East Norwalk senior feels pressured by Connecticut, activist says

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Michele (Michael) Napoleone, 83, considers his options last week as the state’s process to take the home he has lived in since 1967 moves forward.

NORWALK, Conn. – The state of Connecticut is planning to pave an East Norwalk man’s paradise to put up a parking lot, a Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Michele (Michael) Napoleone, 83, and his son John Napoleone said recently that they had heard the state would use the older man’s home at 220 East Ave. for a parking lot after taking it through the eminent domain process. While Norwalk Department of Public Works personnel said Friday that the property would be used as staging for construction equipment used to rebuild the Metro North bridge and widen East Avenue, CDOT spokesman Kevin Nursick said that when the work is done, the area currently occupied by Napoleone and his two neighbors will be “utilized for Metro North parking at the adjacent train station.”

Nursick confirmed that the three properties between Fort Point Street and the tracks are being taken by eminent domain. The goal is to lower the roadway under the railroad bridge, making it possible for trucks to go through. In addition to making the road four lanes wide, sidewalks will be added on either side and the train platforms lengthened.

The state had originally planned to take the front portions of just two properties, 220 and 222 East Ave., but, “This would have necessitated large retaining walls and created an unsafe condition for residents and the traveling public. The decision was made to acquire the properties in total,” Nursick said.

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Michele (Michael) Napoleone’s front yard at 220 East Ave. is full of tomato plants, peach trees and fig trees. His back yard is also border to border tomato plants.

The offer for Napoleone’s home of some 46 years is described as an “insult” by East Norwalk activist Diane Cece, a longtime friend of the family. It’s “below even the market and assessed values on which the City of Norwalk assesses him for property taxes,” she said in an email.

Norwalk’s 2008 assessment values the land and the building together at $349,400.

The elder Napoleone received a letter from CDOT by certified mail, postmarked Sept. 24. The letter was dated Sept. 16.

“Please be advised that you will not be required to move without at least 90 days advance notice of the earliest date by which he or she may be required to move,” wrote James Mason, CDOT supervising property agent, acquisition/relocation Division of Rights of Way. “You may consider 90 days from the date of this letter to be the earliest date by which you may be required to move.”

The Napoleones say a CDOT representative recommended that the senior Napoleone stay in Norwalk rather than go to Italy for his annual trip to visit his grandchildren, as he had planned. Nursick denied that.

Napoleone “is being devastated by the stress and fear of losing his home,” Cece said in an email sent to state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) and state representatives Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton/Norwalk/Westport), Larry Cafero (R-Norwalk), Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk), Terrie Wood (R-Darien/Norwalk) and Chris Perone (D-Norwalk), Napoleone’s representative.

“The state has had their property appraisal information for three months now, and only recently shared the information/offer with the homeowner and are putting undue pressure on him to negotiate,” she wrote. “… This is an absolute outrage and unacceptable.”

Duff is the only one who has responded to the Sept. 27 email, which is printed in its entirety below. Duff said Thursday that he needs to hear from Napoleone.

“My information is limited,” he said. “I have asked his family to contact my office so I can get all sides of the story here. I’m also going to contact DOT to see where they are in the process. It could be mixed messages as far as where they are in the project, whether it’s going to happen sooner rather than later or later rather than sooner. … As a matter of practice lots of people are concerned about other people’s affairs, but you have to have the primary person to reach out.”

The elder Napoleone was afraid to share information with a reporter last week. In broken English, the Italian immigrant expressed that he is afraid of making waves.

Nursick shared a January 2011 Common Council resolution authorizing the reconstruction of East Avenue. NancyOnNorwalk has written back to ask if CDOT is aware that council members voted in July 2011 not to authorize the mayor to move ahead with it. Members instead asked that a letter be sent to the state requesting that taking Napoleone’s home be reconsidered, according to minutes, attached below.

Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord said Wednesday that the process is just beginning. CDOT has been kind to people who lose their homes to eminent domain in his experience, he said.

“Our experience with the state people has been they’re pretty generous, they understand sensitivities like this gentleman’s age and the time that he’s been there,” he said. “But at the same time they are trying to get a project done that has huge benefits to the larger population of Norwalk and the people who pass through Norwalk. That is the whole reason eminent domain exists.”

