Shoddy HARP Work Still Unchecked by City

Shoddy HARP Work Still Unchecked by City

You paid for it. Leaky sinks, unfinished floors, bad roof jobs - the shoddy construction work paid for with your taxpayer money still exists. The City of Memphis promised to fix its failing home repair program by January 1. Two months later, we're still waiting.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - You paid for it. Leaky sinks, unfinished floors, bad roof jobs - the shoddy construction work paid for with your taxpayer money still exists. The City of Memphis promised to fix its failing home repair program by January 1. Two months later, we're still waiting.

HARP (Housing and Redevelopment Program) uses federal tax dollars to repair homes for low income residents and the elderly.

When ABC 24 News uncovered contractors doing sub par work, the city's Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb promised the program would be revamped. Three months later, it's still business as usual.

HARP participant Patricia Sawyer is disappointed. Her sink still leaks into buckets under the cabinet.

We showed you the condition of her south Memphis house in December. There were unfinished doors, sinking floors, electrical sockets that no longer work, and that leaking sink. $30,000 of taxpayer money was used to make the repairs, and her house is still a mess.

We found several other homes being repaired under HARP, also with shoddy work, all paid for by taxpayers.

At the time, Robert Lipscomb promised to send inspectors back to the homes.

Joy Brent is still waiting for the city to re-inspect her home's bad electrical job. "Hopefully after this interview someone will come and see what's going on here," she said.

Director Lipscomb admits revamping the program is taking longer than planned. Originally he said bad contractors would be kicked out of the program, but now will only say, "We're looking into that."

In addition to HARP inspectors, Lipscomb wants city and county code enforcement to also inspect the homes. "I want to remove the possibility and probability of anyone not doing their jobs," he said.

But right now, it's business as usual. The question remains: how did HARP inspectors think a leaking sink or unfinished floor was OK in the first place?

Sawyer thinks city leaders only promised change because the troubled program was exposed. Brent just wants her home fixed.

"I made it through my husband's death. I can make it thru anything with God's help."

The city is now saying HARP will be revamped by April 1. We'll be keeping a close eye on the calendar.

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