DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Inspector General for HUD has issued a very critical audit of a city of Dallas housing program and wants the city to repay the federal government $4.2 million.
The program in question is called the Home Investment Partnerships program, which demolishes and rebuilds homes.
Jimmy and Deborah Isbell say their entire experience with the city of Dallas program has been a nightmare that they are still experiencing.
Mr. Isbell says, “I call it the devil house. So much trouble. You don’t know what I went through.”
Their house is one of 13 mentioned in the audit.
The Inspector General identified the city’s contractor as Dry Quick Restoration of Fort Worth.
The Isbells say Dry Quick Restoration demolished their house in October of 2015 but that it took the firm until April of 2017 to rebuild it.
Mrs. Isbell says, “They didn’t finish it for 18 months. It’s still not finished.”
The audit found: the city should repay HUD $4.2 million, perform environmental reviews to see if work was done according to HUD regulations, determine the structural integrity of the 13 rebuilt houses, and pay for any potential warranty work needed.
HUD also concluded, “…The city tried to avoid its responsibility by including clauses in its contracts stating it was not responsible for the contractor’s failure to carry out work…”
In addition, HUD found “…The city had the authority to override a homeowner’s objection to pay the contractor for unsatisfactory work…”
We went by Dry Quick Restoration in Fort Worth, but the office was abandoned.
Meantime, Deborah Isbell says they have major headaches, including this air conditioning drainage pipe that sends water onto their patio and into their bedroom. “It fills our bedroom closet and the floor full of water and it mildews our clothes, anything in there.”
The couple has since placed a bucket to catch the water.
They say one of their toilets moves when they use it and the kitchen exhaust fan is too high.
The last time they saw the contractor was last August, and they’re waiting for him to return.
Mrs. Isbell says they haven’t heard back from the city in over a month. “Do something, get over here and give us what we’re supposed to have.”
In its response to the HUD Inspector General audit, the city said it shouldn’t have to repay all the money.
A statement released by the city late Thursday afternoon said in part, “We recognize the issues with our prior administration of the Program and have already begun to address many of these findings and have developed more rigorous
internal controls to ensure a higher level of accountability and administration of these types of government funded programs.”
The City of Dallas released a statement on the HUD OIG report.
The City of Dallas acknowledges the findings from the Office of Inspector General and we are currently in conversations with HUD to resolve the findings from the audit of the HOME Program. We recognize the issues with our prior administration of the Program and have already begun to address many of these findings and have developed more rigorous internal controls to ensure a higher level of accountability and administration of these types of government funded programs.