President Obama is scheduled for the Hampton University commencement address on May 9 and many local politicians are pushing for him to visit nearby homes impacted by toxic Chinese drywall during his visit.

State Del. Glenn Oder, R- Newport News, joined the effort by U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland and he feels that a visit by the president would most likely boost the cause.

Toxic Chinese drywall isn’t a problem that affects just Virginia.   Oder says that it is an issue affecting people in 37 states. 

"We are so quick to help Third World countries, fixing areas that have been devastated. And I support that. But how can we ignore what is happening to people right here in our own country? We have to help them," said Oder.

There is a special Virginia task force that has been working on finding solutions to the problems associated with Chinese drywall.  The first meeting of the task force, which has about 15 members, occurred in Richmond on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

Numerous homeowners have complained about gases that emit from this drywall.  Reportedly, it has caused several health problems that are forcing Virginia residents out of their homes.  These Chinese drywall gases are also believed to corrode metal and wiring in many homes.

The drywall was mainly used in the mid-2000s, during the housing boom, as there was a shortage of building materials.  One of the issues that homeowners are facing is that despite the fact that they can’t live in their homes, they are still responsible for their mortgage payments.

Oder said that everything is on hold until the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission makes a ruling regarding the drywall issue and creates protocols on how to repair the homes that have been impacted.
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