YONKERS, N.Y. (CBS 2) – It was supposed to give first-time homebuyers in Yonkers a chance at “the American dream,” but they say when they say when they moved in, the nightmare began.
An opportunity at affordable housing became a story of cracks in the construction and rocks where lawns are supposed to be, reports CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman.
Homeowners at the Father Pat Carroll Green development in Yonkers say they got a ton of trouble when they moved into what was supposed to be the homes of their dreams. Rock-filled rubble was called “topsoil,” and they say it was dumped onto what were supposed to be backyards.
Residents also say that the construction is so poor that it let in Wednesday’s rain – both from the ceiling above and the floor below.
Homeowner Nancy Abreu said her home was worlds different nine months ago. Her backyard was filled with about five feet of dirt, and when they dug it up, what they found was appalling.
“We had to dig through that, and as we were digging we found pipes, we found toilet seats, we found mufflers,” Abreu said.
Abreu is one of 37 homeowners who’ve joined a class action lawsuit against the city of Yonkers and the contractor, Jobco of Long Island. The lawsuit, filed by attorney Randolph Scott-McLaughlin in federal court, alleges that black and Latino buyers were steered to the development on purpose, and that they were sold defective housing.
“These people are paying taxes to the city of Yonkers, and I would dare say that they’re not paying taxes to be treated like garbage,” Scott-McLaughlin said.
“I’m angry. I’m angry even over the idea of a lawsuit,” Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone said. “I’m very upset. We’re doing things to help people stay in these homes, and now we’re being sued for it? I resent it – as a taxpayer I resent it, as a mayor I resent it.”
They mayor said all construction was verified by inspectors. CBS 2’s calls to the contractor, Jobco, were not immediately returned.