's maintenance worker stopped by Monday and left halfway through working and is yet to return.
“I ain’t ever seen nothing like it, you see stuff on TV, I personally haven’t seen anything like this in my entire life," Batherson's friend, Sabrina Dunovant, said. “He [maintenance worker] said he wouldn't stay here either, that came out of his mouth and he works for the landlord.”
Batherson collects $750 a month on disability and another $170 for food stamps. The government subsidizes two thirds of the apartment's rent.
Batherson takes medication to treat depression, high blood pressure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, he says the mold is making breathing even more difficult.