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Topic: Flint Shadow Government- #1 Salem Housing
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El Supremo

Complaints asto the quality of work continued to roll in. Not satisfied with the response a group of Smith Village homeowners went to the media.

James Galford was the Chief development Official at the time and he conducted inspections on three of the most publicized homes.

Loose sofit
loose siding
damaged block
damaged ceiling in front bedroom
loose ceiling in living room
kitchen window, hinge pin missing
kitchen door glaas missing
kitchen floor damaged
no light in bath off kitchen
window in disrepair in bath off kitchen
floor in disrepair in bath off kitchen
stairs, handrail loose
stairs, broken tread
stairs landing, loose tile
upper back west bedroom, door hardware missing
upper front west bedroom, floor in disreopair
upper front east bedroom, windows in disrepair
upper back east bedroom, window in disrepair
upper bath, tub controls missing
upper bath, tub missig molding and not properly calked

"This home should never had been entered into contract. True code issues were minor to begin with and are mainly the result of homeowner misconduct and poor maintenance practices. However, to finish the current contract, the present condition should be carefull documented, preferably photographed, and then only code items completed. These could be done for $5,000.
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:45 am 
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El Supremo


no extension leg on water heater
open electrical splices
water seepage in northeast corneer of basement
basement staair rise and run not to code
basement stair tread broken
side entry door installed improperly
kitchen ceiling cracked
kitchen linoleum cracked
kitchen outlets not to code
living room ceiling damaged
living room wall plaster loose
bath ceiling shows signs of leak near window and wall
bath floor unlevel
no smoke detector in hall
illegal bars ion windows throughout
upper kitchen, crack patched improperly
upper bath door cut improperly
no egress windows in upper unit
exterior sill cocks do not meet code
rear corner posting, northeast corner, not to code
basement windows contain illegail bars

home can be completed to code with $5,000 to $7,000
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:55 am 
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El Supremo

****Avenue A This house received heavy media coverage and had filed a HUD complaint

siding improperly installed
attic window needs repair or replacement
plumbing vent not extended above roof
siding not repaired when electric meter was removed
loose siding and trim throughout
furnace duct off plenum not connected
open hole in chimney
verify age of furnace
kitchen, missing window sill
kitchen, trim ad molding work not properly completed throughout
kitchen, hole in walls not covered
dining room, holes in wall and ceiling not covered
living room, hole in wall not covered
boxed in porch, not to code
down stairs bath, loose water closet-not secured to floor
down stairs bath, improperly insulated
stairs, holes and loose plaster
stairs, ceiling covered with cardboard
stairs window in disrepair
upper bath, clean out in floor
back bedroom,complaint of lack of heat, unverified
back bedroom , holes in wall, unrepaired
back bedroom gaps around window
mid bedroom, complaint of lack of heat, unverified
front bedroom, holes in walls, need repair
front bedroom, loose ceiling plaster
basement drains, complaint of backups, unverified
basement windows in disrepair
basement steps not to code, needs replacement

Home can be completed for $15,000 to $20,000
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:50 am 
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El Supremo

Galford's final note

All three homes have extensive work begun beyond code level. It will be difficult to extricate oneself from any one or all of these situations without completing the work begun. It should probably be assumed that even a HUD audit would recommend completion of work promised. In each case this would greatly increase the estimates put forth.

** Note: Galford only addressed code issues. There were other problems.

Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:57 am 
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El Supremo

I was allowed to visit the Avenue A home. Some of the heating problems were from shoddy work done by Project heat with GCCAA. The residents did not put the holes in the walls. Allegedly electrical code problems were being addressed and the workers opened up the plaster walls. When the owner requested the walls be repaired she was told she should be grateful about the work that was done.

Why should she be grateful about siding over the bathroom window and the side porch? Should she be grateful for a house full of holes in the walls and damage to other parts of the home? How about a contractor who worked under his wife's license, didn't bring the tools to do the job (ladder, etc) and had no help so he paid a resident to do some labor.

This is also the house that had the wavy roof. The resident could stand by the meters and place the siding over his arm up to his shoulder.
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:35 pm 
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El Supremo

I attended a meeting of unhappy homeowners.
One man anticipating retirement had saved and replaced his roof. For some reason Salem replaced his roof and the new one leaked.

One woman complained of a back door that wouldn't open after the new siding was installed. I visited her home and she was correct as no one could use the back door because the siding blocked it.. Also I was puzzled by the unusual appearance of the front of the house. i then realized that nothing had right angles. The trim around the windows was skewed and the door didn't sit right.

Once again the residents were told they should be grateful about shoddy construction. In one home they took a woman's stove and refrigerator and never replaced them. She was given a refrigerator out of someone's garage , but was having trouble finding a stove. they left stuff in her spare bedroom and removed floor boards to work on electrical, leaving holes in the floor

One homeowner complained the workers used damaged wood to repair a step and a grandchild was injured.

There was no final inspections on many of the homes.
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:58 pm 
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El Supremo

About March 20,2003 in a letter to Glenda Dunlap from Raymond Hatter Hatter advised that a home they had started work on had an I beam in danger of collapsing and a chimney collapsing. He noted that the bids were excessively high so they decided to start on the outside.

The question should have been why pick this house?)

Hatter then noted" Some of the properties are so old and have not had any type of repair in so long and I don't want to come in and just "band aid" the situation."
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:23 pm 
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El Supremo

March 19, 2004
The owner of the Avenue A property,Joyce Jones, filed a formal complaint with the Salem Housing Board of Directors and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General to report possible fraud , waste and mismanagement of funds. She also filed discrimination charges against Salem Housing.

