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Joplin family says their HUD funded home is not safe - KOAM TV 7

Joplin family says their HUD funded home is not safe, HUD agrees

Updated May 29, 2013 at 5:15 PM CST:  An update to a story we brought you Tuesday about a family living in government subsidized housing in need of repairs.

The house on Sergeant Avenue is subsidized by both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Joplin's Housing Authority.

On Tuesday we called Joplin's Housing Authority about this story but were told no information could be given because of confidentiality.

Josh Miller, who is on disability, showed us water in the underground crawl space where he says there's wiring for the home.  A television against a fridge holds the fridge doors together because the kitchen floor is uneven.

On Wednesday a Joplin Housing Authority official visited the home and told us by phone that the house is unsafe to live in.  But, that officials says the house wasn't in this condition weeks ago when it was inspected, although there were no pictures taken when the house was inspected.

The Housing Authority official told us his priority now is to get the family in a different home.

But Miller says it could be difficult to find another home.

"They told us that since this was on the news, no landlord out there would accept us now and we messed up by calling you guys, and he said all he is worried about is a lawsuit," says Miller.  "He saw it on the news last night, and said he was disappointed we have not called them, and I made it aware to him that we have called them about 80, 90, a hundred times."

The Housing Authority official says he has no idea how the home deteriorated within the last few weeks.

The official says as of now there is no blame on the home's landlord. 

 

Posted May 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM CST:  A Joplin family says they are forced to live in an unsafe home.

The home's landlord receives money for upkeep from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The family who lives there qualifies for HUD assistance.

Joshua Miller, his wife and four kids, have lived in the home on Sergeant Avenue for about four weeks.  Miller receives disability income and says HUD found him this home.

But the family has several questions, including how did this home qualify to be a HUD home and where has money been going to fix up this home?

It appears answers to those questions and actions will be at least several weeks away.

Miller says they have found water in the underground crawl space, and "there is electrical under the house, where the house is wired into the main box, and there are a bunch of things in there that water shouldn't be around."

Miller says there's also an unprotected kitchen wire for the stove.

"It's a fire hazard, it could cause a fire in the house," Miller says.  "And we have the TV in front of our ice box because these floors are unlevel.  Nothing wrong with the ice box, it just comes open from being unlevel."

"My two year old bumped her leg on a rusty nail in here, and we took her to the hospital, and they said she had MRSA."

Plexi-glass windows throughout the home are barely caulked in place, creating one more danger for the kids.

"They've almost fallen out two or three times," he says.

Mold in the home is also a concern.  Miller says one one his daughters has complained about her nose burning.

Documents show the building's landlord is Dave Williams.

Miller says Williams has sent out workers for repairs in the past, including a bathroom with ripped out floors and walls.

"And there's a sign on our door from the city saying 'stop all work' and they have tried to come out and do work without the permits," says Miller.

Williams called us during our visit with Miller.  We asked him why work hasn't been done but our conversation ended shortly after question to Williams regarding the home's safety.  Williams said he would call us back later in the day but he never did.

While we were at the home Miller called Joplin's Housing Authority, the organization that oversees Williams' assistance to the low income.  Miller was told to talk to a specific person when they returned on June 3.

"Somebody should be in that office that can do something," Miller told us.

Miller says he's been told by Joplin's Housing Authority that if he moves he'll lose assistance from HUD.

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