SUNRISE (CBS4) – Condo residents who went through years of aggravation to get their homes repaired after Hurricane Wilma are being forced from their homes again.
This time the culprit at Sunrise Lakes Phase Three is Chinese drywall.
A group of residents – an exact number was not available by the association president – received a letter last week informing them of the problem.
Irene Garay and her husband Eddie are waiting for their letter but they know their unit has Chinese drywall in it. They showed CBS4 a copy of an inspection they paid for two years ago when they began to smell the powerful, sulfur odor emitted by the drywall.
“We gave it to the association,” Irene Garay said. “They haven’t done anything.”
The Garay’s said they were told to contact the contractor who has been hired to do the repair work and inform them when they could leave their apartment. The Garay’s said they were told the work would take 6-8 weeks to fix but they believe it will be much longer.
And, if the past is a guide, they might be right.
After Hurricane Wilma in 2006, it took more than a year for work to be completed on the many damaged condos at Sunrise Lakes.
“There are seniors — 80, 90 years old here,” Garay said. “They’ve gone through 18 months of not being in their home and now again? And they tell us we have to pay out of our pockets?”
The Garay’s, like many in the Sunrise Lakes community, are worried about how they’ll pay the bills on their home and also fund an apartment somewhere else.
Resident Ron Hahn believes the association is blowing the situation out of proportion. He believes residents may not need to leave.
“It’s totally crazy and it needs some agency to start looking at it to stop them,” he said.
CBS4 News contacted the president of the association Monday night. He said he could not confirm how many units are affected, the cost of the repairs and how they’ll be paid for.