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City housing scandal drags on

Andy Ouriel • Jun 22, 2015 at 8:27 PM

In 2004, John Kerry campaigned for the presidency, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage and the Boston Red Sox broke an 86-year-old curse to win baseball's World Series.

Seems like eons ago.

Another thing happened that year: The start of the Sandusky housing scandal.

Between 2004 and 2006, the properties of up to 60 homeowners were damaged by city-approved contractors working with the city's federal CHIP housing assistance program. The Community Housing Improvement Program is designed to provide financial assistance to residents seeking to upgrade their homes, make emergency repairs or address other housing issues.

But contractors approved by the city performed shoddy work and in some cases work that was unnecessary, leaving many of those residents unable to live in their homes because of the damages they caused.

The federal government sought to recoup loans used to pay for the shoddy and many unnecessary jobs, and the city spent more than $1.4 million to repair the damages.

Sanctions imposed by the federal government in the city's eligibility for CHIP grants in 2011, 2012 and next year also amounted the hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue to the city.

Although the residents whose homes were damaged made repeated complaints to the city, those complaints fell on deaf ears for years, and the city initially refused to assist the residents.

Read more about the probe into incomplete and shoddy repairs in Sunday's Register.

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