A statement from Homes for Our Troops. (WRDW-TV / June 23, 2011)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Taunton, Mass. – Homes for Our Troops President and Founder John Gonsalves has issued the following statement regarding the refusal of the Board of Directors of the Knob Hill Property Owners Association to permit construction to begin on a new home for SFC Sean Gittens, a severely injured combat veteran:
Homes for Our Troops is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support we have received since learning of the disappointing reversal of approval of the Knob Hill Property Owners Association to build a specially adapted home for Army SFC Sean Gittens and his family, in their community.
Homes for Our Troops has attempted good faith negotiating with the Association since we purchased land in their subdivision last December. We went to significant lengths to satisfy conditions imposed on the build to gain approval, and were completely surprised by the reversal of approval four days before construction was to begin on the home. It is clear from communications we have received from residents in Knob Hill that the position their Board of Directors took is not shared by all the home owners, and we know there are many good people who live in Knob Hill who are happy to have the Gittens family as neighbors.
Homes for Our Troops would like to clear up several misstatements of fact about the situation:
The home fully complies with the Association’s covenants. We build 2,700 square foot homes across the country and give them mortgage free to severely injured veterans. Our home is the same size as a number of other homes in this subdivision and meets the minimum 2,700 square footage specifications listed in other Association documents.
The siding for our planned home is brick, as requested by the association and in keeping with the requirements of the neighborhood. The brick and other materials were part of the drawings approved by the Association’s President.
We have responded to every request made by the Board of Directors and if the Gittens family wishes to pursue having this home built in Knob Hill, we will continue to do so as long as requests are fair and just and made in good faith.
This home for SFC Gittens and his family was approved by email on June 2 by Knob Hill Home Owners Association president Rick Trump. This decision was subsequently reversed around June 9-10 for vague reasons. And this past Monday, four days before we were to begin construction, we were told that our plans were not accepted and that we would have to start the approval process from the beginning. We find this questionable given the numerous adaptations we have made to our plans over the last few months and the size of existing homes in the subdivision.
Homes for Our Troops has built and launched construction on over 100 specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans in over 30 states. We understand how to build a home for a severely injured veteran and know what it takes to marry these requirements with the needs of a local community. We are grateful for the many general contractors, homeowners associations and patriotic neighbors in communities across this country who have not only accepted these severely injured veterans and their families, but have welcomed them with open arms.
The ultimate goal of this process is to find a place to construct a home that is comfortable for SFC Gittens and his family, and restores some of the freedom and independence they lost in their service to our country. We are confident that will be the outcome, one that SFC Gittens and his family so deserve.