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Afraid house will tumble

by Maria Bradshaw

Afraid house will tumble

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MARVA WARD and her four children are living in fear in their still relatively new home at Coverly, Christ Church.It is only three years that the family have been residing in their four-bedroom, two-bathroom home, but the cemented backyard is cracking, as is the wall at the back of the house.And Ward said this damage emerged only when the owner of the adjoining lot commenced digging the foundation to build.She recalled that sometime in 2008 she came home from work one day to find the lot next door to her cleared and several four-inch metal pipes stuck in the ground. As the work continued, she noticed that her neighbour had dug to a depth of what she believed to be as much as 15 feet.However, a few weeks later the work ceased and never recommenced.Then last September Ward said her fencing, which is on the same side of the lot, started to lean, forcing her to have it repaired. It was then that the repair man informed her that her land was “pulling away” because of the massive excavation that took place on the adjacent lot.Then some months later she became more alarmed when her cemented backyard started to crack.Ward said one day while out jogging she spotted the owner of the land and reported to him that her property was cracking as a result of the digging on his land. “He told me that he was digging holes and that he did not meet any rock and [National Housing Corporation] (NHC) would have to give him back his money because he did not want the land anymore,” she said.However, the cracks got bigger and bigger and now the problem has extended to her wall, where hairline cracks have also emerged.“The grease trap started to move and the walkway started to crack and pull away from the house. I called in an engineer, and he gave me a report saying that the damage is occurring because of the digging of the foundation next to my house and that it will get worse if the holes are not filled back in. He also gave me an estimate of $11 000 to repair the damage so far to my property,” Ward said.The upset woman explained that when she commenced building her dream home she also discovered that her foundation was also very deep.“My contractor dig to about 12 feet and they ended up putting in lots of steel and filling in the foundation. I remember when he was finished he told me that nothing can move my house and now this has happened,” she cried.She pointed out that all of the damage was occurring only on the side next to her neighbour’s land, and this further convinced her that the digging of the foundation was responsible for the damage to her property.“I called the NHC and told them about the problems I was getting but they told me that the land was sold and I would have to deal with the owner. I cannot sleep at night. I am afraid that this house will fall down on me and my children. I am afraid and I don’t know what to do.”However, when contacted, the owner of the land, David Benskin, said he had nothing to say because he had turned over the matter to his attorney.However, he charged that Ward “was coming after the wrong person”.“Tell NHC to come out and deal with the problem at Coverly and all the . . . land they sell to poor people,” he stated.Ward has now hired attorney Ajuma Boardi to deal with the matter. He told the SATURDAY SUN that he had sent off a letter to Benskin.