Elderly woman needing roof repair says Detroit's assistance program gave her the runaround

An elderly woman like many across Metro Detroit, is dealing with not enough money to repair her home.

Hattie Thomas' roof needs serious repair and she says the city was giving her the runaround. Now the deputy mayor tells FOX 2 they plan to change all that.

Inside Thomas' home, the water is weeping down the walls.

"All that water is there now from the kitchen to the dining room," she said. "I just put up with it until somebody can come and do something."

Thomas already paid someone $300 to cover it with a tarp - but that’s not enough.

She’s elderly and has concerns about her health.

"All I can say is God is good because he answered my prayer," she said. "I need it really bad. I don’t want to fall, I do walk with this cane."

Thomas’ daughter reached out to the City and it looks like Renew Detroit was trying to help but we’re told there were issues with permitting.

Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison had the following to say.

"I apologize to Mrs Thomas for this 'snafu' as I would call it," he said.

FOX 2: "They were trying to get a hold of somebody and said they got the runaround."

"I’m going to look into it," he said. "I really can't tell you (why), so I am bringing the whole team in and I will say this - we are going to dissect it, and go through step-by-step."

Bettison vows to get to the bottom of it.

"They will have to come before me and I am going to find out exactly what happened," he said. "And ensure that folks are not just emailing and that folks are picking up the telephone that they are calling and that we are tracking this very closely.

"We have repaired over 800 roofs for Detroit citizens, for our residents, so the program has been successful. This is the first time that I am hearing of any hiccup, and so we will continue the work."

By year's end, Bettison said he expects about 600 roofs to be repaired by the city with the program.

According to the City of Detroit, work is due to get started at 8 a.m. Thursday.