City housing scandal drags on

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.
Andy Ouriel
Apr 15, 2012

 

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.

Comments

SimpleEnough

 you deserved what you got, you trusted the government and expected for something for free!

Darkhorse

What a waste of taxpayers' dollars.  The case is so old, they probably can't sort out all the details so someone can be held accountable.  The worse thing about this case is that the citizens' complaints fell on deaf ears at city hall until the whole problem had gotten completely out of hand before they addressed the situation.   You wonder if anyone is looking after our best interest, instead, the people involved are always looking after their own backside. Seven years in the making and we have no accountability.  We will never know what goes on behind closed doors.  

Darwin's choice

So, who were the contractors, and where are they now? In the Senate? 

November India Golf

BFD........   fix it yourself instead of gawking, whining, and complaining to someone else.

The Big Dog's back

Let's go after these "job creators" who bilked the public. 

FruGalSpender

"Between 2004 and 2006, the properties of up to 60 homeowners were damaged by city-approved contractors"            "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"    "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"     "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."      city approved contractors      sanctions against the city    recoup of loans   loss of hundreds of thousands to the city   could it really amout to loss of millions?

don't worry about it frugal. you harp too much. i have it all covered.

FruGalSpender

mind your own business and get those dishes done frugal. bring us some grub and beer. and wear that maid outfit.

Restless1

FruGal:  We don't need the article repeated!  You have too much time and too little brain.

donutshopguy

 Simple,

I agree.

FruGalSpender

"FruGal: We don't need the article repeated! You have too much time and too little brain."   you are entitled to your opinion. i admit that i do post a lot of comments. i care about sandusky and i care about people. i have read your comments restless1.  if you are so restless, why don't you put all of that restless energy to work? what have you done for the good of the city? i would like to comment about one of your comments from 3/22/2012 06:04 PM  "I am quite old, more frail than not and sometimes travel or walk to shop or eat in Sandusky. Knowinig what I know about some of the low life there, I travel CCL armed.  If out of the clear blue sky a drunk with a build of a gym workout artist (such as a cop) approached me in a manner that made me fear for my life or "grave bodily harm', I would drop him if he crossed my 7 yard safety zone. One has to be careful out there."   you cannot just shoot and kill somebody because they crossed your 7 yard safety zone. do you suffer from dementia? if you do posses a ccl, you should not have one you old fart. if you don't like my comments then don't read them. maybe somebody else might like my comments. the worst that can happen to me is that i will be banned like so many others from years past. until i am banned then i will keep up with my comments as my time permits. get off the pot old man and do something good. and when you do get arrested for shooting somebody within your 7 yard safety zone, i will not be there for you. you are one who should never own a gun. you have no clue. so you admit that you want to shoot a cop? "If out of the clear blue sky a drunk with a build of a gym workout artist (such as a cop) approached me in a manner that made me fear for my life"  you wrote it pal. you have been put on notice. i have forwarded your comments to do harm to police to the network.

 

 

Sue Meredith

FrGal maybe you need to re-read this.  I didn't see any threat to do police harm specifically but rather a hypothetical situation in which the writer said what he would do if he felt threatened by someone with a workout build. Whether it be a cop or Joe Anybody from the street.

working man

Without an  educated voting public this country is doomed, we put people in office who can not do their job we elect people to govern not for the public but for for their own well being,Why can we not hold people  acountable for their  actions. If the government cannot meet the needs of the people then that government must be changed.GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!!

origen

*In my best Morgan Freeman voice* But then, in the spring of 1949, the powers that be decided that...

Warden Norton..The roof of the license-plate factory needs resurfacing. I need a dozen volunteers for a week's work. As you know, special detail carries with it special privledges.

Morgan voice again* It was outdoor detail - and May is one dang fine month to be working outdoors, Too bad we screwed over all the taxpayers and houses we were supposed to fix.

Cracked Cherry

 Call Holmes on Homes.

Blacktigress

One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when U.S. Senator Crockett arose:

 “Mr. Speaker—I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men—men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased—a debt which could not be paid by money—and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighted against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.” 

Col. and U.S. Senator Davy Crockett,

wiredmama222

The people who did the work have probably scattered to the wind just like those who show up for every other thing where money is involved.  They won't be found.  The 'shoddy" work that was done will never be fixed and whatever is left will have to be taken care of by the homeowners themselves. 

