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City Desk

When the Church Association for Community Services (CACS) formed a partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in July to renovate 300 vacant District homes and resell them, its aim was to improve city neighborhoods. Instead, the faith-based group appears to be fomenting discontent, as disgruntled clients complain about shoddy workmanship and bureaucratic tangles (“House of Pain,” 10/26). “CACS is not competently staffed to handle this contract,” wrote District resident Tracey Foster in an Oct. 15 letter to HUD chronicling her fruitless negotiations with the CACS to purchase a home. Foster filed suit against the CACS in small-claims court five days later, asking for $5,000 as compensation for her expenses and the hassle that dealing with the CACS had caused her. “I might not get anything out of this lawsuit,” says Foster, “but at least they’ll know they can’t keep treating people like this.” Another potential CACS buyer, Tanetta Isler, also contacted the Washington City Paper about her wrangle with the group. “I’m concerned about the caliber of their contractors,” says Isler. “They seem satisfied with substandard work.” CACS spokesperson Lynne Holloway disagrees. “The most vocal people tend to be the minority that are unhappy,” says Holloway. “The majority of our clients are happy with their houses. —Felix Gillette