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Charity homes built by Hollywood start to crumble

RESIDENTS of a model housing estate bankrolled by Hollywood celebrities and hand-built by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, are complaining that it is falling apart.

Fairway Oaks was built on northern Florida wasteland by 10,000 volunteers, including Carter, in a record 17-day “blitz” organised by the charity Habitat for Humanity.

Eight years later it is better known for cockroaches, mildew and mysterious skin rashes.

A forthcoming legal battle over Fairway Oaks threatens the reputation of a charity envied for the calibre of its celebrity supporters, who range from Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt to Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Helena Bonham Carter.

The case could challenge the bedrock philosophy behind Habitat for Humanity, claiming that using volunteers, rather than professional builders, is causing as many problems as it solves.

April Charney, a lawyer representing many of the 85 homeowners in Fairway Oaks, said she had no problems taking on Habitat for Humanity, despite its status as a “darling of liberal social activists”. She said the charity should have told people that part of the estate had been built on a rubbish dump.

One man pulled up his floorboards to find rubbish 5ft deep under his kitchen. Other complaints include cracking walls and rotting door frames that let in rats and ants. Many residents have complained of mildew and mysterious skin rashes.

One resident said her children were suffering from skin complaints. “The intentions are good, but when the politicians and big-shot stars have left we’re stuck with the consequences. This house looks pretty but inside it either stinks or sweats,” she said.

Judy Hall, the charity’s local development director, said recently that it had been dealing with about 30 complaints. She added that skilled work was carried out by professionals.

Some residents dismiss their neighbours’ worries. Diennal Fields, 51, said people did not know how to look after their homes: “It’s simple stuff: if there is mildew, don’t get a lawyer, get a bottle of bleach.”

Charity homes built by Hollywood start to crumble - Times Online
 

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It goes to show you that no good deed goes unpunished. The simple fact is they are not taking care of their homes. Wood needs painting and windows need recaulking. When they give a house to someone who can't even afford rent, what do they expect?
 

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Painting and caulking is cheap compared to rent each month, when they give these places to people they expect a little pride from the recipients but hey, you can't show what you ain't got............
 

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A local woman was 'given' a Habitat for Humanity home. She was required to work on it and give so many hours to Habitat for Humanity. Well, her grandson decide to take up residence with her. Shortly, thereafter, the police began receiving complaints of drug activity at the home. Surveillance video viewed by several investigators led one to make the response: "It looked like a McDonald's drive thru window. Cars would pull in and around to the back, a window would open, money and packet exchanged. On one particular night, they videoed over 30 cars visiting the residence. Of course, it was raided, several thousand dollars was seized along with various amounts of different drugs ranging from Marijuana to cocaine. The grandson was arrested and charged with unlawful distribution, etc. Habitat, immediately, took her home away, pursuant to a contract she signed stating that she couldn't keep it if illegal activity went on at the residence. She screamed like a stuck pig, shouting racism, emphasizing that she didn't know anything was going on. When shown the surveillance video of the 30 cars, her response: "I just thought Quinton had lot's of friends".
 

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Map of [1400-1591] Brook Forest Dr Jacksonville, FL by MapQuest[1400-1591]+Brook+Forest+Dr:Jacksonville:FL:32208:US:30.37415:-81.67825:street::1/m:hyb:12:30.37415:-81.67825:0:::::/io:0:::::f:EN:M:/e

Check out the location on Mapquest. Go to the aerial photo. The golf course was built on landfill and the housing area is also on landfill.
Expand to a large aerial view and note the sandy area is all landfill of a previously marshy area.

Jacksonville.com
Link to the original newspaper story in 2007.
http://leaningstraightup.com/2009/01/04/jimmy-carter-slum-lord/
Commentary with more info.

The land was from a failed housing development, Homes +Golf course rights, and having grown up in the town I can tell you no one did anything to verify the land was OK to build on (IE: Compaction testing of soils, Geotech drilling, etc).
Combine with low end homeowners who don't know squat about maintaining a home and donated materials that have dubious sources-equals typical disaster.
I called a friend at the Jacksonville Building Dept and he said that they were asked to "fasttrak" the permits and inspections were done by HabiJax "engineers". No local firm was contracted to perform required tests/verifications (foundation rebar, concrete compressive strength, compaction of soils, pre construction geotech drilling and bearing tests)which are REQUIRED of any other builder. In addition Jacksonville has had a lot of problems with over pumping of ground water to irrigate land for gated communities lawns, and golf courses. this has resulted in seawater intrusion into local wells. The entire city sits on a limestone base which is riddled with caverns and voids filled with water, the N. Fla aquifer...pump it out and you get subsidence AKA SINKHOLES.
On the other hand, you also have a bunch of folks who just want a subsidized mortgage on a low cost house in a very racially divided town...add a politally motivated lawyer and watch the fireworks.
 

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Map of [1400-1591] Brook Forest Dr Jacksonville, FL by MapQuest[1400-1591]+Brook+Forest+Dr:Jacksonville:FL:32208:US:30.37415:-81.67825:street::1/m:hyb:12:30.37415:-81.67825:0:::::/io:0:::::f:EN:M:/e

Check out the location on Mapquest. Go to the aerial photo. The golf course was built on landfill and the housing area is also on landfill.
Expand to a large aerial view and note the sandy area is all landfill of a previously marshy area.

Jacksonville.com
Link to the original newspaper story in 2007.
http://leaningstraightup.com/2009/01/04/jimmy-carter-slum-lord/
Commentary with more info.

The land was from a failed housing development, Homes +Golf course rights, and having grown up in the town I can tell you no one did anything to verify the land was OK to build on (IE: Compaction testing of soils, Geotech drilling, etc).
Combine with low end homeowners who don't know squat about maintaining a home and donated materials that have dubious sources-equals typical disaster.
I called a friend at the Jacksonville Building Dept and he said that they were asked to "fasttrak" the permits and inspections were done by HabiJax "engineers". No local firm was contracted to perform required tests/verifications (foundation rebar, concrete compressive strength, compaction of soils, pre construction geotech drilling and bearing tests)which are REQUIRED of any other builder. In addition Jacksonville has had a lot of problems with over pumping of ground water to irrigate land for gated communities lawns, and golf courses. this has resulted in seawater intrusion into local wells. The entire city sits on a limestone base which is riddled with caverns and voids filled with water, the N. Fla aquifer...pump it out and you get subsidence AKA SINKHOLES.
On the other hand, you also have a bunch of folks who just want a subsidized mortgage on a low cost house in a very racially divided town...add a politally motivated lawyer and watch the fireworks.
Jimmy, Jimmy
 

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U took the old religion from the woman on the hill.
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What do you expect for free? What do you expect from a class on that level on the bell curve? What do the naysayers want again, to not even try and let the class and residences rot in general? Is there no ability to even try here in the land of plenty?
 
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