An online petition demanding the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation test homes for methamphetamine residue before selling them has received more than 200,000 signatures. The petition was started by a family who purchased a home from the agency that turned out to be a former meth lab.
The petition, on the website Change.org, was started by Jonathan Hankins, who purchased a home in Oregon from the agency, known as Freddie Mac.
“Within weeks of moving in, my wife, my two year old son, and I all started experiencing terrible dry-mouth and mouth sores,” Hankins wrote on the petition site. “Then we started to have trouble breathing, and I developed sinus headaches and nosebleeds. My home was contaminated with methamphetamine. But even worse, it was filled with traces of the toxic stew used to cook the drug.” Hankins says he and his family now have to pay their mortgage as well as rent on a second house where they have moved.
There were more than 10,000 clandestine meth lab incidents last year, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Thousands of homes nationwide may be contaminated by methamphetamine and the residue produced when the drug is made.
“We empathize with the Hankins but neither we nor the listing agent had prior information about the home’s history,” according to a statement Freddie Mac provided to ABC News. “If we had, such information absolutely would have been disclosed. We strongly encourage buyers to inspect homes and to conduct any tests they want to before making a purchase decision.”
Freddie Mac advises home shoppers to check state and federal registries of known clandestine meth labs.