He could not name specific examples of the state being generous with people whose homes are taken by eminent domain, however.

“I’d have to dig some out and quite honestly, I don’t have the time to dig them up at the moment,” he said, before remembering the recent taking of small portions of Rowayton properties for the reconstruction of the Metro North bridge on Rowayton Avenue.

He said, “Small cases, of course, but the numbers that they’re going to give people just to fix their property is kind of out there.”

Here is the email from Diane Cece to Norwalk state legislators:

Dear State Legislators,

As you are all probably aware, the State of Connecticut DOT is using eminent domain to take private properties on East Avenue as part of the Metro North railroad bridge project. This despite a 2011 Norwalk Common Council DPW Committee vote against authorizing the Rights of Way Agreement with the state.

One of the properties is the 40+ year home of an 83-year old widower, whose life is being devastated by the stress and fear of losing his home. He is an Italian immigrant who came to Norwalk to raise his family, and did so. He lost his beloved wife and daughter 16 years and 8 years ago, respectively, and his home is a shrine to them both and also a local example of land use for his vegetable garden and peach/fig trees.  He does not want to lose his home, and his sons agree that he should maintain his independence in this home. The compensation offer made by the state is an insult, an embarrassment to me as a taxpayer and a human being, and below even the market & assessed values on which the City of Norwalk assesses him for property taxes.

In addition, the state has had their property appraisal information for 3 months now, and only recently shared the information/offer with the homeowner and are putting undue pressure on him to negotiate. He would normally be leaving this week to visit his grandchildren (the children of his late daughter) in Italy, and apparently has been told by state officials not to go, as they want to finalize the agreement as soon as possible. This is an absolute outrage and unacceptable – I don’t care what statutory or arbitrary time clocks are involved with eminent domain, don’t you agree it is highly unfair for the state to have all the time they need (years, in fact) and then to tell this taxpayer he can’t have more than several weeks to negotiate their offer?

It is my personal observation that it is NOT necessary to widen/lower East Avenue in order for ConnDot to complete their catenary line work, and that the widening/lowering of East Avenue is connected to the project only at the insistence of Norwalk Public Works Director Hal Alvord, in pursuit of several hundred thousand dollars in state grants. Though some support it, hundreds of East Norwalkers opposed this project, and still do. Our neighborhood should not be offered up as the path of least resistance for commercial traffic, especially for the tractor trailers, overnight delivery trucks, garbage/recycling trucks,  and contractor trucks that already speed here as a cut-through to and from South Norwalk. They should all be using West Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard instead. And now we are left with private property owners losing their homes for it.

If you are like me and many other Norwalkers who think eminent domain should be used only when absolutely necessary, and not simply to widen/lower a road for tractor trailers and to build a parking lot (per Connecticut Rights of Way official) by forcing out a senior citizen, please help me by at least coming together to engage in an open and respectful conversation about this project; about his home in particular; and what role you may play in either stopping this project, or at the very least, ensuring that the homeowner is compensated fairly so that he may enjoy his golden years in Norwalk in the home he raised his children and mourns his late wife, even to this day.

Diane Cece

DPW committee July 5 2011 Naploeone


21 responses to “East Norwalk senior feels pressured by Connecticut, activist says”

  1. TKL

    It’s quite sad that you can click on the attached photo and in the distance see Mr. Napoleone sitting in a chair in what appears to be a deep thought and then you get commenters on here, in the previous article, talking about bike lanes. Click on the photo, that’s the reality of this situation. Let the man have his slice of the American dream.

    Someone else said it right … Land of the “used to be” free and home of the brave.

