Will senator's attention help beleaguered Willowbrook residents? | News
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Residents of Willowbrook say one stretch of their townhome community looks like a hurricane's been through. "We call this Hurricane Alley," says homeowner Armando Oyola-Delgado.
Squirrels might like the gaping holes in balcony roofs there -- people not so much.
"Just horrible construction," says Oyola-Delgado gazing up. "You have horrible construction and ethics."
People in Willowbrook have been fighting for years with their builder KB Home over what they call shoddy construction; construction so bad some condos have been condemned.
KB Home is now repairing some of the units, but owners like Meagan Burke don't trust the work. For years she's had water coming in her sliding glass doors and now crews are re-installing the very same fixtures.
"They're putting in the same materials that failed the first time, back in my unit again," she says with disgust.
Senator Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton) has taken an interest in the residents' plight. He's met with KB Home's President George Glance and on Thursday he returned to the complex to check in with residents. Galvano also brought representatives from the Manatee Health Department to answer people's questions about mold.
And while KB has long promised repairs and relocation for residents impacted by that work, it appears the builder only started making moves in that direction last night, after news of the Senator's planned visit got out.
"I've been asking for three months, I finally got a call last night while I was walking my dogs," one woman told the Senator.
Burke also reported a flurry of work activity at her place today.
How else can you explain it," she said. "Because the Senator and the media are coming."
And while many residents still insist the only good solution to this mess is a complete buyout by KB, they'll take some small victories and they're heartened by the Senator's support.
"We're going to stay on top of this; we're not going away," Galvano told 10 News.
Still, less than hour after Galvano assured residents that KB Home would pay for mold inspections, they say a KB representative on site told them they could not go ahead and order tests from a company they prefer.
Previous KB Home coverage on 10 News:
2/14/13 - Sen. Galvano negotiates deal for Willowbrook owners
12/20/12 - Blight Christmas!
12/12/12 - Upset homeowners plan multi-complex protest
10/30/12 - Angry homeowners confront county building codes czar
10/17/12 - Is KB Home fixing condos or just the stucco?
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