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Another Florida Town May Ask for Chinese Drywall Emergency Declaration

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The city of Cape Coral, Florida wants a little help from Governor Charlie Crist for Chinese drywall victims. The City Council there is considering asking the Governor to declare a state of emergency over defective Chinese drywall.

The drywall problems have forced many people out of their homes, and some families are dealing with the heavy financial burden of paying both rent and mortgage payments. Those unable to afford additional rent have no choice but to stay in their potentially hazardous homes. Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from Chinese drywall, and builders have estimated that remediating a home with Chinese drywall could cost as much as $100,000.

An emergency declaration from Governor Crist would make state and federal assistance, including help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), available to Chinese drywall victims. Florida’s City of Parkland and Broward county passed such resolutions earlier this month. According to News-Press.com, the request for the resolution was made to the Cape Coral City Council by an organization of about 350 homeowners, and is modeled after those past by Parkland and Broward.

Of the more than 2,800 complaints regarding Chinese drywall made to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), most – 1,656– have come from Florida.

Chinese drywall poured into the U.S. between 1999 and 2007 because of the high demand created by the housing boom. Imports accelerated when the rebuilding that followed Hurricane Charley in Florida in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in 2005, created a drywall shortage. According to an earlier Wall Street Journal report, some 500 million pounds of Chinese drywall was imported to the U.S. during the housing boom. That means as many as 100,000 homes throughout the country could have been built with the material.

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