Habitat house ruined

Published 1:01 am Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SELMA — Planning to welcome a family into a new Habitat for Humanity home on Hope Street by Thanksgiving, volunteers and Habitat workers must now place more hours and funding into the home after vandals broke into the house on the weekend of Oct. 17.

Police suspect someone broke into the house through the window in the bathroom, let another person in through the front door, and proceeded to move through the rooms and attic removing the wiring, eventually falling from the attic to the kitchen through the ceiling. The cost of copper has increased recently and the wiring in the house is copper, so police suspect this may be the reason for the vandalization.

“Why would they do something so horrible?” said Nina Capps, executive director for Selma Habitat for Humanity. “Stealing from the lowest income families, that’s what they’re doing.”

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The home must now have the wiring, insulation, sheetrock, bathroom mirror, and window replaced, as well as repainting the inside. The bathroom mirror was torn off the wall and thrown onto the floor.

“That was pure vandalization,” Capps said. “They didn’t even take it with them.”

Estimated cost of the damage is $15,000. Before this incident, the only missing element of the house was the washer and dryer installation.

“We’re going to have to get someone to baby-sit the house until we can move someone in,” Capps said. This is not the first time someone has broken into a Habitat home. Last year someone broke into a home on Water Avenue to also remove wiring. “We’re all very upset,” Capps said. “It’s just devastating because everybody knows money is in such short supply now.” Habitat can only fund one home per year at the moment. Previously it could build two per year.

The home will not be completed until after the holidays.