If they are waiting on a miracle from this city, they are waiting on the wrong thing.  It isn' going to happen in this life time.. that is a certainity.  Whoever was supposed to be responsible for this fiasco obviously didn't do their jobs very well. (nothing like stating the obvious) 

 I have to agree, although not so bluntly, with Leroy Jackson here.  It now falls to the homeowner to do whatever is necessary to fix it properly,. 

Whatever was free at first is not free now.  You own the home.  It is your responsibility to fix and repair it.  At least you own one.  Do you want to trade? 

Julie R.

The SR might as well give up on this one. It's obvious ~ for some unknown reason ~ this was swept under the rug a loooong time ago. One might have to wonder what the city prosecutor's problem was and why he never investigated or pressed any criminal charges against anybody. Even better, one might have to wonder why the COUNTY prosecutor didn't do anything. And then there's the city law director, Don Iscman ----- one might have to wonder about him, too. 

pntbutterandjelly

Shoddy workmanship and unscrupulous contractors are one-in-the-same as lousy (and lying) auto mechanics (and insurance dealers, doctors, lawyers and most all service people). Then again...it's extremely difficult to find anyone to work on anything you may own and expect the job to be properly finished at a fair price. It is the state of our nation's morality in business and personal activities. Then again...what else can we expect when our nation is being lead by liers, cheats and thieves? And they say, "Crime doesn't pay" (???).

2cents's picture
2cents
  If memory serves me correctly, were not these people doing the work given the work based on not their ability but more so based on their minority status as these dollars were earmarked for small disadvantaged business owners. And did not a bunch of people that had a pickup truck and a tool box come out of the woodwork and be chosen as contractors based on everything other than their ability to do the work?   I do remember reading in the SR about this sometime ago and it would make sense now that the situation would be shoved under the rug so as not to offend anyone, heaven forbid we accuse somebody that was handpicked for any wrong doing.   Just saying!
donutshopguy

 2Cents,

You are correct.

This potato was to hot to handle on a local basis. The city leaders ran from this situation in self preservation. The county prosecutor hid. The state wanted no part.  And, the federal government is so large and cumbersome the truth will never find its way to the surface.

Another tiny little secret hide in the closet of this fine upstanding town.

6079 Smith W

Approx. 10-20% of any govt. program is fraught with waste, fraud and abuse. If private enterprise operated with those losses, they'd be outa business in no time.

Not-to-worry, under the Obama administration, "too big to fail" has only become "too bigger to fail" and the plans for the upcoming Greatest Depression are in full operation.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-16/obama-bid-to-end-too-big-to-fail-undercut-as-banks-grow.html

 

FruGalSpender

"It now falls to the homeowner to do whatever is necessary to fix it properly"   where were the city building inspectors to check the work? where was the city prosecutor to nip this problem in the bud? where was the county prosecutor? why didn't the county prosecutor call in the state attorney general? of couse this was swept under the rug. out of sight and out of mind. what is the real cost of this scandal? the city spent $1.4 million to repair the damages. the federal government wants their loan paid back which probably is in the millions. the city lost out on addditional CHIP funds in 2011, 2012 and maybe future years. altogether, the total loss is more than likely well over $5 million or more to the city. since CHIP has no money, disband it and fire all of the employees. wouldn't it have been better to have honest and competent contractors do the work in the first place? did the city's insurance pay back any money back to the city? kudos to the sandusky register for printing this story.

Julie R.

The Erie County prosecutor has a former Vermilion finance director arrested for thinking she was entitled to her unused sick and personal pay when she left office.....and Vermilion's city law director  files a lawsuit against her in the Erie County Common Pleas Court for $9,674.00.

Yet unknown hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved in this and the county and city prosecutor did NOTHING?  Go figure.

AJ Oliver

I'm very glad that Senator Brown has called for accountability for the city workers and contractors who ripped us off, but we ALSO need accountability for the HUD officials who have done nothing to move trials forward, and who have blocked others from doing so.  Just try to give HUD a call about this case (like I did) and see how they blow you off.  Heads should definitely roll at HUD too. 

Justice delayed is justice denied. 

Julie R.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

"out of sight, out of mind,"  i.e. purposely delaying justice hoping all parties forget the matter.