The Los Angeles Times reports: "The roof on the three-bedroom Pasadena rental where Don Jones used to live seems unremarkable until he hands over the invoice showing what it cost: $103,443. Fortunately for Jones, he didn't have to pay that. His landlords, California taxpayers, footed the bill."
The California Department of Transportation bought several hundred homes in the late '60s and early '70s with plans to raze them and build an extension of the 710 freeway. Instead, the state now rents the homes. The Times reported that in addition to buying the pricy roof for Mr. Jones' former home, Caltrans spent $103,472 to re-roof the house across the street, $80,606 for the house next door, and a whopping $171,508 to put a new roof on a dilapidated house that has been vacant for at least a decade.
A private Pasadena roofer with 30 years of experience said the prices are four to five times what would be expected.
The Times studied records for 33 roof repairs and replacements on Caltrans-owned homes in Pasadena between 2005 and 2010 and found that the average cost was $70,994 per roof.
Adding insult to injury, the Times wrote: "Jones, who was evicted in late May in a dispute with Caltrans that began over the roof, said he hadn't asked to have the old one replaced because he never had a problem with it. But the new one leaked, he said, bringing in more than rain water. 'Bees were also coming in … It was like a plague,' Jones said." (Source: Los Angeles Times, June 18.)