The allegations
Refused to complete her project by :
(a) Patchwork only in the destroyed areas, not full code owner-occupied rehabilitation permy signed contract with Salem Housing Community Development Corporation.
(b) Removing all of the lead based paint hazards that were noted on my risk assessment provided by Salem Housing on March 13, 2003.
(c)Mr Hatter conducting his property appraisal/inspection in a discriminatory manner, suggesting with his comment that due to the work done so far completed, "I SHOULD BE GRATEFUL"
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:54 pm 
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El Supremo

Ms. Jones included her notes of the meeting with Hatter. She noted that Hatter alluded to his opinion that only the homes exterior should have been addressed. Jones stated that at the closing she had been informed that because the bids were so high that Salem would start on the most most needed items such as roofing, plumbing, heating, electrical, windows, masonry and concrete. After that was remediated, there was to be a review of the budget.
Hatter was said to have told Jones that he would have to ask the city for more money nd then he would only patch the holes in the walls from the electrician. This did not sit well as allegedly the lead paint had not been remediated before disturbing the walls.

So here the homeowner is stuck with a mortgage from Salem and a home that is basically uninhabitable.
Post Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:02 pm 
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El Supremo

Contractor complaint

On August 18,2004 a contractor (M) made a complaint to Mayor Williamson about Salem. This complaint involved one of the houses inspected by James Galford, Chief Development Officer for the City of Flint Follow up on the phone complaint produced a threefold complaint:

(1) Salem Housing violated the HUD and City of Flint open competition rules by using unlicensed builders. According to M, there was no way to compete with contractors who he alleges did shoddy work and used substandard materials to complete the job cheaper.

(2) The homeowner at *** Mary , MI, was also a builder/contractor who asked for "kickbacks" in the form of requesting payment to use his (the homeowner's)crew to perform labor on the house. M further alleged that Salem's construction superintendent also made similar requests to allow Salem worker's to work under M's license.
Post Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:09 pm 
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El Supremo

(3) M asseted that he was unfairly removed from the job and "blackballed" from Salem Housing projects because he refused to use substandard materials and because he complained to Karen morris of major Grants about slow payments from the City to Salem.

M was not the original bidder. He worked for another company (IBC) that decided to pass the contract to employee M and dissolve the company. The IbC owner stated he repeatedly lost bids at Salem Housing because he was never low enough on the bids. He has lowered hid bid and managed another contract on Mary Street next to a house being remodeled by Salem.The relationship did not work said he company owner as he described the job as being "too much pain" and said the pay was always sporadic. He said the work at the Sale site was "bad" because the contractor used an inferior crew with substandard materials. "How can we compete?" IBC asked. He alleged the porch net door was done improperly and had developed a droop the day after it was built.
Post Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:28 pm 
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El Supremo

When the owner of IBC went to Salem to complain, he was told the "customers are a pain-they are getting a free job from us-it's better than what they have" DS, the IBC owner, said it was too hard to compete on price and salem always tried to renegotiate a lower price before the job started. "We could not compete with inferior contractors and Salem reneged on the draw", said DS.

Homeowner MI had a DBA for a home repair and maintenance company at the address on Mary. The home was purchased on a land contract from Russel Colthorp, who was surprised the home was still in his name and had taxes owing. (Salem was supposed to verify the taxes and insurance were up-to-date on any home before any rehabilitation documents were signed) The income file for MI shows the only income as social security but Salem staff stated the income tax file "must have been removed" as it was not in the file.
Post Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:51 pm 
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El Supremo

The building permit from this house issued to Salem Housing Task Force was allowed to expire twice. This was one of six homes shown as not completed.

Information received confirmed that contractor M and Hatter fought over this property. The contractor stated the issues revolved around matching the texture on the walls, not touching the floors, not using drywall, and the replacement of the security bars and the kitchen subfloor. Contractor M argued with Phil J., the construction supervisor for Salem over the kitchen floor. Contractor m wanted 1/2 inch plywood to replace the bad subfloor and Phil admitted he wanted luan. When Galford inspected, the illegal bars were still in place and the new linoleum floor was cracked.

The allegations of contractor M were validated by an employee. Less than one month into the project, contractor M was dismissed and was to receive no more consideration for contracts because of his complaint to the city about slow payments. It was alleged Hatter said M. could not get any more jobs "because no one goes to the city on me".
Post Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:11 am 
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El Supremo

Salem's bidding practices have been questionable and resuled in an audit finding. There were instances in which the contract was awarded to individuals not on the bid list. In other instances it would appear the bids had been manipulated as more than one bid-spread sheet existed for a bid process and the spreadsheets had different bid amount. At least one contract was issued for an amount less than the bid.

There was strong merit to the complaint of the contractor, While one employee had filed a HUD complaint, the remarks made were credible. I spoke to Hatter on September 6, 2004 and the disdain he displayed over the contractor was obvious.

The allegations against the contractor homeowner and the construction superintendent also were credible. Several homeowners stated they either were paid or worked free to assist in the remodeling of their homes. While staff from major grants observed the substandard work, the most damning criticism came from James Galford, Chief Development officer who cited little, if any quality carpentry and substandard materials, some that appeared to be left over from other jobs. This may account for the 2 colors of siding on a Crosby street home.
Post Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:35 am 
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El Supremo

Lewis and Knopf, CPAs, sent the Salem Board of Directors on January 23,2004 the audit for the previous year ended December 31, 2004.

The audit uncovered four material weaknesses:

1. Insurance-Insurance on each home owned by Salem should be reviewed on an annual basis to insure that at least the total cost basis of the home is insured against loss.

Management response- Insurance on all leased rented properties will be reviewed annually with coverage covering all loans and targeted at the properties market value. This review will take place immediately and increased coverage will be phased in throughout 2004.
Post Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:49 am 
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