CLE resident reports Cleveland Housing Network gave her thousands in new furnaces she didn't need

Posted at 11:12 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 00:38:50-05

Cleveland resident Doris Workman believes the Cleveland Housing Network installed three new furnaces at her home she didn't need, while the agency failed to make critical plumbing repairs.

Workman told News 5 she purchased her home from the Cleveland Housing Network in 2008, and admits she signed-up for its weatherization program, but never expected new furnaces would be installed in her East 145th street home.

"Well actually I didn't know that they were going to bring three new furnaces here," said Workman. "I got this information from the furnace company."

"What I really needed was plumbing repairs, but they kept turning me down because they said I was renting the other two units."  That's not true, the units are being occupied by my son and another family member."

The Cleveland Housing Network is partly funded by federal tax dollars and helps hundreds of residents with housing and repairs every year.

Workman believes the new furnaces are a waste of tax dollars and donations and claimed when she called the housing network to tell them she didn't need the furnaces she said she was 'told don't look a gift house in the mouth.'

"I think it's ridiculous because there are so many people who might really need a brand new furnace," said Workman.

Ricky Workman, who lives on the second floor of his mother home, said one of the furnaces replaced by the housing network was just one year old, replaced by his mother's insurance company after her home was hit by a car in 2015.

"The insurance company brought her a brand new furnace, so it wasn't even a year old," said Rick Workman. 

"They took that out and they put three furnaces in here.  They put this brand new one in, this one, and brand new water tank."

News 5 contacted the Cleveland Housing Network, and it maintained the Workman's need all three new furnaces, and that gas leaks were found at the home.

The housing network said Workman signed up for its weatherization program, which gave the network authorization to install the new furnaces.

It also said Workman was being turned down for plumbing repairs because it believes Workman is renting out two of the units at the home, which is a violation of City of Cleveland guidelines under the program.

The Cleveland Housing Network issued the following statement:

"CHN received 3 separate applications requesting services through our energy conservation program (one for her unit, and 2 others for each of the rental units). CHN reviewed and approved each application. 

As a part of the approval process, the homeowner signed a terms and services agreement for each of the 3 units authorizing CHN to complete the repairs to her home. 

Based on an inspection of her home, CHN repaired various gas leaks, installed 3 new furnaces, a new hot water tank, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in all 3 units.

The homeowner was concerned about plumbing leaks in the 2nd and 3rd floor units.  Unfortunately, these leaks were not eligible for repair under any of our programs.  Under one of our programs, CHN can address minor plumbing leaks, but only in the case of units that are occupied by the homeowner."

However, Workman maintains Dominion East Ohio Gas never reported any gas leaks at the home and didn't red tag any of her equipment.

Workman told News 5 only one of the units needed repairs, and none of the equipment needed to be replaced.

The Cleveland Housing Network responded to our story and said it will now re-evaluate the rental status of Mrs. Workman's home to determine if it can move forward with the needed plumping repairs.