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Davidson County veteran upset about construction timeline on VA grant project

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Davidson County veteran says he and his wife lived for months with their home partially demolished while working out concerns with a VA construction project.

Brandon Faircloth is a 38-year-old disabled veteran who served for nearly 15 years in the North Carolina Army National Guard. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after coming home from Iraq.

As the disease progressed, moving around his home became more uncomfortable. “I was actually entitled to a Special Adaptive Housing grant that allowed me to make certain modifications to my home to make day to day life easier,” Faircloth explained.

In 2013, he applied and was approved for the SAH grant through the Department of Veterans Affairs. About $67,000 was allocated to add ramps, expand his master bathroom, and make the shower and closets wheelchair accessible.

“My concern was to get my home back livable again. And it has been a long struggle up to this point,” Faircloth said.

He signed a contract with a construction company in October 2014. The company is listed on the VA’s registered builders list online. Faircloth said the escrow agreement was signed in February 2015 and work started in June  2015.

Faircloth started to get worried about whether the construction would be complete within the 60-day contracted deadline. “I expressed my concerns to the VA about that and apparently they called the contractor, and he quit. It’s been a nightmare ever since then.”

FOX8 contacted the construction company. They denied ever quitting the job. They claim the work would have been completed on time and say they were told to stop work.

Faircloth filed complaints with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors after raising questions about whether the contractor was properly licensed. Those complaints are still active and under investigation, the executive director confirmed to FOX8.

Regardless of why, the work stopped. The Faircloths’ room and bedroom were mid-demolition. “I had a piece of plastic for a bedroom wall. No master bathroom,” said Faircloth.

“The ceiling was exposed to elements, insulation was falling down. We had birds flying into the plastic wall. It was a mess,” said Mindy Faircloth, Brandon’s wife.

The construction was incomplete on their home for more than four months as they worked out a termination contract with the original construction company.

“It has been a struggle with the VA to get another contractor out here to complete the home, to complete the project, in order so I can get live my life again,” Faircloth added.

FOX8 asked the VA why it took so long to get a new contractor to the job site.

A spokesperson said in a statement, “VA worked closely with Mr. Faircloth to complete work on his home. Because grant funds must be dedicated to one specific contract, a contract release was required between the Veteran and the original contractor. Once VA received the signed authority necessary, we authorized work to begin with a new contractor within two days.”

That authorization happened Dec. 31, 2015.

Brandon insisted, “The VA needs to take a look at how this program is managed. There is so much red tape in this program. It’s so hard for veterans to access it, that it needs to be changed.”

A new construction team is currently at the Faircloths’ house finishing up the work under the grant program.

Mindy concluded, “You know, [veterans] are fighting for their life. They shouldn’t have to fight for their bathroom.”