Couple says they're out $40K after home elevation company suddenly shuts down

HOUSTON – Rob Raphael and his wife Xiaodi Lin say they just can't catch a break.

They've been out of their Meyerland home now for three years after three major floods  -- they are among several homeowners who say projects to elevate their houses using federal grant money have halted. They claim they've heard nothing from the contractor Titan Foundations and Elevation.

"Since March 15, we give them all the money, about $40K, until now they haven't done anything," Lin said. "It's very frustrating."

Earlier this week, Channel 2 discovered three affidavits claiming liens on properties being elevated by Titan. Bobby Fischer was listed as the company's president and CEO.

The liens were filed by a subcontractor -- Norex Engineering -- accusing Titan of not paying them for work completed. Caught in the middle are homeowners who say they selected Titan because the company was listed by the City of Houston as an approved contractor the grant program.

"Those of us in Meyerland have endured three floods," Raphael said. "We have bonded together, we talk to each other. We are wanting a solution for all of us."

Wednesday, the Raphaels -- along with their attorney -- met with officials from the city's public works department for nearly 90 minutes. They are trying to keep their heads and their hopes above water.

"We are pushing them to help the people who are not part of this grant," Raphael said, "who were also trying to do the right thing and get these properties out of the flood plains so that the taxpayers don't have to keep funding out money for the recovery."

When asked if the City of Houston had initiated an investigation into this issue, a spokesperson told Channel 2 that city officials are "exploring all options and haven't ruled anything out."

They also added that, "Houston Public Works is in contact with the homeowners who selected Titan Foundations and Elevation and is actively working with them and the City of Houston Legal Department to review each case."

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