Reporting Nick Janes
OLIVEHURST (CBS13) – A dispute between Habitat for Humanity and an Olivehurst homeowner abruptly halted her home’s remodel, and now she’s living in a house of cards.
Standing in what’s supposed to be the kitchen, you can see it’s a wreck. In fact, the entire house is in shambles. Whom to blame is very much a matter of debate, however.
It is hard to imagine anyone living like this, but Paige Sharrer has since November.
“I have no shelves or cupboards or anything,” she told CBS13 on Tuesday.
She cooks in the cluttered living room, does dishes in the bathroom sink and washes clothes in the bathtub. With only one working outlet, exposed wires are everywhere. There’s no insulation and no heat.
“It’s been a pretty cold winter,” she said.
Paige says she paid Habitat for Humanity her life savings to remodel her home. She claims they used up her cash and stopped working.
“They’ve just left me with a shell inside and every time I call, they say they’re not interested and they’re not doing any more work,” she said.
Well, it’s not quite that simple.
Bill Williamson, president of Habitat for Humanity Yuba-Sutter, says there’s a very good reason his volunteers didn’t finish the job: Paige told them to get out.
“Because she ordered us not to come back on the site again, and if we can’t go back on the site, we can’t do the work,” he said.
He says Paige balked at paying for the rest of the project as she promised to do in the signed contract that estimated the total cost at $20,000. The contract says she put down half and the rest would be paid back in a loan. Habitat says Paige refused to sign the loan document and kicked everyone out.
She claims she was told the whole project would be done for $10,000.
“They just pushed it aside and it didn’t get done and I don’t see it getting done with them,” she said.
And at this point, Habitat doesn’t see it happening, either.
“She’s pretty well slammed the door on that,” Williamson said.
Paige says she has nowhere else to go for now, so this is home sweet home, though there is so much work left to be done.
Habitat has agreed to refund her for a portion of the materials she paid for. She hopes to have another contractor finish the work at some point.