Hi there, my name is Tanya Wright and I reside in the Tucson, Arizona area. I would like for you to all read my story. I wrote this a year or so ago. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in a story. I have also begun protesting the industry. Last week I protested the HUD/COSAA meeting in Phoenix, HAD A BLAST.
!!! PLEASE HELP ME !!!
August 10, 1999
To: President Bill Clinton and The First Lady
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
From: Tanya Wright
16150 W. Placita Galaxia
Marana, Arizona 85653
Dear President Clinton and First Lady;
I am writing to you begging for your help in this totally inhuman nightmare that I as well as many others in my area are going through with what we thought was going to be our DREAM HOME.
As you probably know, Manufactured housing is becoming a big part of today's society. I can agree that the price is right for these homes however the "QUALITY" is a total different story.
The laws are changing and some have changed however they are not in any way for the consumer. There is no Consumer Protection in this industry. There are no real penalties for the manufacturer if they sell you a LEMON. However the penalty for the CONSUMER is extremely tough. We are the INNOCENT VICTIMS in this matter!
MY NIGHTMARE BEGINS: (May 1997). My husband and I decided that we were ready to take the next step in life. We had been married since 1994 and decided that we were tired of paying rent so we purchased what we thought was going to be our dream home, a beautiful 4 bedroom double wide manufactured home, already sitting on an acre of property and the manufactured date was 10/07/94 (this was the day my husband and I got married) No one had ever purchased this home prior to us therefore this was classified as a "New Home". The added bonus in my eyes was the price. We could not beat the price, considering the cost of living in Montgomery County Maryland We had moved from the Washington DC area in 1993.
The problems started immediately. I contacted the Manufacturer and had them out on several different occasions. I waited for 10 months to allow Cavco to get their act together and fix these problems once and for all. I was constantly having the same problems come back shortly after Cavco (manufacturer) was to have "FIXED" these problems. For instance, a roof leak, water damage on the ceilings, especially in the younger boys bedroom, floor humps, sinking walls, cabinet doors falling off, etc. These are only some of the items that Cavco claims they fixed. I was not getting satisfaction with the manufacturer so I then decided I needed to take the next step and contact someone with more authority
That next step was to contact my State Office Of Manufactured Housing in Phoenix Arizona. I contacted them and filed a Complaint against Cavco in March 1998. I had a State Inspection on three separate occasions during 1998.
I have not been to pleased with any of these verifications / inspections.. I felt like a complete idiot at this verification, I was told by the State Verifier (Dennis Butzen) that a lot was my responsibility to fix such as the trim pulling away from the ceilings after only living in the home a few days, the walls separating was another homeowner responsibility right from the go, this is a few things said in regards to homeowner part. The only items that were verified were the ones that you could see real good, such a cabinet door being missing because they fell off the hinges, or a floor hump in the kitchen because you would practically trip over it, or a very obvious water stain on the ceiling(again only some).
Some of the first verification list was what I thought was fixed prior to the verification, at which time I would state that the item appeared to be fixed. However Mr. Butzen did state some time during the first verification that if I ever experienced a problems with items either verified to be fixed or previously fixed that are on this list that the manufacturer or responsible party must fix. I was also told by Mr. Butzen to sign off when the work is fixed because it is to remain fixed. After going round and round with the State. I decided it was once again time to contact someone higher up than them.
I contacted a Mrs. Barbara Duffitt with HUD in Washington DC for the first time back in May of 1998, to let HUD know how disappointed I was with the way my first State verification went, and see if someone could help. I have written numerous other people in the HUD office there in DC since May 1998 only to be told that I need to go back through my State.
I have tried to explain on more than one occasion that the State has always done very little to help the consumer with regards to the manufactured housing industry. At times I can get someone from HUD to contact the State and start questioning why I am constantly writing to them and asks them to please investigate, however majority of the time I am being told that I need to contact them again.
I then contact the State again only to be told now that my file is closed as far as they are concerned and that they too have no authority in this matter. When I question why my file has been closed? The State says that it is because I signed off on these items and they can not do anything about the way my home has been destroyed thanks to Cavco. I try to explain how I was told it is to remain fixed and if I did not sign off when work was supposed to have been done correctly that I would be considered uncooperative. Needless to say the State does not care. On a few but a very few occasion I have been able to get the State re-involved on a extremely minimal level to write and tell Cavco to come take a look at this problem. This occurs after I bother HUD to much though. After Cavco comes back out and states one thing to me they write something totally different to the State and the State then again gets out of it. Some of the vicious lies Cavco states about their customers are enough to make you cry.
Cavco has gone as far as to state that I have no problems, but yet I have over 100 problems listed on the first list that I sent to the State of Arizona (copy enclosed).
