Chinese drywall may have been installed in some Habitat homes
MIAMI (WSVN) -- South Florida homeowners who had their homes built by Habitat for Humanity may face problems due to their drywall.
Habitat for Humanity has been building homes in Miami-Dade County for the past 30 years. During that time, the organization has helped about 900 families fulfill their dreams of home ownership. "The most rewarding part by far is when you do hand the keys to someone, and all their hard work has paid off," said Habitat for Humanity CEO Mario Artecona.
However, Chinese drywall, which poses a serious problem for homeowners, has turned up in at least one Habitat home. "This is a real issue," said Artecona, "and we are taking all the necessary steps to get ahead of this problem."
During the home building boom back in the mid-2000s, Chinese drywall became popular across the U.S. and was installed in many homes across the country. However, Chinese drywall can quickly start to emit a foul odor, and it corrodes copper pipes and wiring systems that runs through homes that are equipped with it.
Now, Habitat for Humanity is working to correct the problem for its homeowners. Last week, about 60 Habitat homeowners who may have Chinese drywall in their homes received a letter detailing what they can expect if the drywall was installed in their homes.
Artecona said, "We never want to put our families in a situation where they don't have the product that they deserve."
Kandy Rose has been a Habitat homeowner for the past four years and said she loves her Habitat home. "Love it to death. Greatest blessing ever," Rose said.
Rose now works for Habitat for Humanity. She was one of the 60 homeowners who received the letter about the drywall. Rose said that she is not concerned if her home has the dangerous drywall, and she has to temporarily move out until it is replaced.
"Not so concerned, because I know Habitat is 100 percent behind anything they put their effort to," she said. "I pray, yes, but if not, I am willing to do whatever is necessary to correct the issues."
The German manufacturer that made the drywall has informed Habitat for Humanity that it will pay the replacement costs and relocation expenses for the homeowners with Chinese drywall in their residences.
"We're getting ahead of the situation," said Artecona, "and we will do whatever needs to be done to make sure that every single home with affected drywall gets fixed and returned to the homeowner, as it should."
According to Habitat for Humanity, the homes that are most likely to be affected by the dangerous Chinese drywall were built in 2006 and 2007, but the organization will test any Habitat home to ease family fears.
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