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Some homeowners left in limbo after Palm Beach County promised repairs

'It felt like a slap in the face,' Arlene Wilson says
Posted at 7:16 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 19:17:16-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Arlene Wilson and her husband's mobile dog grooming business is improving as termite-infested windows and doors on her West Palm Beach home deteriorate.

Last month, Palm Beach County told her it would pay for repairs under a CARES Act plan.

She recent learned some or all repairs will not get done.

"It felt like a slap in the face," she said.

Arlene Wilson owns mobile dog grooming business
Arlene Wilson's mobile dog grooming business is on the mend. The same can't be said of her home.

Wilson qualified for the emergency repair program.

The coronavirus forced her to shut down her business down for weeks this spring.

Then she was infected with the virus, while damage to her home got worse.

"We did not have the money to be able to fix it because we went through all of our savings and our income was reduced due to corona," Wilson said.

The director of Palm Beach County's Department of Housing and Economic Sustainability told Contact 5 that work on 25 homes won't even start because of a shortage of materials.

At a number of other homes like Wilson's, only some repairs will be made.

"It might be the doors," Wilson said. "It might be nothing."

But not the windows, the frames of which are damaged so badly by termites, Wilson said, that hurricane shutters stay up.

Arlene Wilson's window frames
Arlene Wilson says her home's window frames have been so badly damaged by termites that hurricane shutters remain up.

"If additional funds become available and/or contractors are able to secure materials, or in the event the federal government extends the CARES Act program, we will contact the homeowners we were unable to assist," director Jonathan Brown told Contact 5 in an email.

Wilson's customers are coming back, but she's worried a new wave of COVID-19 cases will kill her business and any chance to pay for the home repairs the county said it would make.

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