Stimulus Waste: Taxpayers Foot Bill for Shoddy Weatherization Work in Texas
Rob Bluey /
Sheltering Arms Senior Services won a contract worth $22.3 million in stimulus funds to weatherize homes of low-income families in Houston, but a new report from Texas Watchdog reveals the work performed was so shoddy that 33 of 53 homes will need to be fixed.
The contract, awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is the second largest weatherization contract in Texas, running through March 2012. Yet with nearly two years left on the agreement, Sheltering Arms Senior Services is already under fire after a state report criticized the Houston-based firm.
Among the problems noted by Texas Watchdog’s Mark Lisheron:
- The firm spent nearly half of the money on administrative costs, while the legal limit is 5 percent.
- Spot inspections revealed 33 of the 53 units require workmanship corrections.
- The firm was asked to refund $5,000 because 15 window replacement jobs did not meet energy savings standards.
- The state asked for reimbursement for a false claim that a stove was installed in one of the units.
- Work could not be documented, documents were missing and data was either wrong or incomplete.
Sheltering Arms was given 30 days to respond, but as of yesterday, it had not addressed the state’s concerns. Read the rest of the Texas Watchdog report.