1. News

Air Force orders review of military housing in wake of concerns raised about mold

In a letter to commanders Friday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says the review must be completed by March 1 "to ensure the health and safety of airmen and their families."
Amie Norquist and her family left their military housing at MacDill Air Force Base after some of them were sickened by what they believe to be mold contamination.
Published Feb. 19

TAMPA — The Air Force has ordered a "100 percent review" of military housing at MacDill Air Force Base and throughout the service in the wake of news reports and testimony before Congress about mold and other health concerns.

In a letter to commanders Friday, as first reported by Reuters, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says the review must be completed by March 1 "to ensure the health and safety of airmen and their families."

Wilson also says in the letter that an assistant Air Force secretary will establish an action team by Tuesday to help in the review.

RELATED: MacDill penalizes base housing operator over mold as Bilirakis launches congressional inquiry

The action team is centered at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, home of the Air Force directorate that manages property.

The letter also was signed by Gen. David L. Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff.

MacDill was singled out during congressional testimony last week as one of the Air Force bases where problems with mold in military housing are among the most serious.

About a half-dozen people came forward to talk about mold problems in the wake of a report earlier this month about families who have reported mold problems at MacDill housing.

They include two senior enlisted leaders who filed mold complaints with MacDill's Inspector General's office. The two also complained about the response by Harbor Bay at MacDill, the management company that operates 527 residential units at the base.

Overall, concerns from MacDill families include severe health problems they believe are associated with moldy conditions inside their homes and the requirement that some service members keep paying Harbor Bay even after they move out of homes they felt were unsafe.


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. JAMAL THALJI  |  Tampa Bay Times
    John Clark used a shotgun to kill his mother and another man. Then he returned to the crime scene with a shotgun, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
  2. Sandra Gero, a regional search associate at Ray and Associates, hosts a meeting at the Middleton High School auditorium and gathers public comments on what people are looking for for the next Hillsborough County School Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 in Tampa. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Using public meetings and a survey, they’re painting a picture of the ideal school leader.
  3. The main exhibit center at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa once stirred the imagination with dinosaurs and stars. Now, it's empty, but on the verge of rebirth as a movie studio.
    The County Commission has set aside $2 million for the project as the Film Commission studies the demand for it.
  4. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    Hunter Biden worked for a Ukrainian gas company.
  5. Reclaimed water rates are increasing 6 percent in St. Petersburg.
    Potable, waste and reclaimed water fees will all increase. So will garbage fees, though the stormwater fee will drop for some.
  6. Joshua Russell, 26, faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter, according to deputies. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    A dose of kratom caused the caretaker to fall asleep for hours inside a hot minivan with the disabled man in the back seat, investigators said.
  7. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announces federal grants Friday that will equip at least 600 officers with body cameras. CHARLIE FRAGO  |  Charlie Frago
    Mayor Jane Castor announces a nearly $600,000 Department of Justice grant Friday.
  8. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke Friday about a child protection investigator who was arrested on charges of falsifying reports. JOSH SOLOMON  |  Josh Solomon
    It’s the second time in two years a Pinellas child protection investigator has faced falsification charges.
  9. Stay with for the latest news and updates. Times
    The Challenger K-8 student didn’t have access to a gun, deputies said.
  10. Life changed for Chad Cagley with the birth of daughter Aaliyah, now 3. Cagley was killed Monday when a drunk driver slammed into the back of his motorcycle on Interstate 75, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. FAMILY PHOTO  |  Courtesy Stephanie Coomes
    The drunk driver who ran into Chad Cagley was caught after a witness followed him, troopers said.