Shelter at Home program leaves mess in St. Amant home
ST. AMANT - Some homeowners are fed up with contractors not finishing the job they were hired to do by the state's Shelter at Home program. At one home in St. Amant, a mess was left behind for the homeowners to clean up.
Connie and Paul Braud contacted Two On Your Side about what had happened after contractors visited their home Sunday.
"I didn't know what to think until I came in here," said Connie Braud.
Core Construction hired by the Shelter at Home program installed a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet and hooked-up a water heater at the Braud's home, then left.
WBRZ called the state to find out more. Wednesday, a group from the governor's office, the Shelter at Home program and Core Construction visited the Braud's home to address some issues left behind.
"I didn't want any other homeowner's to go through this," said Braud. "I just don't want them to go through what we did. It's not fair; it's false sense of security because you can't live like this."
Core Construction says it put about $7,000 into the home after six inches of water flooded the inside. Connie Braud says when the contractors left, the bathroom sink and the toilet was leaking all over the bathroom floor. One of the bathroom walls was left open. The Shelter at Home program told us that is unacceptable.
"Our inspectors had come through and had let us know that there were some concerns," said Shelter at Home program Public Outreach Manager Lael Holton. "It would most likely not have passed our final inspection."
When contractors revisited the home Wednesday, a bathroom wall was installed and the leaks were fixed. A contractor also installed the Braud's shower.
Holton admitted there are communication problems between the program and homeowners. The Shelter at Home program says it's making some changes and fixing those issues between contractor and homeowner, including improving the way information is given to applicants and potential applicants. This includes new, visual references.
"It's concerning," said Holton. "Are we filling all the needs of the scope, are we doing everything that the homeowner's anticipating needs to be accomplished with the program or are their gaps in our lines?"
Currently, there are nine contractors working with the state under the Shelter at Home program. About 19,000 applications have been filled out by flood survivors and more than 6,000 inspections to get people paired with contractors have been scheduled. More than 1,800 homes are in various stages of construction, moving forward.
Holton says it's important that contractors and homeowners fully understand what's going to be provided.
People may be eligible for this program if work up to $15,000 can create a safe, secure place for the family to live in during the rebuilding process. The property must be single-family and owner-occupied. The Shelter at Home program will evaluate each applicant's house and is not designed to fully repair a house.
If you have questions or concerns about contractor work performed by the Shelter at Home program, call 800-927-0216 or visit their website.
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