Colorado

May 21, 2010 3:30 PM by JAMES JARMAN

Habitat for Humanity ready to foreclose on homeowner

A 5 year fight's still brewing between a homeowner and Teller County Habitat for Humanity.  It's gotten so bad the homeowner hasn't made $261 a month mortgage payments for more than 2 years.

The 1,056 square foot home in Divide is Mckenna's oasis.  "I'm very grateful to have this house i love it... i'm very grateful," she said. She doesn't like the water under the house and that water's been the issue that seems to have divided her from Habitat.
 
"That's what's aggravated me, that they won't come up with a solution and when they try to, they always try to put the blame on me," she told us.

Well known home inspector and radio talk show host Ken Moon agreed to check the house out for us. He found some minor issues - like dirt around the beams supporting the home. An easy fix is to just move the dirt away.

As for the crawl space water, he says the problem's a down spout directly above ground and the fix is easy. "If this down spout is extended with a black flex polyethylene pipe it'll dry up in no time," Moon said.

Moon did find the source of high carbon monoxide readings on Mckenna's detector, a potentially deadly situation.  He found it's coming from the gas water heater, and again found the problem's outside.

"The water heater vent pipe doesn't extend above the peak of the roof, when it does the wind will carry all those fumes away," he said "but when it's trapped behind the back of the house the roof plane here then you get some trapping of fumes and forcing of fumes down the water heater."

The solution he says is a "a no brainer. You would just extend above the peak (of the house) and usually that solves the problem."

The vent is up to code in Teller County and in fact the entire house passed all it's inspections.  Moon says overall the house is in good shape.

Mckenna says her frustrations about that wet crawl space, and recommendations she says she received from others, led her to make her worst decision ever -- not making her mortgage payments until Habitat fixed the problems.

"We've worked with her, tried to work with her for the last 5 years," said Jill Sievers, executive driector for Teller Habitat.

"Each time we get close to a solution she stops communicating," said Sievers, "The latest effort was in July of 09, she has yet to tell us what she wants.  She simply doesn't communicate with us."

She says they are now close to starting the foreclosure process -- the first time ever for Teller County Habitat.

Complete statement from Teller County Habitat can be viewed here.

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