News Column

Habitat for Humanity seeks foreclosure on property allegedly used as rental unit

June 21, 2014

By Bob Kalinowski, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

June 21--The Habitat for Humanity organization on Friday filed mortgage foreclosure proceedings against a couple accused of illegally using their Habitat home in Wilkes-Barre as a rental unit.

The home at 171 Stanton St. was the subject of controversy last year after city officials learned the owners, John and Tawanna Simpson, were renting the property to others.

Habitat funded renovations of the Simpsons' home and sold it to them in 2009 for a discounted price.

Court papers filed Friday indicate the Simpsons took out a 20-year, no-interest mortgage for $45,085 and were required to pay $188 per month.

The mortgage has not been paid for 13 months, court papers said.

The mortgage foreclosure documents don't address the issue of improper renting of the home. They list Tawanna Simpson's last known address as Main Street, Kingston.

John Simpson's last known address is listed as 99 Water St., Wilkes-Barre, which is the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. He is jailed there for his arrest in a September 2012 bust targeting drug dealers on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

When the Simpsons signed their mortgage with Habitat, they had already completed 300 hours of volunteer work on the home, cleared a credit check and signed an agreement that prohibited them from renting the property, Habitat for Humanity officials said at the time the rental issue was raised in September.

570-821-2055, @cvbobkal


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Source: Citizens' Voice, The (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

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