  2. Suzanne

    The DPW Committee meeting minutes are revealing as to what is NOT included in the process: for example, an agreement requested for a vote that the members did not have before them or even seen prior; a definitive vote for a project where 50% of the design documents were reviewed; a statement made by one member that resolutions passed and sent to the state are a “done deal” with or without public input, apparently, and could only be reversed by canceling the project. Not to Monday morning quarterback too much but it continues to seems clear: these issues are complicated. The agencies involved are not on the same page re: East Avenue. Mr. Napoleone and friends need to meet with the one representative who is replying to their queries and nothing should be done until some iteration of these plans, so destructive to a Norwalk citizen’s life, are made exceedingly clear. Is there a clear plan of what is to be done at the East Avenue overpass and what the consequences of those plans are? What is the goal/the mission of completing these plans? Are they valid given the desires of the community and the traffic flow? What studies have been done of traffic flow to quantify whether the project is even necessary? If trucks can already go under the bridge, why does it need to be raised (as an example?) Why can’t re-engineering of the existing space solve whatever problems seem to exist? Oh wait! There are no studies to verify whether this is possible? Diane Cece provided at least two alternatives to MetroNorth for parking and staging areas already owned by the State: do we know if these have been considered in lieu of taking an 83 year old man’s home? Given MetroNorth’s record in Stamford, they are not adverse to using the wrecking ball to clear a path wherever they feel they can and they do. Some members of the DPW Committee expressed deep reservations in the linked meeting minutes about taking his home for the project: does this have any impact on re-structuring the planned project, whatever it is, at all? In other words, does the town get a say when a citizen’s home is about to be destroyed without clear communication as to why? And why lower the road in the first place? Hasn’t this area already been subjected to flooding nearby? While the information is being released piecemeal to the public, this 83 year old is stuck in the middle. With his son, he must meet with the state representative with advocates on his behalf if he is to save his home, that is clear. What is also clear is the entitlement to which these various agencies involved in completing the project, where the right and left hands do not know what they are doing, have the ascendant power. They need to take the City of Norwalk a bit more seriously, I think.

  3. M Allen

    Is Mr. Napoleone being used here by forces simply trying to stop the project? If Mr. Napoleone was 38 instead of 83, would that make a difference? Should roadway improvements be detoured around the private property of those over a specific age? If so, what age might that be so we can plan better?.
    There are other property owners here. Why have we not heard from them? Is it because they have decided to sell and are therefore of no use? Were their deals better or are they just choosing to sell out for a bad price?
    Also, where are the other properties that the state already owns that could be used for both staging during construction and then expanded parking for the train station after? The expanded parking would lead me to think you would want that pretty close to the train station.
    Eminent domain is not something that should be used lightly, but it is something that has a proper use. It is obviously difficult on the inviduals involved, but I hope to dear God that this man isn’t being put into the middle of something because of “Activists” with an agenda.

  4. Oldtimer

    At age 83, when the State tells you it is taking your home and you need to start packing a lifetime of memories, that is a lot of pressure. A slightly more humane approach would not cost he state and could cause a lot less pressure. Why don’t they send somebody who speaks both English and Italian to talk to this homeowner, explain the need, help him find another home nearby, and offer help in moving ?

  5. M Allen

    Totally agree with that Oldtimer. There are humane ways of doing this, or shall we say, more humane ways. But let’s be honest: in some cases, and to some people, it will never be humane enough because some simply disagree with the use of eminent domain for any reason. Especially those reasons that are driving through thier agenda.

  6. Suzanne

    I think if you were to read the information printed so far, M. Allen, you would find that the man’s age is a factor, yes, but that the offer to relocate him is, according to his advocate, very low making living in an equivalent dwelling nearby not possible. I don’t think people are using this man which is sort of a cynical idea when you think about it. I think people are moved out of compassion for a lifetime well lived being jerked out from beneath Mr. Napoleone. Just yesterday, you were saying that the agencies involved didn’t seem to have like agenda’s or that the situation was very confusing. Nothing has changed that I can see as of today. This gentleman seems to be the apex of a giant triangle of mixed messages, agendas, ideas, engineers, public works and money. It is not a fair burden for anyone, 83 or 38. If you were to read the attached document, one other occupant of a dwelling was contacted and is now deceased. The other had no comment.

  7. M Allen

    I would love to be less cynical about people’s motivations. Unfortunately, I recognize that even people of goodwill can resort to using any leagal means at their disposal in order to reach their desired outcome.
    As to my previous comments, they were not about the agencies involved. They were about the arguments being made against the need for the road to be widened, and thus his property to be taken. If in fact they are planning on putting in additional parking, which is what I had speculated, then the property would be taken without regard to the road being widened.
    Look, we all find it somewhat unpalatable to forcefully relocate individuals from their home. And that is what eminent domain can ultimately lead to. But it has its rightful uses. Where would we be if one man, one house it all that stood in the way of I-95 being completed? What if it wasn’t someone with whom we could empathize with? What if it was just someone holding out for more money? Or if no amount of money was enough due to sentimental value? Should we abandon projects designed to have a beneficial effect on the broader public? Frankly, if we viewed things in the 50’s the way we did today, I’m pretty sure President Eisenhower wouldn’t be known for the highway system. Couold you even imagine trying to build that today?

