Contractor default might affect housing authority residents -

Contractor default might affect housing authority residents

(KMOV) -- More than $100,000 federal stimulus money is missing. Several local contractors are afraid they might never see that money, which was supposed to help clients of the St. Louis Housing Authority.

Authorities said that the money was given to a general contractor in Alton by the housing authority, but what happened to that money is not clear. The money never made it to the subcontractors who have already completed much of the work, and they say their businesses are on the line.

Jerry Jones and three other Metro-area contractors say they feel like they've been robbed. They were hired by H2K Construction, a company in Alton, to install heating, air conditioning and plumbing in several south St. Louis homes owned by the St. Louis Housing Authority. When it came time for H2K to pay, they never did.

"We had a meeting with H2K and verbatim, they told us [they] didn't have any money," said Jones. That's exactly what they told us.

Hank Hart is the owner of H2K construction. He declined to comment. However, the St. Louis Housing Authority says that they sent H2K thousands of federal stimulus dollars, but the company refused to pay its subcontractors.

A housing authority spokesman believes that contractors will be paid by the bond company which insured the job. But no one knows how long that might take, and the payment is already three months late.

News 4 spoke to the bond company, and they said they could not give a time when the contractors will be paid. The head of the housing authority says they are trying to speed things along to get those subcontractors their money, and to get the rest of those air conditioners installed before summer heat in St. Louis.


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