Nova Scotia

Co-op housing work unpaid: plumber

A Dartmouth plumber says he may go out of business soon because he still hasn't been paid for work he did on a co-op housing project last summer.

A Dartmouth plumber says he may go out of business soon because he still hasn't been paid for work he did on a co-op housing project last summer.

Joe MacLeod claims he's owed $325,494.10 for his work during the renovations at the North End United Housing Co-op. He said 16 other contractors are also waiting for their money.

MacLeod, president of Reliable Rooter Ltd., said he hasn't received a cheque since July.

"I've got 12 employees that I'm going to have to let go," he told CBC News. "I'm at the end of my rope. I mean, I don't want to do this but I'm forced into it. I've got about four weeks, maybe five before I'm out of business."

The housing co-operative hired MacLeod's company and others to renovate kitchens, bathrooms, windows and roofs. His job was to upgrade 131 bathrooms in four separate properties.

The $3.1 million for the renovation project came from the federal government and Nova Scotia's social housing assistance repairs program.

The work began last spring and wrapped up at the end of the summer.

The provincial Department of Community Services says the $3.1 million for the project has already been paid out. So, any outstanding costs are now the responsibility of the housing co-operative.

CBC contacted the housing co-operative. A statement from the board is expected next week.

"We feel that it is in the best interest of the co-op, and in order to maintain a working relationship with all stakeholders, to prepare a clear and concise statement with the input of our legal counsel," Jonathan Hannam, a board spokesman, wrote in an email.

MacLeod said he doesn't understand why no one will take responsibility.

"It's back and forth between them two," he said. "In the meantime, that shouldn't affect me. I did a job, I provided a service. I just should've got paid."

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