KLTV reports that a Habitat for Humanity of Smith County is facing criticism over home accessibility modification work done through its “Rehabitat” program. ReHabitat helps low-income seniors and low-income individuals with disabilities with emergency home repairs and modifications.
According to the KLTV, a man in Smith County asked Habitat to make his manufactured home scooter-accessible, but the quality of the construction prompted him to complain to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
Contractors hired through the Rehabitat division of Habitat for Humanity built and installed a ramp, as well as additional work in the home. Rehabitat began in 1989, and according to the organization, has rehabbed or repaired 80 homes since its inception.
David Blaylock of Lindale applied for and received one of Rehabitat’s grants for $12,000 of modification and repair work. Blaylock immediately complained about the quality of the work and the fact that he finds it difficult and dangerous to navigate his scooter into his home from the ramp.
TDHCA visited Blaylock’s home and later sent Habitat for Humanity a list of the problem areas they found.
Jack Wilson, Habitat for Humanity’s of Smith County Chief Executive Officer said that they are looking into TDHCA’s findings. He also said that Habitat regrets taking on Blaylock’s home for repair in the first place.
Not many contractors are willing to do repair work on manufactured homes, largely because such homes are built to different codes and standards than other forms of housing. The parts are often more difficult and expensive to find.
This blog has previously discussed the challenges faced by persons with disabilities living in manufactured homes, most of which are not built to basic accessibility standards.
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This article was written by Elizabeth Nowrouz.
The outcome of this is that Habitat will no longer rehab mobile homes not only in Smith County but in other areas thanks to the news story and Texas Housers. It is a sad commentary on our society when someone is given $12,000 and complains instead of trying to work out an amicable solution.
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