Out of Luck

(WSVN) - A Broward County mother was convinced that she would never get her dream home until 7News got involved. Investigative reporter Brian Entin has this update.

It is the American dream … owning your own home and that’s exactly what Melanie Hemphill, a single mom and teacher, was trying to do.

Melanie found out about a housing lottery offered through Broward County.

Three homes located in Davie were available.

She applied right away and was approved quickly.

Melanie Hemphill, hopeful home owner: “I was the only one with a complete packet at the time, so I was able to choose which home I wanted out of the three.”

Melanie shared the good news with her 8-year-old son Caleb.

Soon they would have their own home.

Caleb, Melanie’s son: “Whenever I get a chance, I could visit my cousin, pick him up and play with a big backyard.”

Melanie should have closed on her house in about 6 months, but nearly 2 years later, she still didn’t have the keys.

Out of desperation, she reached out to 7News for help.

Melanie Hemphill: “I emailed Channel 7 because I wanted to get the word out there and hopefully that something would get done.”

Since August, we pressed the county for answers. Requested information and an interview. Eventually we were told the county and contractor were in a lawsuit and nothing could be done to help Melanie.

Melanie Hemphill: “It’s disheartening, especially when you know that this is everything that you worked for your entire life.”

But after our story aired, we received this email from the county: “It is noted that the home is ready for closing, which is scheduled for this Friday, Oct. 6. County staff has attempted to work in good faith with the contractor since the prospective homebuyer was selected by the Town of Davie approximately two years ago.

And just like that, Melanie closed on her new home the very next day.

Melanie Hemphill: “I would have to say thanks to Channel 7. They’re like, ‘Oh, woah, the news is contacting us. We better get some stuff happening.'”

We were there as Melanie and Caleb started moving into their new house.

Melanie Hemphill: “You know you sign all those documents and it’s like this is it. You got the keys and you’re like, ‘Woah! This is it!'”

They have a lot to do, but together they will make this house a home.

Caleb: “I am just happy we just have a house of our own.”

Brian Entin, 7News.

CONTACT 7INVESTIGATES:
305-627-CLUE
954-921-CLUE
clue@wsvn.com

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