  8. Diane C2

    @ M Allen – I have never hidden two facts – that I oppose the East Avenue project vehemently, as do many other East Norwalkers, and that I have zero respect for Hal Alvord and the mess he has made of Norwalk, and this road in particular. He dares to tell elected officials that this project was not funded and is YEARS AWAY FROM HAPPENING.
    Your questioning of my motives is SOP and relevant, but know this – my involvement at this time was three-fold:
    1) To ensure Mr. Napoleon and his sons clearly understood what was about to happen (and is happening as we speak) so he could decide whether to fight to keep the house or to take a fair offer and find a house where he can still enjoy East Norwalk and close proximity to the beach he adores.
    2) In the event he chose not to hire a lawyer and fight to keep his house, then to do what I could as his friend to make his move as stress-free as possible.
    3) To let other Norwalkers know that if the city/state can do this to Mike, then can do it to ANY of us. NOT for a hospital, or school, or army base, or new highway. But for a wider/lowered road and a parking lot!

    I would have walked an entirely different path if it had occurred to me for even one second that the state would offer him what is likely to BE HALF what they should – based on the market value, the relocation costs, and, yes, for his heartache. They are killing this man. And it was I who told him “don’t worry, Mike, you will be okay”, and I can only hope that is true.

    Don’t you dare question the motives of this “activist” – I’ve spent a lifetime speaking in defense of the underdog, the less fortunate, the people who fear government, and those with special needs. This man I am an “activist” for, he has aged 10 years in the past 5 months -I fear for his health – I can actually feel the fear and anxiety when I hold his hand. This man longs to see the children and grandchildren of his late daughter as he does every September, and they call from Italy asking him when he is coming, even as the state says if he leaves they will continue their process and condemn his home – oh, but they’ll still “negotiate” afterwards. WTF WTF WTF

    This man does not want to leave his house – he knows every nook, every blemish, every creak in the old floors – every patch of soil on his property is planted to produce vegetables, fruits and herbs. He delights in the trains that go by, and can sit for hours with me on the stoop watching commuters walk by, sharing homemade wine with me. He roars laughing when I jump up and down to wave at the trains flying by. THIS MAN IS YOU SOMEDAY, M. ALLEN, or perhaps your father now. When I look in his eyes and see my own 82-year old father, I CRY OUT LOUD to think someone could ever tear HIM from his beloved home.

  9. M Allen

    Yes, it could be any of us. Or a parent. Of course, it shouldn’t need to be a relative in order to have compassion. But if we are really going to put this all down to compassion for an individual, then its not really something that can be discussed because no matter what facts are brought to the table regarding the project, it will always come down to Mr. Napoleone. Who by the way should absolutely be compensated fairly.
    I apologize for calling into question the motivations of those seeking to help this man versus those who grind an axe towards the project. Call it my jaded nature. Too many times we have witnessed projects be derailed due to ulterior motives. Remember Super7? Was is stopped by those who had their property taken/purchased? Nope. It was those whose property wasn’t being taken and didn’t want it coming through what would become their backyards. As I drive 40 minutes to Danbury, I often wonder if they visit the salamander they fought so hard to save.
    I wish Mr. Napoleone all the best, I truly do. I hope the city/state/Metro-North is certain this project is necessary and that Mr. Napoleone is fairly compensated for his property and relocation. I just disagree with this story being commingled with what is turning out to be a failed bid to stop the project. The story of Mr. Napoleone should be separated from the issue of the project itself. People should be focused on his fight and helping him gain some advantage in being justly compensated. Not just focused on him because it is part of a project that perhaps some of them don’t like. Thats unfair to him. By the way, if you come up with a fund to help this gentleman retain better representation (could Adam Blank help here?), hit us up. I’m sure many would be happy to ensure such a nice man is treated fairly and compensated appropriately.

