RCS weatherization damaged homes, residents say

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ASHEBORO, N.C. — After getting several complaints about unfinished and damaged homes, an Asheboro weatherization nonprofit said its hands are tied due to an SBI investigation.

Randy Michael of Lexington said Regional Consolidated Services damaged part of his roof while weatherizing it over the summer.

“It leaked really bad in the hallway and all down the walls. It’s just been a nightmare–a total nightmare,” Michael said.

He had been waiting since October for RCS to repair it, which he said they promised to do. Tired of waiting, however, Michael fixed part of it by himself.

Janice Scarborough, RCS director, did not want to go on camera but said in a statement Thursday, “After RCS’s investigation, we are not really sure how or by whom the damage was done, but we are going to make every effort to ensure that his roof and ceiling are fixed.”

“Until somebody comes and shows me some physical proof that they are going to be doing something, I don’t take it at face value,” Michael said.

RCS was given $13 million in federal stimulus money in 2009 to weatherize 1,750 low-income homes. It had weatherized 1,000 homes by October 2010, when it was learned the SBI was investigating the nonprofit.

Janice Scarborough said it can only weatherize the 13 homes it began before the SBI started its investigation, leaving the remaining 700 out in the cold. The state has also mandated that any repairs must be completed before Jan. 31, Scarborough said.

As for the investigation, Scarborough said she turned in information to the state about 14 invoices to vendors that were identified as duplicates and, thus, paid twice to RCS. Two employees were fired.