Since I purchased a level and learned how to use one only recently and since Cavco has been out here on numerous occasions removing floor humps, jacking up my walls, fix the roof etc.
They have created and I can now prove a whole new list of problems, such as numerous rafters/trusses coming down out of the ceiling throughout home, cracks in ceiling where the rafters are coming down, some up to three feet long, these items are new, old as well as new floors humps throughout the home, a camel hump and dips on the roof of my home, I have circuits that keep on tripping and still that same ole roof leak, I can prove that my kitchen floor from the refrigerator to the back of the home goes downhill, I can now prove that the marriage wall where the two sides of the home are attached is totally twisted, I can put the level on the wall and get my forearm between the level and the wall (only to name a few)(list enclosed).
This list doesn't even touch any cosmetic items, such as using a tiny piece of trim that is totally different looking than all the rest, or the cheap trim around the windows that the paper backing comes off if you wash your window sills, etc.
Cavco also claims that because I signed off on the item that I have no problem. I have been told some real off the wall stuff from Cavco, such as my cabinets do not have a long shelf life, that I need to place cooler covers on the coolers every time it rains, these dag gone coolers are on my roof! I could go on and on with the ridiculous things I have been told but I won't.
I have children that are not happy with the way they must live in this unsafe home. They have watched me cry on numerous occasions about a home that was to be a very important part in our lives. My three year old is terrified to sleep in his bed in his room because he has a rafter coming down right over his bed. I can not re-arrange this room any other way to get the younger boys beds from under this hazard that is going to come down and seriously injure and or kill someone in this home. Every room in the home has a rafter or two coming down and some rooms have more. My oldest boys ceiling has a three foot crack in it where the rafter is coming down. I am able to re-arrange his room and get him from being totally under it.
I am not the only one with problems, heck I'm not the only unhappy Cavco owner. There are numerous people unhappy with the industry, a lot of people do not know what to do when they have tried to get things done through the manufacture.
My feeling on this matter is that no one will admit that just possibly Cavco made a Lemon home and that the State and HUD allowed a FLAWED product through. I would not of been so angry if they would of taken care of this matter way back when, but now it's all a great big game to the industry and it's the homeowner that LOSES!
Everyone tells us (the homeowner) that we need to hire a lawyer. You all do not understand that the majority of us are at poverty or fixed income. For instance, my husband and I work We do not make a whole lot of money, however we manage to make ends meet and raise our three young children by the grace of the good lord above. We do not have money to fork out on attorney fees and still pay our normal bills.
There are however a lot of the elderly purchasing these Manufactured Homes, and they must live off retirement or Social Security.
We either can not afford to take further action or some people do not even know what to do as far as contacting the State Agency that is suppose to be looking out for the consumer.
The result of this tragedy is that this industry appears not to be doing anything wrong, and the innocent homeowner is up to there eyeballs and beyond in debt and disappointment.
We are treated as if we were SCUM, and are thought of as people who are looking for something for nothing. I am enclosing a few letters that I have written along with my problems and a sheet on Workmanship Standards that the State of Arizona gave me that have not been followed. Myself and another gal are trying to start an organization to get the word out to the Consumers that this is indeed happening. I am also sending you a copy of our pamphlet.
I have also contacted the Congress, State Representatives, State Governor, etc. and again I am told that no one can help us. I am again enclosing a few letters written to these individuals. It is really sad to think that it is going to take a family member getting seriously injured and or death of a family member for anyone to understand the severity of these problems with Manufactured Homes.
I strongly feel if I (we)the consumer knew that we needed to be home builders to prove that we have weird things going on that are very obvious, some sort of tough penalties and a Government/State that cared about the consumer, then I (we)would of be or been able to prove more things during the verifications.
I had no idea that I needed to purchase a level and know how to use it, when you can see it looks wrong, or you can walk on the floor and notice a floor hump. I was told ridiculous things and had no idea. I figured that the manufacturer and the State were the experience and professionals in this matter. I have never been so wrong in all my life as I have been since this whole mess began. All of these can be proven now that I purchased a level.
I have also had a lot of emotional stress thanks to this State and Cavco. I am an Alcoholic, sober for 5 years, however a couple weeks ago I thought my sobriety was cut short. I was feeling like I wanted to forget the sobriety and become a DRUNK again. I knew if I drank again I could get rid of the pain for a short while. Thanks, to the great man above he got me through that nonsense. I did not drink instead I got real depressed and cried for the next four or five days.
!!!Welcome to my life!!!
I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your very busy schedule to read this packet that I have sent you. I look forward to hearing from you and by the way the next time you all are out in the Tucson or Phoenix Arizona area feel to stop on by and see how us manufactured homeowners with the LEMONS call home.
Thank You for your time
cc: State of Arizona Office of Manufactured Housing
Governor Jane Hull
PS--Thank you for your time
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