Family out grant funds after post-Sandy house raising

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MASSAPEQUA -

A Long Island family says they were taken for thousands of dollars in grant funds by a company paid to elevate their home.

Waterview Avenue in Massapequa was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and many residents on the block had to rebuild following the storm. Some, like the Vogt family, chose to raise their homes.

Last year, the homeowners received funding from the New York Rising program to raise the house to FEMA code, which is at least 9 feet. But the homeowners say the contractor they hired for the work, Turnkey Contractor Solutions, fell short, not raising the house to the required height agreed upon. Some levels of the floor are below the 9-foot minimum.

The homeowners also say that Turnkey never had the town of Oyster Bay inspect the foundation of the home before they lowered the house back down. The family didn't realize the situation until after the house was lowered back onto the raised foundation. The family says they now must start from scratch.

"We have two floors on our main floor that do not meet FEMA's code," says Mia Vogt. "We will not be able to receive our New York Rising funding, we will not be able to get reduced flood insurance, and we're paying $4,000 a year for flood insurance."

The couple says they paid Turnkey more than $217,000 and wants their money back. 

"NY Rising gave me funds to do this work, and I need those funds back so I can complete the work," says Mia Vogt.

Turnkey Contractor Solutions' attorney, Scott Agulnick, says the company is able and willing to do the work and has reached out to the family multiple times over the past several months.

Agulnick says Turnkey wants to make things right, but the family is apprehensive about working with them again because they say they cannot trust Turnkey.

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