Exclusive Investigation: Did The City Council President Use Influence To Get A Low Income Home?
The acting council president is Balbina Young.
She was the moving force in getting city money to buy a parcel of land diagonally across the street from her home.
Then she was instrumental in getting more city money to move a house to the land the city purchased.
After federal money was spent to rehabilitate the house, young's son and his wife moved in on the first floor.
It was a rare sight... A three-story house moving at two miles an hour.
Brown university sold the structure for $10 so it could be used for low to moderate income housing in south Providence.
"What has happened, we had a vacant lot over there."
Acting council president Balbina Young spearheaded the effort to move the house to this location at 496 public st., which is diagonally across the street from her home at 489 Public st.
The cost of relocating the house:
More than nine-thousand dollars in city bond money to buy the land.
$44,00o in city bond money to move the house.
And more than 91-thousand dollars to rehab the house.
for a total over 145-thousand dollars.
Of that total, the city was reimbursed $25,000 by a morgage agency.. so the total cost to taxpayers...more than $120-thousand dollars.
As the house moved, Narragansett Electric had to remove and replace wires and do other work.
The cost - $75,000, which was paid by electrioc company customers.
We suggested to young it was a pretty good deal for her son Lawrence and his wife Sylvana to end up living on the first floor of the house.
"Well, what i think there are a lot of good deals in america for a lot of people. why shouldn't my son be the beneficiary of one of them."
The mortgage on the house is in the name of Manuel Nei Depina...because it's a low income mortgage, he is required to live in the house...several peole say he does not.
The tax bill for the house is sent in Depina's name to an address in Pawtucket.
"are you elisa? none of your business."
We went to the Pawtucket address listed as the home of Manuel Nei Depina on the tax records...a neighbor said the young woman we met is depina's daughter elisa.
"You better not put me on tv."
"Elisa. will you look at this and tell me why.."
"You want me to call the cops on you. you want me to call the cops on you. go ahead. tell me why the tax bill is sent here. i'm going to call the cops.all right. we'll wait for them."
"Councilwoman young said her son is married to another of Depina's daughter."
"He, Manuel Depina, as far as you're concerned, lives with his daughter. exactly. his daughter is married to your son.
that is correct, yup. Does Mr. Depina, therefore, live with you son and his wife.
I'm, Mr. Depina lives whereever he says his residence is and if that's 496 that's where he lives,yes."
She would not clarify exceprt to say maybe Mr. Depina has two residences, but in any case we should ask him.
Late yesterday a car pulled up next to 496 Public st.
"Mr. Depina Mr. Depina. Manuel.. is that Mr. Depina?
Eight people are registered to vote at 496 Public st.
Manuel Depina is not one of them. His tax bill is sent to an address in Pawtucket. We don't know where Manuel Depina lives.
The city agency that oversees low-income housing is checking to see where Depina does live and if the other residents of 496 Public street meet low-income guidelines.