  10. Don’t Panic

    To be clear, this issue of eminent domain was not raised during any of the public hearings, and many are against the notion of taking property to lower a road for the purpose of increasing truck traffic through East Norwalk.
    The linking of the road lowering and the bridge widening to get state money has created a need to take whole properties–again, these “takings” were not contemplated at the time of the public hearings. Would the council have approved this project at all, knowing that property would be taken?

  11. EveT

    Why can’t the state simply offer him a reasonable amount of compensation?

  12. M Allen

    Because reasonable people disagree on what amount is reasonable. Now throw in one side or both being unreasonable and attaining reasonable is always a fight.

  13. Diane C2

    @EveT – the state could have made him afair/reasonable compensation, but what they did was make a ridiculously low offer based on a ridiculously low appraisal by their appraiser (sounds like traffic studies performed by traffic engineers hired by the applicant- they are going to tell you what you want to hear!).
    In my humble opinion, they “start the bidding” low, and force the poor homeowners to negotiate for better! This is wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start.
    Apparently the guy in Hartford (should call the place Heartless, instead) now places the ball in the court of Mr. Napoleon and his sons to “counter offer” to negotiate. Who can deal with this stuff without lawyers, realtors, etc! It’s maddening, and yes, in my personal opinion, totally unnecessary – the project must be justified to East Norwalkers and our full Council again, especially once the state expanded the number of private properties being taken, and especially with the new purpose of a freakin’ parking lot.
    I am all about following rules (God knows I’ve been criticized elsewhere for even that), and that when we don’t like the rules we should all lobby to change them, but in this case, the process is flawed. And even more so as they are using some arbitrary time clock to get rid of Mr. Napoleon long before shovels will be in the ground.

  14. Suzanne

    Aside from the deep sympathy I have for this homeowner, I question this “process” as well especially after reading the link to the DPW meeting process. It seems like a habitual way for Norwalk to approach any development: tear down, dig deep, leave it and ask questions later. I appreciate, Diane C2 for pressing for a more coherent process and the opportunity, if examined closely by all agencies involved, to provide a win-win situation. By that I mean, Mr. Napoleone gets to stay in his house, the parking lot is located on existing state land and the widening of the road is re-evaluated to create the best case scenario possible based on comprehensive traffic studies and goals. It cannot be underestimated the power of the constituency – the cumulative number of people and/or agencies involved risk ignoring them at their peril. If they do not think so, check out what happen to the highly coveted by this administration BJ’s development.

  15. M Allen

    @Suzanne – where is the existing state land contiguous to the train station? Or better yet, just the existing state land.
    And for anyone with the knowledge: if the state wants the land for a parking lot and wants to widen the state-owned bridge and lengthen the tarin platform, does the city have any say in that? Other than just input, could the city say “no” and that is that? Or does the state have primacy and can do what it wants whether the city councils votes or not?

  16. Uncle Ben

    So Nursick’s (initial) offer is below fair market value, even below the evaluation for the property and location, excluding the hardship factor altogether? Nursick c’mon.

    Well it is taxpayer money right? So if Nursick started at FMV than some would be saying Nursick is not being fiscally responsible with the taxpayers dime, right. This is how the process works, regardless of age or handicap. Ok so the initial offer is on the table, can somone please help MR. Napoleon counter offer say, considering the hardship factor, say, 1.7 million plus relocation costs, offer only good for 30 days upon reciept, after 30 das upon reciept all aditional legal costs for litigation must be added.

    Bob, this is your specialty, perhaps rather than commenting in public you could take a few minutes from your busy schedule of accepting awards and fit this gentlemen in between running from one event to another on that demanding social circut. Surely worthy of your time, just drop by and meet the gentleman, with an interperter and Dianne and take care of business, before this becomes another embarassing political football for Norwalk. No biggie, handle it, fairly and appropiately.

    Hey Nursick, 1.7 is a fair counter offer considering hardship emotional and health stress. Can be 2.5 in blink
    of an eye,with all these hungry attorney’s around. See above comments. Wanna make a better more resonable offer? It’s your clock. Tick tock.

    Cant say you werent forewarned now.

