Senior says Detroit repair program left house unfinished for years

After years of frustration and apparent miscommunication, a proud lifetime Detroiter got some answers Tuesday.

An elderly homeowner fed up after being approved for a senior repair program but after spending big bucks there are still big problems left unfinished.

Tens of thousands were spent on things like a new roof, porch and garage windows. She says she's waited years for contractors to finish the job, but when she couldn't wait any longer, she called for help.

Eula Washington, 79, says work began on her Rutherford house and was never finished.

"I've been calling and calling and calling, waiting for two years," Washington said.

"Unfortunately it seems to have gone awry through the process of trying to get work started," said Eric Johnson, chief of Detroit housing revitalization.

Washington says she qualified for Detroit's senior home repair program back in 2013, receiving a grant for a subcontractor to do work up to $67,000. It began with an emergency roof replacement in 2014 which Washington says is now leaking.

Washington also says her porch was fixed, but a pile of bricks and trash were left.

"If you get paid to do the job, do the job," she said. "They said they'd put the molding they did not do that."

Washington says she was also told to move out so lead could be removed. After paying rent for two places for nearly a year.

After seeing no work done, Washington says she tried contacting the company directly -- with no luck. Then she tried the city.

"They called and said that I didn't want the work done," she said. "Liar. Why would I say that?"

Fox 2 spoke with the city's housing department. Johnson says some of the repairs needed in Washington's home are not within the program's guidelines and that Washington was not required to move out until the lead removal.

Johnson is calling much of this a misunderstanding.

"We've tried to work things out," Johnson said. "And get as much done as possible. We have just had challenges to do that with the homeowner being available."

Johnson says any additional fees will be waived and the city will honor the grant even though the program is no longer available.

A new inspection with a new contractor was set up and Johnson says the remaining grant money will be used to make sure this home is fixed and Washington, worry-free.

"We had a commitment to this homeowner," Johnson said. "We want to honor that commitment."

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