Hundreds of Central Floridians can’t afford critical home repairs

Algia Donaldson lives in a one-story Tangelo Park house. The strong wind and the constant rain of Hurricane Irma caused their carport to fall apart. A tree fell on their shed and water seeped into the walls of their home causing powdery mildew. In February 2018, Donaldson hired a contractor to remove powdery mildew and rotten wood. However, the contractor allegedly said the job would cost a lot more than originally planned and more than Donaldson could afford. The worker left the job as a result. Donaldson claimed she suffered health problems from the worn walls. She missed the work. She feared that her roof would collapse in some areas. “Coming home and not being able to drive past your carport all the time wondering if it’s going to fall all over you. All of that,” said Donaldson. The Tangelo Park homeowner attended a community meeting where she contacted the nonprofit Rebuilding Together Orlando. A few months later, in June 2019, Rebuilding Together with another nonprofit helped Donaldson build a new roof, repair the damaged walls, and paint the house. “It was a godsend, a blessing,” said Donaldson of state lawmakers in the upcoming legislature. The group says there is a backlog of more than 300 applicants waiting for repairs to critical homes. “The $ 500,000 would help at least 30 homeowners get repairs on critical homes,” said Abby Lemay, executive director of Orlando Nonprofit, who has served in central Florida since 2002. According to Lemay, the group has looked after more than 600 homeowners. Lemay believes there are many more families in central Florida who are living in conditions that affect their health and safety and have not asked for help. “The need here is incredible and there is something around us and we don’t even necessarily know it.” Said Lemay.

Algia Donaldson lives in a one-story Tangelo Park house. The strong wind and the constant rain of Hurricane Irma caused their carport to fall apart. A tree fell on their shed and water seeped into the walls of their home causing powdery mildew.

In February 2018, Donaldson hired a contractor to remove powdery mildew and rotten wood. However, the contractor allegedly said the job would cost a lot more than originally planned and more than Donaldson could afford. The employee then left the workplace.

Donaldson claimed she had health problems with the worn walls. She missed the work. She feared that her roof would collapse in some areas. “I come home and I can’t drive to your carport all the time. I wonder if it’s going to fall all over you. All of that,” said Donaldson.

The Tangelo Park homeowner attended a community meeting where she contacted the nonprofit group Rebuilding Together Orlando. A few months later, in June 2019, Rebuilding Together with another nonprofit helped Donaldson build a new roof, repair the damaged walls, and paint the house.

“It was a godsend, blessing,” said Donaldson.

Rebuilding Together Orlando is demanding US $ 500,000 from state lawmakers in the upcoming legislature. The group says there is a backlog of more than 300 applicants waiting for critical home repairs.

“The $ 500,000 would help at least 30 homeowners with critical repairs,” said Abby Lemay, Orlando executive director.

The local chapter of the nonprofit organization has been operating in central Florida since 2002. According to Lemay, the group has looked after more than 600 homeowners. Lemay believes there are many more families in central Florida who live in conditions that affect their health and safety and who have not asked for help.

“The need here is incredible and there is something around us and we don’t even necessarily know,” Lemay said.

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