by DEBBIE DENMON / WFAA-TV
Posted on February 24, 2010 at 10:49 PM
DENTON — A Denton grandmother claims Habitat for Humanity is trying to kick her out of her home for a mistake they made.
But the organization, which provides affordable homes for low-income families, says the woman misrepresented herself, which they discovered after opening her files for a different reason.
It appears that botched paperwork started this whole dispute.
A year ago, Habitat for Humanity built a home for 59-year-old Mattie Davis on Wilson Street in Denton. "After I got the keys I was speechless," she said. "I was just in tears... couldn't talk... just happy!"
Now, Davis says she is saddened by what is going on. Habitat for Humanity is asking her to move out within 10 days. They say she falsified information.
"She represented that her grandchildren lived with her to us, and, in fact, they do not and never have," said Christine Thomason, who heads the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Denton County.
Thomason said sources in the community claim Davis did not have grandchildren living with her — including some neighbors — and Habitat believes those claims to be true.
"I helped build the house next door to her for six months, and I never saw those grandchildren on weekends," Thomason said.
Davis disputes that assertion. "They stayed with me for over a year, and they still comes to my house, and if it's not every other day it is at least once a week," she said.
Habitat showed News 8 the paperwork in which Davis was informed that she could not move in as a single person. She qualified because she stated that her grandchildren would live with her full time when the house was ready.
Davis didsay thegrandchildren moved outafter one year,but she said she never signed anything that mandated the grandchildren would reside in the home forever.
"They are trying to find a loophole and trying to bully my client by saying they did an investigation," said Davis' lawyer, Sam Almasri. "I want to see if they have any proof or any facts."
Almasri said he has documentation that his client's grandchildren rode the bus to school from Davis' Habitat home. He alleges this fight to push his client out of the home started with a dispute over mortgage paperwork.
Documents showed Davis has the legal title to two homes on Lot 1 and Lot 2. Habitat believes she is only paying for one lot with one home for $65,000.
The title company made the mistake of giving Davis the title for two homes when drawing up her paperwork. Habitat realized after they started building a home on Lot 2 next door to Davis' that they didn't legally own the title to the land.
Habitat's attorney, Dick Kelsey, said Davis has paid no property taxes on Lot 2 and that her mortgage payments do not include money for Lot 2.
"To my knowledge she's paid no money for Lot 2. She's paid no money for construction of the house on Lot 2," Kelsey said. "She's being asked to correct a mistake."
Habitat had been asking Davis to sign over the deed to Lot 2 for $10. "What we think is selling half her property for $10 ina special warranty deed is not fair to my client," Almasri said.
Habitat's lawyer says the $10 dollar is a standard figure, and does not reflect what Davis paid for the property.
"We are just trying to correct legal documentation,"Thomason said. "We are not trying to be vindictive or punish Mattie. We owe her no money, and now that we have opened her files it shows the discrepancy of her not having grandchildren living there full time, which means we can ask her to vacate."
Davis distrusts turning over her deed for $10, and feels as if her reluctance to do so has made her a target. She is holding on to faith that she will stay in the first home she has ever owned.
"I know God is a good God, and there's nothing that he cannot do," Davis said. "That's what keeps me going."
This matter could end up in court, although both sides claim they want to work this out without having to file a lawsuit.