Acts of Omission to Please a Customer
The “limited repair program” allowed for up to $30,000 in home repairs to be done. Owners who could not afford to fix their homes contacted the Housing Department. If the property remained the owner’s principle residence, the funds would be forgiven at the end of the 15 years. The limited repair program had very strict statutory guidelines. For example, consider a situation where a wall was in need of repair due to a doorknob going through it. This would qualify for repair work, and once repaired, the entire room must be painted to match.
Brent’s job was to perform an initial inspection of the home to see if it could be repaired within the requirements of the limited repair program. At one point, he inspected a home and found that it needed about $7,000 in repairs over the $30,000 limit. Brent told the homeowner, Eliza, and her daughter, Tiffany, the home was not eligible. Eliza was in her 60s. Brent hated to leave the home in such a state of disrepair. The two women were hard working, but they had not been able to keep the house up. Brent discussed the situation with Eliza. He decided to cut some items from his inspection list to get within the budget limitation.
In the kitchen, the bottom cabinets needed repair, but the top cabinets were fine. Therefore, Brent removed the top cabinets from the repair list. Some light fixtures had cracks, but were still fully intact and worked, so he cut them. Some wall repairs from doorknob holes or kicks were deleted. This eliminated the need to paint the whole room. These cuts, along with a few others, brought the home to its cost limit. This made it possible for Eliza to receive all new windows and doors, a roof, remodeled bathrooms and a new central heating and air system.
Local Political Oversight
Once these repairs were completed, Eliza wanted the removed items repaired. She contacted her councilperson. He demanded these repairs be done. The housing leadership reluctantly agreed to exceed the statutory limit by $7,000.