If This Chinese Drywall Could Talk

Miami-Dade is waiving the inspection and permit fees to replace the toxic material, but is it enough?

It's said that one should be happy to just have a roof over their head.

But walls?

For Michelle Fernandez and others who have discovered they are surrounded by the infamous toxic Chinese drywall, not so much.

Fernandez says the stuff has tarnished her sterling silver, ruined her air conditioning and, most importantly, made her really sick and dizzy.

"I would have to hold the walls to walk," she recalled.

Thursday morning Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez announced the county is lending a helping hand to homeowners stuck with the drywall from China. The county is eliminating the approximate $1,200 permitting and inspection fees to replace bad drywall.

"To get the permits and the re-inspections, it costs a lot," Alvarez said. "So we looked at how can we reduce the cost to the people who have been victimized by this real problem." 

For Fernandez it's been a huge problem. Every wall in her southwest Miami-Dade home had to be replaced.

"It's just mind-boggling when you think of all the things you have to do to un-build your house and build it again - very expensive," she said. Like $200,000 expensive.

In Miami-Dade County, the value of 129 homes has decreased because of bad drywall totaling $16 million in reductions.

Fernandez has been hounding the county for months to step up and do something for homeowners. Now the government is, but for Fernandez, it's not enough.

"The fact that they're going to start to look at  helping people is great. Does it do much for me? Absolutely not."

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