Abyssinian Development Corp. is target of homeowner gripes

Posted on December 15th, 2014

New York, New York — Ansell Grimm & Aaron, P.C. recently commenced an action in New York State Court against the Abyssinian Development Corporation (“ADC”) and its contractor, Apex Building Company (“Apex”), alleging that the home it sold through a federal and state funded program is riddled with design and construction defects rendering it unsafe and uninhabitable.  As recently reported in the New York Daily News, the Complaint seeks $1,000,000.00 in damages arising from the defendants’ alleged misconduct.

As set forth in the Complaint, Christina Robilotto entered into a contract with ADC to purchase a home as part of the Federal Housing Administration 203(k) Loan Program, operated jointly by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and the  Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a New York non-for-profit corporation (“LISC”).  The federal government designed these loans to encourage lenders to fund seemingly risky home purchases to promote neighborhood revitalization and greater homeownership.

In accord with the express terms of the Purchase Contract, ADC represented that it would construct the premises in compliance with the Architectural Plans and the New York City Building Code and that:  “The quality of construction shall be comparable to local standards customary in the particular trade and substantially in accordance with the Plans.”

The Complaint alleges that these and other representations by ADC were false and that the home instead suffers from material deign and construction defects.  Among other problems, the building’s facade is falling off, the sheetrock is covered with mold as a result of water leaks in the foundation and through the roof, and an improperly installed boiler has led to heating problems.  The Complaint further alleges that although the homeowner repeatedly contacted ADC and Apex to complete the construction and make necessary repairs, they instead walked away from their contractual obligations.

As a result, a publicly financed program intended to promote home ownership by low and middle income families has instead saddled them with homes plagued by problems which they cannot afford to repair having dedicated their savings to the purchase.

Ansell Grimm & Aaron attorney Joshua S. Bauchner, who lives in New York, commented that “ADC has a horrible reputation with respect to the properties it manages and builds.  Although it seeks to hide behind its affiliated church, its purported mission to support low and middle income families though affordable housing has failed miserably.  We intend to hold them to account.”

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For more than 80 years, ANSELL GRIMM & AARON, P.C. has been dedicated to providing excellent legal services throughout the Central New Jersey region.  The Firm has vast experience and knowledge in nearly all areas of the law, focusing primarily on New Jersey, New York and Federal matters.  In providing zealous advocacy and skilled legal advice to our diverse clientele, our attorneys all practice with a common philosophy… commitment to excellence and commitment to people.

For additional information, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner at (973) 247-9000.