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Is KB Home fixing crumbling condos? Or just stucco?

BRADENTON, Fla.-- Homeowners of the crumbling condos at Bradenton's Willowbrook Townhomes tell 10 News that KB Home may be addressing their failing balconies and broken stucco, but an agreement with the homeowner association is neglecting the inside of their units.

The frustrations stem from an agreement KB Home made to fix the problems, but since the HOA is only responsible for the outside of the home, the only permits that have been pulled so far have been for 10 failing balconies.

Interior issues include mold and wood rot from water intrusion into the building.

The Willowbrook Townhomes are between two and five years old, but dozens have already been deemed unsafe by the county. Frustrated homeowners say KB Home is addressing cosmetic and balcony problems first instead of the root of the problem: the rotting interior structure of the building.

"The inside is (our property)," homeowner Armando Oyolo-Delgado said his townhome. "So we have to ask (KB Home to repair) it. Well, we've been asking them to do it for years and they haven't done nothing." 

He says the company seems to be focusing more on cost effectiveness and doing bare minimum work to solve complaints.  Homeowners received 10-year limited warranties when they purchased their homes.

KB Home issued this statement today:

"KB Home continues to make repairs in Willowbrook, including addressing any interior concerns from homeowners. The Willowbrook Association's contractor has procured permits to begin the repair process on the exterior of the homes and decks.

"The agreement with the HOA pertains to the exterior repairs, which are being made by the Willowbrook Associations contractor and funded by KB Home. The interior repairs are being addressed by KB Home and we have actively started to make these."

Manatee County building director John Barnott briefed commissioners Tuesday about his department's investigation, ordered by the board last week.

Barnott tells 10 News that KB Home has agreed to put $2 million in escrow for repairs to the complex, per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the HOA.

However, neither Barnott nor many of the owners of Willowbrook's most distressed homes have seen the MOU, a frequent complaint of the homeowners who say they are getting a raw deal.

While several commissioners have been sympathetic toward the homeowners' plight, the county attorney warned them last week about getting involved:

McClash led the effort to get a full report from the Manatee Co. Building Department on the Willowbrook problems.  It's expected by the board's next meeting on Oct. 30.

If you've been a victim of poor KB Home Construction, contact 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky at npransky@wtsp.com.

Previous KB Home coverage:
10/17/12 - Manatee Commissioners getting more active
10/12/12 - Homeowners complain KB "Band-Aids" not working
10/9/12 - Willowbrook residents confront Manatee commissioners
10/4/12 - Nine years of failed fixes from KB Home
10/2/12 - State Senator pleads for AG to investigate KB
9/28/12 - Anomalies found in Willowbrook inspections
9/26/12 - Willowbrook victims seeking legal help
9/19/12 - Frustrated homeowners confront KB executive
9/13/12 - 10 News reveals KB whistleblowers tried to warn homeowners
8/8/12 - Willowbrook homeowners meet with state senator
8/4/12 - Homeowners demanding justice from KB Home

Friend 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter.


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