Even after laying his life on the line for the country, and sustaining injuries because of it, Sean Gittens couldn't get the charity house he was offered.
In the town of Evans, Georgia, the family of Gittens, a disabled veteran, is moving out of a development known as Knob Hill after the Georgia Homeowners Association halted construction on a house meant for him. The house would have been provided by the charitable organization Homes For Troops, which builds homes for veterans who sustained life altering injuries in the line of duty.
AOL Real Estate reports that Sgt. Gittens had been serving in the military since 1988 and had been deployed in Kuwait before being paralyzed by an IED blast in Iraq in 2008.
Reports are conflicting as to why the construction was halted last Friday on the Gittens' handicap-accessible home. At first the Homeowners Association claimed that the 2,785-square-foot home would lower property values in the neighborhood because it was too small, even though its design exceeded the minimum size for houses in the area.
The HOA quickly changed its story. The cease and desist order on construction was simply due to paperwork issues and construction would be allowed to move forward pending the necessary documents, President of the Knob Hill Homeowners Association Rick Trump told local Augusta News 12. Trump seems to have since given up on publicly defending the Homeowners Association after being heavily critcized. “We are finished with the press. Too one sided and unfair," he wrote in an email to local News Channel 6.
For the Gittens, who told the Daily Mail they "don't feel welcome" in Knob Hill, the damage is already done, and they are planning to build their home in a new neighborhood with the full support of Homes For Troops. "This home is about freedom and independence adapted to the Gittenses' needs," President and founder of the organization John Gonsalves told AOL Real Estate. "But it's also about roots. Luckily we can enjoy the [American] dream because of people like Sgt. Gittens."