Tag Archives: gtn news

HUD Helps Banks Unload Koppers Toxic Homes

23 Aug

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is selling Dioxin-Arsenic-PAH contaminated houses in Gainesville Superfund neighborhoods- and failing to disclose the dangerous contamination to unsuspecting low income families buying these toxic homes.
As established residents abandon the homes that have made their families sick, banks foreclose on the Koppers health hazard homes. Homeowners contact their lenders who have knowingly sold them non-disclosed contaminated homes, seeking cooperation with exit strategies for their families’ safety. The banks immediately respond with foreclosure.
Since federal regulations prohibit banks from dealing in contaminated properties, they need a back door to discard these Superfund homes. These banks, including Wells Fargo, BOA and JP Morgan, having already profited from financing and foreclosing on the toxic housing, wash their hands of this PR nightmare by “transferring” the deadly domiciles to HUD for disposal. In response to residents’ questions about the sale of hazardous homes, HUD states that they routinely sell contaminated houses with impunity because they are not required to disclose. Taxpayer-funded HUD oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Selling toxic homes to low income families contradicts HUD’s published directives to protect consumers and improve their quality of life.
Unprincipled local realtors knowingly sell Gainesville Superfund homes on HUD’s behalf. The City of Gainesville and Alachua County Commissions have warned realtors including Bosshardt, Watson Realty and MM Parrish/Coldwell Banker against selling Koppers contaminated properties without providing the legally (and morally) required disclosure to potential homebuyers and renters. But upset new homeowners and renters are still reporting that Koppers contamination was not disclosed to them. Several of these families are already moving out of the area.
Many Gainesville Koppers contaminated homes sold by HUD were previously independently tested. These test results were submitted as evidence in foreclosure court records, and are public documents. Test results for some contaminated homes, including the addresses below, can be found on the Clerk of Court Public Record. Some of these contaminated foreclosed homes have already been sold without disclosure.
514 NW 31st Lane
3507 NW 4th Street
501 NW 28th Avenue
514 NW 33rd Avenue
425 NW 37th Avenue

Unpublished Response to Inaccuracies in 02/06/13 Alligator Article

4 Mar

Because the Koppers article printed in the Florida Independent Alligator on 02/06/13 contained several inaccurate statements, Sandra Watts Kennedy submitted a letter addressing these inaccuracies to the Alligator on 02/18/13.  As of 03/04/13, the Alligator has not printed her letter, so koppersgainesville is posting it here:

Hundreds of afflicted residents are taking Koppers and Beazer East to court with scientific proof that levels of arsenic, dioxins and PAHs inside our homes are drastically higher than ACEPD and GRU staff asserted at Santa Fe College’s recent panel discussion on the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site.

Dr. Mousa’s memory is creative concerning local government involvement in closing Koppers.  He should review videos from numerous commission meetings showing citizens testifying to illnesses and deaths from Koppers toxic exposure and begging our elected officials to close down the site.   It was only after residents produced documents proving that the City and GRU were among Koppers best customers and therefore abetting Koppers’ ongoing contamination, that we convinced the City to stop doing business with the polluter.  Public outcry ultimately closed the plant.

If water contamination is the primary concern, why does our local government support EPA’s “cleanup plan” that contains no remedial action to stop the downward migration of contamination into the aquifer and continues to compromise our drinking water?

Stephen Foster Elementary School is not “several miles north” of the toxic site: it is only 1/3 mile away from the Site, and yes, our children there are at risk.

Regarding the related art show, families of Koppers victims are offended by the lavishing of grants for greenwashing projects when there is so much pain and suffering in our community.  A better use of these funds would be to move the most severely afflicted residents out of harm’s way.