Hancock County homes sinking - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County homes sinking

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Imagine buying your dream home only to find out it is sinking. That's the dilemma eight homeowners in one Hancock County neighborhood now face.

Their waterfront neighborhood is located on Ireland Street in the River View Subdivision. WLOX News spoke with the contractors hired to fix the problems.

At first glance, you'd never know the homes on Bayou LaCroix have a serious problem.

"The whole house is sinking, and that's somebody's lifetime investment, their home," said Dennis Bailey.

Bailey is one of the subcontractor hired to correct the problems.

The concrete foundations and the pilings holding up the homes are cracking, compromising the integrity of the structures.

"The piers are settling. You can look at it; it goes from like eight inches to 14 inches. The house is bellying out," said Bailey.

He says the job wasn't done right from the beginning.

"It's hollow underneath the slab," Bailey said.

Sean Burns, owner of S.R.B. Construction Group agreed with Bailey.

"The soil in which the houses are built on is not a compatible filled, and it's not properly installed."

Burns says the sad part about it is there were no inspections on the homes during the building process. There were no building codes in unincorporated Hancock County at the time.

"The existing houses were pre-Katrina which was no code enforcement at that time. And then after Katrina, the builders came in here, and they built fast before there was any code enforcement in tact," said Bailey. "It's going to end up being every house on this street is going to need to have this procedure done."

The process of raising the home, then tearing out the concrete slab and pilings, then building a new foundation isn't cheap. It will cost around $100,000 for each home.

"These people, they bought their houses wanting to live on the water like a dream home. Now, they're faced with this dilemma. I think it's a shame," said Burns.

Two of the eight homeowners who were home, declined on-camera interviews because of pending litigation against the contractor who built the houses.

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