City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has promised to help homeowners in Southwest Philadelphia with their battle against their sinking homes.
Tyrone Beverly, president of the Towne Homes Civic Association, led a group of 20 residents to City Hall on Tuesday. Among them was Cheryl Bush-Weaver, who lives on the 6300 block of Grosbeak Place, with her 83-year-old mom, Mary.
Bush-Weaver and her family have been forced to evacuate their home because their Eastwick rowhome is sinking.
â€œI stand firmly with the community in Eastwick who are suffering through this injustice,” Johnson said. “People should feel safe in their homes and should not fear that the structural integrity of the land those homes were built on puts them in danger.
Johnson’s stance is positive news for many who live in what community activist local Tyrone Beverly calls a “nightmare within a nightmare.” And itâ€™s not the only one sinking in Eastwick, either.
â€œIf you hear any cracking in your home … run!â€ Thatâ€™s what a Licence & Inspections officer told Bush-Weaver and her mom, who requires a walker, after he visited their Eastwick home two weeks ago. Bush had found cracks snaking across the front of her home after a contractor was installing new siding on the front.
The Bush family spent $10,000 on home renovations. A contractor took the siding off the front of their home, uncovering a web of cracks that snake up and down the rowhome wall like a game of snakes and ladders. They are being forced to move into a small city-owned apartment.
Their home in the Town Gardens section of Eastwick is now condemned.
The Bush family are one of many living with a sinking feeling at the 253-unit Eastwick complex.
â€œThe houses were built on silt and not adequate soil,â€ Beverly said. An engineering report proves Beverlyâ€™s charge that the 253 units in the Eastwick Development were built inadequately on silt. Beverly knows firsthand of their problems the neighbors battle every day. He lost his basement after a concrete floor cracked in half and destroyed his heating system.
â€œThese homes are falling like dominoes,â€ Beverly said.Â Whether it be crooked windows and doors, sinking garages and walls, falling heaters and basements. Beverly says the homes are sinking because they were filled with a foundation of silt.
Beverly said neighbors want the city, state and federal government to buy the properties back at fair market value. The homes cannot be sold. â€œThey cannot be sold with peace of mind to a buyer,â€ he said.
Beverly facilitates meetings with concerned residents every other week.
Johnson said he would be working with State Senator Anthony Williams and Congressman Brady to help find a solution.
“I will do everything I can to fight on their behalf to find some resolution,” he said.
” The City of Philadelphia and the Administration must do whatever possible to make these people whole.
“Iâ€™ve reached out to other elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to bring them together to work on a solution to this issue.Â We will hold meetings, but throughout this process I want to firmly put my support with the Eastwick neighbors who are fighting to find a just resolution.â€