San Diego woman finally gets new house after vandals destroyed hers

Insurance claim denied until Team 10 got invovled
Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 21:52:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Tammy Chavez is in love with her new modular home. Her bedroom is a suite, complete with a fireplace. Her kitchen is open and impressive with brand new stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors.

The place is warm and inviting, which means a lot to Chavez because for the past year and a half she's been homeless.

The new house sits on the same lot in Hemet where Chavez lived for several years after she was violently raped in Escondido by a man who she rented a room to.

The rape changed everything. Chavez has endured several surgeries and procedures caused by the injuries sustained when she was attacked in 2008. Sometimes she is forced to spend months in a hospital or rehabilitation facility. That was the case in 2015. Chavez spent six months in a nursing home. She paid her mortgage, utilities and homeowner's insurance from her hospital bed.  

When she was healthy enough to go home, now confined to a wheelchair, she was violated again.

Her modest home had been trashed by vandals, drug addicts, and squatters. Everything inside was destroyed or defiled.  The walls were covered in graffiti, the floors littered with broken glass, drug paraphernalia and even human excrement.

Chavez' insurance company told her the damage wasn't covered because she'd abandoned her home.

Chavez argued nothing could be further from the truth. When those arguments fell on deaf ears, she contacted Team 10.

Within days of our calls to Farmers Insurance, a spokesperson admitted the company fell short of its goal to provide customers with superior service. Farmers pledged to make good on Chavez' claim. Since the house was unsalvageable, Farmers agreed to pay for the demolition and the cost of a new house.

RELATED: Our original Team 10 investigation

That was easier said than done, according to Chavez.

There were problems with demolition, with building permits, and delayed payments. The living expenses Farmers paid Chavez ran out late last year. She was sleeping on on friends' couches and wondering if she would ever again sleep in her own bed inside her own home.

The delays and Chavez' frustrations were noticed by the people at  Ma Williams, the manufactured home company that was building her house.

"She's been through a lot. Everyone knows that," said Ma Williams president, Dennis Williams.

Williams and his team worked with Riverside County code enforcement to secure building permits and cut through red tape with Chavez' mortgage company, Farmers and other agencies that were delaying the project.

"It was gratifying to be able to do that for her," said Williams.

Chavez' eyes filled with tears as she called Williams' team "my angels".

She plans to move into her new house this month, with borrowed furniture, linens, and kitchen utensils.  "I have nothing," Chavez said, admitting that her fight isn't over yet. She's now trying to replace all the things that took a lifetime to acquire. 

She set up a GoFundMe page in the hope more "angels" will help her turn her new house into a home.