  17. Diane C2

    There is ‘government’-owned land which is next to the east-side of the station. It’s a house and garage and parking that is owned by the Third Taxing District.
    Additionally, if the state wishes to have commuter parking, why not TAKE the huge commercial parking lot that already abuts their lot where the Factory Outlets were? Or, the undeveloped commercial property that abuts exit 16, which has sat vacant since the demolition of Howard Johnsons – why do they have to take 2 private homes, some apartments and an active business???
    And exactly when did the state plan on telling the governing body here that they had changed the entire scope of the project from a sliver of land to extend the sidewalk to tearing down a block and putting in parking? And at least back in 2011, there was the requirement for the council and mayor to approve the rights-of-way connected to this project – brave members of the Public Works committee voted no, and the item did not advance to the full council.
    As a firm believer in property rights, and with great disdain for government interference in our lives, I find it incredible to think that some Norwalkers seem to cheer the taking of private homes and active businesses! For a parking lot. Again, eminent domain is a useful and necessary tool at times, like for highways and army bases and schools etc. But not for the purposes that Mr. Alvord hails above – for the benefit of the “people WHO PASS THROUGH NORWALK”.
    When I-95 north is congested, the Westporters use Rte 136 as the route of choice, and apparently Mr. Alvord wants to make that even easier – but worse, the other people passing thru that he LOVES are the trucks – his project plan will encourage them to use East Ave as the path of least resistance, and with no barrier to access, they will haul thru here at dangerous speeds – just as do at the wider portions, and why sometimes, they even flip over!

  18. Dana

    If and when opportunities arise where we can improve our infrastructure, this is good. It is important to use smart planing in designs. It would be great if someone would step up and give us an artists rendering of what is being planed, so that suggestions can be included and concerns properly addressed. The point about commercial heavy truck traffic is valid, Would drivers take 16 coming westbound? Or eastbound for that matter, everone knows how badly the signals are out of sync. The intersection at Washington, alone, can be near 10 minutes at times. Van Zant is narrow and is not designed for heavy commercial traffic flows. To accomodate all the increased heavy commecial truck traffic Van Zant would have to be reconfigured with at least 25 additional feet in width to accomodate wider and extra lanes. That would mean a much more agressive emminent domain process involving practically every property on Van Zant, incuding the fire station. The other option, which is also challenging, considering it is a designated state road, is to find ways to legally restrict the heavy commercial truck traffic and set up traffic cams to capture licences plates and DOT numbers and automatcially isuue fines to heavy commercial vehicles beyond the train bridge. Boat transports, of course, excluded. It has been done in other communties and has brought in significant revenue. The concrens raised about truck traffic are valid. Some efforts at uniformity, that are congruent with the, decades in progress, plans to redo east ave south of 95 thoroughfare, along with the stated concerns about traffic flow, commercial traffic and flooding, street lighting, landscaping, all need to be adressed. Than we have Mr. Napoleon and the other property owners that are affected get a fair shake. Yes, even the fire house on Van Zant. Thank you Ms. Diane for looking out.

  19. Norwalk Lifer

    Thank you Diane for assisting a fellow citizen, the real issue here is as follows: this man played by the rules, and lived by the rules, and the rules are screwing him.

    This same thing happened during the expansion of 107 for the “road to nowhere” that Perkin-Elmer built. There was an attempt to condemn a homeowner’s house after she was offered lower than market value for her property, well, Lindburgh once landed on that site, and it was given historical status.

    Shame on the state and shame on the rest of you for trying to “rationalize” what is clearly a morally corrupt way to seize land.

    If it happened to YOU, you wouldn’t be so sanquine about what your “neighbors got for their homes” or rationalize this thru “taxpayer’s money”

    Gimme a break, and go to the pawn shop and get your moral compasses back.

    Norwalk Lifer

  20. concerned citizen

    At this moment, the DOT is planning to condemn the properties and deposit their offer with the homeowners for what they believe is the fair market value. What recourse does the homeowners have? Not much, since the DOT has already determined what they think is fair, which is below city assesed value. The homeowners can offer their appraisal, but how likely will it be accepted by the DOT? Not likely at all, they will probably find something wrong with it and then what can be done? Hire a lawyer? The cost of a lawyer might eat into any gain made. I hope the DOT will do the right thing and give the homeowner, specifically Mr Napoleone enough money to buy a decent home in the neighborhood he loves so much.

  21. Don’t Panic

    So, isn’t it time to look at that TTD property across the street that the politicos were all yammering about last week?
    Can this man’s home be saved?

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