That's Rebuild Mohawk Valley's motto but one Utica resident says he encountered just the opposite. Instead of restoring and preserving his home - one resident says Rebuild Mohawk Valley took advantage of him. Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky spoke with the man and she joins us live in the studio. Rachel, what's this all about?
It's not GroWest but one Utica resident says another community-based service organization is taking advantage of the poor and the elderly. I spoke with a man who says he applied to Rebuild Mohawk Valley in September 2009. And now 3 years later, he says they've caused more harm then help.
"It's been a mess, everything is just falling apart. I've begged these people to come back," says Jim Albison, Utica resident.
Albison says he wishes he never applied to Rebuild Mohawk Valley.
"They put me for 3 and a half months through hell basically and then walked away and said they were done and everything was a mess. They done more damage, my home was worth more then, then it is now," says Albison.
As you can see here, Jim says looks can be deceiving. He was forced to paper up his new windows, his new roof is slowly rotting, and he says his new fence is falling down.
"I just feel like I been sent to the side, like a piece of wood, like the city just don't care," says Albison.
Eyewitness News contacted Rebuild Mohawk Valley and they agree with Albison. They say immediate action will be taken.
"I understand his frustration, he's waited a long, long time. But Mr. Albison upon further inquiry is right, the work was not acceptable and we need to follow through with this post-haste." says Taras Herbowy, Rebuild Mohawk Valley President.
Albison hopes his home is fixed but he also worries for other Utica residents .
"I mean if they did this to my house, how many homes in the city of Utica have been done like my home? Only difference is i stepped forward and I'm not going away until they come and fix my house," says Albison.
Rebuild Mohawk Valley says they've successfully completed 52 homes and have spent nearly $700,000 in home preservation. They say Albison's situation is rare.
"Regrettably this has been a difficult circumstance - he's been very patient but I kind of think his patience has worn thin and rightfully so, and we have our attorney resolving this matter," says Herbowy.
Rebuild Mohawk Valley says Albison's issues are in the hands of its legal council. The president says he hopes there will be a speedy resolution.