The Investigators: 3 happy endings thanks to our reports

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Jim Hoffer has the update on three reports

A woman fighting to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, a mother and child looking for a life beyond a homeless shelter, and illegal construction work that made neighbors nervous -- they are just three stories from the Eyewitness News Investigators that now have happy endings.

A comfortable place to live is one of the most basic needs, and in earlier investigations, we showed you three different people struggling against city bureaucracy to have a safe home.

And as we started digging into it, the red tape unravelled.

When we first introduced you to Allison McLean, she was standing in what's left of her Sandy-damaged home wondering how the city's Build It Back program had failed to help after three years.

"I'm trying to hold it together, but this is really, really painful," she said.

After she told us her story, a brick wall of bureaucracy crumbled. And four months later, she had a completely restored home.

"We have everything brand new, everything new, new walls, new floor," she said. "Nothing was moving. They kept giving me the song and dance, 'call this one, call this one.' But when you guys came in, everything, heads started to turn. Heads started to roll. People were calling me. I have never received so many calls from any city agency in my life."

Then there was Lisa Millhouse and her daughter, who were living in a homeless shelter for eight months, unable to find an apartment to rent despite having a guaranteed rental voucher from the city.

"I literally called 60 real estate agencies, filled out application, never heard from them," she said.

Her days of dead-end apartment searches turned to serious leads following our story, which pressed City Hall on the thousands of others holding rental vouchers still searching for a home.

Now, the mother and daughter live in a clean, bright two-bedroom apartment with hardwood floors in Staten Island.

"It's like a weight lifted off my shoulders, because things in the shelter were unreal," she said. "Couldn't sleep there...very, very happy."

Finally, we have an update on a man who, without permits and in defiance of a city order not to build, constructed a dangerous deck on the roof of apartment building. The illegal work was weighing heavy on the roof and on the minds of those living underneath it.

"That's the only question I want answered," building resident Minerva Figueroa said. "Am I safe?"

Days after our report, workers tore up the deck, taking the weight off the old roof and the worry off many of the residents.

"The DOB knew about violations for five, six months and did nothing until you guys came into the picture and took it seriously," resident Tarek Elabsy said. "That's what I find amazing. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you."

Now that the extra weight on the roof has been removed, and a dozen violations and $39,000 in fines later, the building is back in compliance
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