Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Carmel on the Case: Condo Mess Follow-up
While Wilma and Katrina may seem like a distant memory, some senior citizens in Broward County are still suffering from last year's storms. But what they don't know is the government has set aside millions of dollars to help them; it just doesn't know how to distribute the funds. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero is - On The Case.
WSVN--Phase Three in the Sunrise Lakes Condo Development could be a poster child for the misery a devastating storm can bring.
Fay Goldstein: "Just look at this."
Close to two dozen buildings have been gutted - and hundreds of residents are running out of money.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Rep. Sands: "We were able to secure 5.6 million dollars for Broward County."
State Representative Franklin Sands says he and other elected officials have worked long and hard to secure funding in the millions of dollars for hurricane victims in Broward.
Money -- coming from multiple sources.
Rep. Sands: "There is approximately $16 million there to be distributed among all the cities in Broward County."
And with residents in condos countywide being hit with increased fees and big assessments - help can't come soon enough.
At the courtyards of Broward where roof repairs are still underway - the notices are clear - miss the deadline - expect a lien.
Al Krassner: "We had to borrow the money."
Edith Krassner: "We borrowed the money. Yes we did."
For Al and Edith Krassner the bill was more than five thousand dollars.
They are sure many of their neighbors couldn't come up with the money.
And none of them seem aware of the fact help is available and money is on the way.
Al Krassner: "It's like seeing paradise, but not getting through the gates."
But who gets assistance - how much - and for what kind of expenses - is still all up in the air.
The money is set aside - but Representative Sands says the distribution is being held up while officials decide how best to give it out.
Carmel Cafiero: "Any idea when that might be?"
Rep. Franklin Sands: "If it happens tomorrow that's not soon enough for me. So the short answer is no - but it's gonna happen soon and I wish to God I could give you an absolute time, but I can't."
Rudolph Brajdic: "Please come in and excuse our home."
Carmel Cafiero: "That's OK."
Rudolph Brajdic: "Excuse our home the way it is."
Meanwhile seniors like Rudolph Brajdic live in damaged apartments in Sunrise Lakes and wonder why they can't even get a firm answer when their homes will be repaired.
Rudolph Brajdic: "We had moved out, but we came back because - no money."
Meanwhile, Broward County's elderly services division has helped hundreds of storm victims and can do so right now.
But despite efforts to spread the word - some seniors still feel ignored.
Jo Anne Baden: "I lost everything when my husband passed away 15 years ago. It took all this time for me to get on my feet again and here I am right back where I started from."
For those who don't know where to turn, Representative Sands says call him.
Rep. Sands: "We beg you, if you have a problem, if you have a need - please call me. Please call my office and we will work with you to try to find the proper assistance for you."
And hopefully it won't be long before posters go up and notices go out to tell hurricane victims how to apply for the millions of dollars that has been earmarked just for them.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
State Representative Franklin Sands
If You Have A Story For Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE