Detroit woman's roof fix nixed by neighbors

In December FOX 2 showed how Vontina Berry of southwest Detroit was desperate to get a gaping hole in her roof fixed.

Not only did an unlicensed contractor and career criminal take off with her money mid-project, Berry claims he did even more damage to her crumbling roof. 

"I learned my lesson," she said.

 A credible contractor was watching Berry's story and days later New Era Construction based in Rochester Hills stepped up and offered to help.

"The contractors are doing it for zero," Berry said. "They are doing a $14,000 roof job thanks to FOX 2."

Berry has the materials, now she has a contractor. The houses in her neighborhood are close together, creating a problem -  she says the neighbors won't won't let the contractor put  a ladder on the property to fix the roof.

"The way they are being spiteful, that's nothing but the devil," Berry said.

FOX 2: "We wanted to know why you won't let her put the ladder on your property?"

"I can't say that she can," said the neighbor, Jacob Alderman, who has private property and no trespassing signs outside his front door. "It has to come from my landlord across the street."

FOX 2: "But you can take these (signs down)?"

"Eh," he said.

Berry says as soon as the contractors showed up for work, neighbors posted the private property signs and kicked them off. 

The landlord who owns the houses on both sides of Berry's property and happens to live across the street, refused to let them do any work.

FOX 2 tried to asked why but the Luna family shut the door as soon as we showed up.

FOX 2: "Ms. Luna why won't you let them out a ladder on the property in order to fix the roof?"

There was no answer from the house.

Berry said that even when she turned to the city for help, she got nowhere.

"I've been down to city council, the mayor's office, I've been to the building and permits department, I've been to the police department," Berry said. "Everybody is telling me 'we're sorry, this man has rights it's private property. Where are my rights? 

"You know what they told me, 'We're sorry Ms. Berry, you don't have any."

What she does have is a huge gas bill, as the temperatures plummeted. Berry and her daughter are forced to use the stove to keep warm.

"My last gas bill was $600," Berry said. 

She said she is running out of money and patience. If something doesn't change soon, she'll have to say goodbye to the only home she's ever known.

"I don't want to move, this is my house," she said. "I don't want to move, I just want to get the roof fixed."
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