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Department Inspects Homes After Report of Shoddy Work

The county’s Housing and Redevelopment Department is inspecting hundreds of homes that received rehabilitation work under a grant program to determine whether contractors performed the jobs correctly.

The survey comes after an internal report written in August highlighted instances of shoddy work by outside contractors, such as incorrect installation of water heaters and wiring.

Robert E. Wilson, who was recently appointed director of the department, said the inspections will probably take several months to complete and that officials will then prepare a report listing all instances of unsatisfactory or unsafe work.

“We are following up on that right now,” Wilson said. “We want to make sure the work is done up to our standards.”

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The report highlighted several cases in which the rehabilitation work created a danger to inhabitants. Wilson said fixing those homes is his top priority and that all repairs should be completed by the end of the month.

Under the law, the county must give the contractors who performed the shoddy work a chance to make the repairs themselves.

Earlier this week, Supervisor Todd Spitzer asked County Chief Executive Officer Jan Mittermeier to examine how her office handled the allegations contained in the August report, which didn’t reach supervisors until last week.

Spitzer has also asked the district attorney’s office to explain why it decided not to file charges against any of the contractors after reviewing the allegations last year.

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The controversy centers around the Housing Rehabilitation Program, which provides $1 million a year in grants to low-income residents for home improvements.


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