Local News

Homeowners, Corporation Debate Over Housing Conditions

Posted November 15, 2000

— Some Henderson residents say they were sold flimsy houses with dangerous fixtures.

Lora Durham has faced electrical problems, gas leaks and shoddy craftsmanship in her Henderson home.

"I have cracks in my wood, and this house is only 10 months old," she says.

Durham lives in a neighborhood where people with low incomes get financial help with their home purchase. She took her concerns to the Gateway Community Development Corporation -- the nonprofit organization who sold her the house. She says it took them months to fix the problems.

"I think they should have come right away because I think electrical problems are usually fire hazards," she says.

Durham formed a grievance committee to get help. The only people who responded were the Henderson/Vance human relations committee -- volunteers who help people work out conflicts.

"The more we investigated, the more things we found," says committee member Jeanne Hight.

The human relations committee invited both sides together Thursday in hopes of coming up with a resolution.

"It is sort of difficult for us to understand how we got at this point where there has been every attempt to continue to address concerns by individual homeowners in, what has been in some cases, over a year," says Gateway official Abdul Rasheed. "At some point, you have to decide when does our responsibility end, and the homeowners begin."

Gateway officials say they are at the mercy of government grants and bad contractors.

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