On Your Side: Housing Hang-Up

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April 23, 2007

An Aiken woman says she's paid the money to have her house put on solid ground, but now the money's gone and the house is still in the air.

Mary Miller lost her house in a fire several years ago. She's scratched and clawed her way to get another house. Now she and her daughter can't even live in it, because it's three feet off the ground.

"The house is so unstable," Mary told 12 On Your Side.

She has one dream and one dream only right now: to get her house off the beams and on stable ground.

"I'm not going to give up," she said.

But so far, that's proving to be a difficult task.

"I purchased this house last year, hoping to have a house for my children and grandchildren."

The house had to be moved to her lot. She hired one company to move it and hired another man who called himself Jesse Pearson to get it on the ground.

"He was supposed to move it, set it up and take it off the beams."

But Mary says he never did--and on top of that, he took $1500 of her money in the process.

Now Mary and her daughter are living in separate homes because the house isn't considered safe to live in.

"It's been rough," she said.

And they've had troubles before. Back in 2003, their old house burned to the ground in a fire. This new house was supposed to be their salvation.

Now that salvation is crumbling.

The longer the house sits on beams, the more it shifts, the more bad things happen to it.

"The whole ceiling fell out, just like a bomb went off," Mary said. "There's a large crack by the window."

"The ceiling is starting to peel," she added.

Today, Mary doesn't know where to turn. She's out of money, she can't find Jesse Pearson and her house is falling apart right before her eyes.

"What I'd like to see now is a miracle."

12 On Your Side tried to contact Jesse Pearson for a comment, but could not reach him.

Mary has been in touch with several area law enforcement agencies about her situation, and she hopes they'll be able to get the situation straightened out.

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