RESIDENTS of a model housing estate bankrolled by Hollywood celebrities and hand-built by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, are complaining that it is falling apart.
Fairway Oaks was built on northern Florida wasteland by 10,000 volunteers, including Carter, in a record 17-day “blitz” organised by the charity Habitat for Humanity.
Eight years later it is better known for cockroaches, mildew and mysterious skin rashes.
A forthcoming legal battle over Fairway Oaks threatens the reputation of a charity envied for the calibre of its celebrity supporters, who range from Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt to Colin Firth, Christian Bale and Helena Bonham Carter.
The case could challenge the bedrock philosophy behind Habitat for Humanity, claiming that using volunteers, rather than professional builders, is causing as many problems as it solves.
April Charney, a lawyer representing many of the 85 homeowners in Fairway Oaks, said she had no problems taking on Habitat for Humanity, despite its status as a “darling of liberal social activists”.
While at memeorandum, I saw that Malkin had linked to this, and I was curious: who will get the hate? Will it be the “darling of liberal social activists,” or will it be the poor, shiftless, lazy SOB’s who get the house for free, sponging up the hard work of others?
It really is a tough call. Answer after the flip.
C’mon, folks, you knew the answer- BOTH:
The road to hell is paved with good intentions — and, apparently, the homes in the neighborhoods along that hellish path are built by Jimmy Carter and Habitat for Humanity.***
All Jimmy Carter-bashing and schadenfreude aside, do the residents have a bona fide case or are these professional moochers trying to pin blame on others for their own lack of personal responsibility?
Probably a bit of both. A few of the houses seem to have been clearly uninhabitable. In 2005, the cracks in one foundation reportedly “became so severe that the house had to be lifted and settled on piers. Engineers hired by HabiJax found six feet of debris buried under the soil,” reports the NYT.
But was the entire project tainted?***
I’ve watched enough of these “environmental justice” activists to know that they coach their clients to complain about vague ailments (”mysterious skin rashes”) that have no relation in reality to the environmental conditions they claim are the cause. These professional grievance-mongers have blocked countless private redevelopment and remediation projects — and milked tens of millions in settlements — based on bogus scientific and medical claims.
So much hate, so little time.