Homeowner Turns Away 'Vague' Contract to Fix HARP Work

Homeowner Turns Away 'Vague' Contract to Fix HARP Work

Since 2010, Patricia Sawyer has been waiting for her home to be repaired. The first contractor left her home in horrible shape. The City of Memphis is now trying to hire a second contractor to fix the mess.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - From fizzy water to leaking sinks, you paid for it. For months we've been showing you how many homes are now in worse shape than before the shoddy construction work, paid for through Memphis' failing home repair program.

Since 2010, Patricia Sawyer has been waiting for her home to be repaired. The first contractor left her home in horrible shape. The City of Memphis is now trying to hire a second contractor to fix the mess.

The first contractor the city hired as part of HARP (Housing And Development Program) left her with sinking floors, unfinished walls, and the newly installed sink leaks profusely.

Thursday, city employees arrived at Sawyer's house with a contract outlining new repairs that will be made. Sawyer wanted us to record the meeting, but the employees said no.

"We're not going to do it in front of the cameras... Ms. Diprizio can stay here to verify but we don't want to be on camera when we do this."

With the camera no longer rolling, employees detailed what will be done - and the list is long.

They wanted Sawyer to sign the contract so work can begin. But, Sawyer is concerned the wording in the contract is so vague, it leaves the city wiggle room to get out of what needs to be done to fix her home properly.

"You can tell me, 'We're going to do this and that, just sign the contract,' but if your paperwork doesn't say what your mouth is saying I can't sign that."

Employees told Sawyer changes are being made to HARP to make sure better contractors are hired, and that there will be more oversight. They answered Sawyer's questions, but they wouldn't answer ABC 24 News.

They drove off without getting Sawyer's signature. This skeptical homeowner says she's not signing anything until she talks to a lawyer, or every little detail is put in writing.

"I'm being so careful, I'm being so careful," she said.

The city's Director of Housing and Community Development, Robert Lipscomb, says HARP will be fixed by April 1st. That's just two weeks away. We'll be watching to see if the deadline is met.

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