Low-income areas to receive boost

$250,000 grant to help improve homes.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 16, 2013


For the first time in three years, Sandusky officials received a federal grant to improve homes in lower-income neighborhoods.

And city commissioners rejoiced Tuesday when voting 7-0 to accept $250,000 in Community Housing Improvement funds.

“Kudos (to staff) on following through on the fight in getting this program back,” city commissioner Pervis Brown said.

City officials, however, needed to “fight” for grant funding after federal authorities banned Sandusky from applying for this grant or receiving program dollars.

Beginning in the mid-2000s, city officials approved contractors who either performed shoddy work or neglected to make necessary repairs at various homes.

The malfeasance affected about 60 homeowners, many of whom were ultimately displaced. The total cost to city taxpayers was at least $1.4 million, an amount local officials aren’t sure if they’ll be reimbursed for or not.

Rather than charging negligent contractors, area officials handed off the case to the Office of Inspector General, a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The federal probe is in its fifth year, with seemingly no end in sight.

City officials, meanwhile, voiced no concern about the sluggish probe, or about the people who have suffered in the fallout.

“I believe the city went back and made all that all right,” said ex officio mayor John Hamilton, when responding to a question posed to commissioners Tuesday.

Roger Harpel, is one of the residents who fell victim to the housing scandal.

“The city has never given me a reason as to why they never rehabilitated my house, even with all the documentation I have,” Harpel said. “I got no place to go.”



Let the kickbacks and graft begin!


Here we go again. No accountability on the last corruption. Lets throw some more money at the problem and see what happens.

How blind is everyone?


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments and Lengthy excerpts from other websites.

Julie R.

"City officials, meanwhile, voiced no concern about the sluggish probe or the people that have suffered in the fallout."

Did we forget to get a comment from Don Iscman or what? I would really be curious to know what he has to say about it. I would be even more curious to know what the prosecutor, Kevin Baxter, has to say.


They both will probably be the first to get a new roof!


Well, Roger -- If you can't afford to "rehabilitate" your own house, then perhaps you shouldn't be a homeowner. Just a thought.

When something goes wrong with my home, I fix it -- with my own money. If it ever gets to the point where I can't afford home repairs, then I'll move to a place where I can -- not really a complicated concept.


Hey, at least you are not low income!

BULLISDEEP's picture


Wed, 10/16/2013 - 6:10pm

Hey, at least you are not low income!

YET ......get your cardboard box ready ! Statealltheway


LOL I was just about to say the same thing -- with taxes going up and up each year, I'll be low-income soon enough ;-) Oh well -- at least Roger's house will look nice.


It's a complicated concept for the multi-generational entitlement crowd.

We are entitled to everything you have without personal investment in the process.


Robert Shiller, one of the new Nobel Prize winners says that houses are a lousy investment.

Who knew? :)


So where does that "free" govt. money come from?


"Where does that "free" govt. money come from?"

In short -- your paycheck ;-)


If you only promote residence in Sandusky by low-income and low-spend (senior) residents, you'll never develope a good tax base for routine services.


this is sad , The city gets the funding back , but they passed the buck to the feds about the mess we had back when we had this the first time , and nothin was taken care of .
If you want to make sure this does not happen again , the best thing you can do is to have the contractors be inssured and bonded as well as approved by the Housing and erbon devolopement . at the County level and that being the Erie Metro Housing office and the inspector with Erie Mtro office
Cause when you really stop and think about it , its Federal money that is approved to the city to help low income families .Its perfect . That way you wont have a repeat of what happened the last time .
Make not only the families / home owner as well as the ones doing the contract work held to a higher standard . And this is going to be less likely to repeat what happened in the past


I agree donut, that pertains to Agri-buSINess. You did not buy that (farmland).


No, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Julie R.

2Timothy1-7 sounds like a lawyer. Anybody read his very interesting take on the Housing Grant scandal? It's on the "Yost Arrested" story and the comment was made on Sunday 10/13/2013 at 6:49 A.M.


Funny how Brown gives City staff (City Manager) credit for the program reinstatement when in actuality it was the outside firm hired by the City that begged the Feds to start resending the money.


I hope the homeowners receiving this help, also have volunteers helping out, community outreach, strong young people, doing good handyman jobs. Many Sandusky youth would benefit & learn some skills they can use in life.