LIMA — An informational letter addressing the city’s refusal to allow for a home repair was included in councilors’ packets in preparation for Monday’s City Council meeting.
Ruthie Spaulding made a request for a home repair via the city loan program to have work done to the roof on her home in September. Her daughter, Felecia, then addressed the council in October again asking for help.
After being turned down for repairs, Councilman Derry Glenn has waged a campaign in efforts of helping Spaulding get her roof repaired through donated time and materials.
A letter dated Oct. 8 was sent to Spaulding, signed by Lima Director of Development Any Odum, saying the home did not qualify for the program because the mortgage debt exceeded the property value of the home. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations will not allow an owner through the loan program to go into greater debt on their home value. The letter said they were aware Glenn was working with private donors to see if help were available.
“I sincerely hope you are successful with these efforts,” Odum wrote in the letter.
The informational letter was sent to councilors after a story appeared in The Lima News concerning the efforts to repair the roof at Spaulding’s home. Odum said in the letter that there were inaccurate statements.
The letter told councilors that Spaulding contacted the city in both 2011 and 2013 for assistance, but was made aware the home was ineligible. Council was briefed on the reason for ineligibility before the Sept. 9 and Oct. 7 council meetings. In the letter, Odum said that while an application was obtained for repairs this year, it had not been returned to the housing program for review.
Odum said three repairs had been made to the home through city repairs, twice in 1985 and once in 1994. City records indicated no complaints were made of the repairs and that while all work by the city through the program was warranted for one year, these projects were 19 and 28 years old.
Glenn commented that some of the repairs through the program had been unsatisfactory and some groups completing them were qualified for the work. Odum countered those statements in the letter to the council by stating contractors are placed on the city’s qualified bidder list only after certification, bonding, experience, references and licensure. Homeowners are required to agree in writing to the selected contractor before work being done and also must sign off that they are satisfied before final payment going to the contractor.
According to city records, 325 home repairs have been made through the program since 1995 with an investment of more than $4 million.