Living In Habitat For Humanity Condos Not A Pleasant Experience

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Editor:

A concerned citizen recently complained about the state of the Habitat for Humanity condo complex on Longhorn and McLane.

The complaint stated that Habitat condo owners get free homes and cannot manage the weeds at the complex. I want to set the record straight. When Habitat came to us in 2009 asking us to apply, Habitat told us our condos were $142,000, then misled us and sold the condos for $175,000.

The condos were not free, and Habitat homeowners pay $500-$600 a month (plus a $2,200 down payment) for their mortgage. Habitat charges us $76.50 a month for the HOA and $15 a month for a maintenance reserve fee. Our HOA is high for low income housing. In January of 2010, Habitat increased our HOA by $12.50 per month for grounds maintenance and weed control. Habitat should have a contract for regular grounds maintenance and weed control, since they charge us for it, but they don’t. For anyone who drives by our complex, it is obvious very little weed control gets done.

Habitat cannot provide us with a proper accounting as to where the $2,250 we have paid toward grounds maintenance and weed control has gone. We’ve complained to them for the last 18-plus months, but Habitat has done little to resolve these issues. It is even written into our HOA’s bylaws that the landscaping at the complex would be installed within 90 days of moving into our homes, but after two to three years, no landscaping has been installed.

Habitat tells us we’ve already paid for the landscaping, and there is a master plan to install it, so why the landscaping has not been installed is beyond us. Similar problems exist with the two-year home warranty Habitat offered on our home, as there have been numerous warranty problems. After 15 months of living in our condo, we had water leak into the living room of our $175,000 dollar low income condo. The only way we could get Habitat to uphold its own warranty was to file a complaint with the state’s Registrar of Contractors.

Living in these Habitat for Humanity condos has not been a positive experience. It’s too bad it has to be this way. I am writing so those who may complain about us low income homeowners not taking care of our properties know the truth. How so many of Habitat’s volunteers can go home to Chaparral Pines or The Rim Club, then create a double standard by allowing our complex to become an eyesore is beyond anyone.

Jackie Tobin

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