In this episode, a Jamaica Queens, New York family finally get their dream house—two years after a contractor left them without a roof over their heads. With a house rendered unfit for habitation, Lucy Ali and her 12-year-old adopted sons, Paul and Kuran, had been living as urban refugees, hop-scotching from hotel to hotel, to relatives’ couches and to a homeless shelter. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition brings the Ali house back to life when the design team and over 150 workers rebuild it.
When her boys were infants, orphaned by a crack-addicted mother, Lucy adopted them. As the now-healthy boys approached adolescence, she wanted to add more space to her one-bedroom, one-bath house and was grateful when she was approved for a home improvement loan.
She gave the contractor a large sum of money to begin the renovations, but the contractor never finished the job, leaving a gaping hole in her roof. The unfinished second level was exposed to the elements, robbery and foraging animals. During one of her periodic visits to her ruined, uninhabitable house, she was alarmed to even find squatters. The Ali house sat without a roof as Lucy, a retired finance manager, struggled to keep up with the monthly mortgage payments.
While the design team, contractors and hundreds of workers and volunteers were building the Alis a new and stable living environment in just seven days, the family went on a Disney cruise vacation.