HGTV’s Alison Victoria Facing $400K of Debt After Borrowing From Friends

Alison Victoria

Hallmark/Getty HGTV's Alison Victoria

With the last of HGTV‘s three-part “Windy City Rehab: Alison’s Dream Home” set to air on August 8, 2023, viewers are eager to see longtime HGTV star Alison Victoria complete the transformation of her 6,700 square foot Chicago office into her own dream home.

But months after actually moving into that new home, Victoria has admitted in a new interview she doesn’t have the money yet to pay back friends who loaned her $400,000 for the renovations and said she’s going to have “work my ass off” to repay them.

Legal Woes Kept Alison Victoria From Getting Conventional Loans for Her Dream Home

Victoria, whose newest season of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” wrapped up in May, has had to revamp her business and finances after going through a legal battle with her former professional partner and co-star, Donovan Eckhardt. She told People in May she no longer speaks with Eckhardt, after cutting ties with him in 2020, after his alleged mishandling of company finances.

During the second season of “Windy City Rehab,” according to People, Eckhardt had his general contractor and developer licenses suspended by the city of Chicago over violations. He and Victoria were also slapped with stop-work orders and sued by clients for alleged fraud and poor workmanship. Donovan sued HGTV’s parent company in 2021 claiming the show defamed him.

With those legal battles behind her and now working on her own, Victoria decided to take on her biggest and most personal project yet, converting her industrial office into a space where she can live and work. Her vision included creating “a spectacular retreat complete with a custom chef’s kitchen, great room, primary suite, gym, theater and all-season courtyard and spa,” per an HGTV press release.

The seven-month project cost Victoria $1.2 million, according to Entertainment Tonight, including a $400,000 loan from her best friends, which she said she had to do because she couldn’t get a conventional loan due to her recent legal woes.

“I was like, ‘Oh wait, no one’s gonna (give me) a loan,'” Victoria continued. “So I had to either say, ‘I’ve got to get out now,’ or I have to ask for help. And so I went to two of my friends, they loaned me a total of $400,000. I still owe that money back to them. I don’t have that right now.”

Though Victoria loves her new space, she also has that lingering debt to deal with.

“Now I’m in a place where I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll work my ass off to make money to pay my friends back to live in this dream home,'” she told ET. “I’ll do just that, but it’s still a reality that this wouldn’t have happened without so many people and I’m just really grateful.”

Alison Victoria is Currently Starring on Multiple HGTV Shows

One of the ways Victoria may be earning money to pay back her friends is by appearing in multiple HGTV shows this summer. In fact, she’ll appear in three separate shows from August 6 – 8.

Before her dream house special series wraps on August 8, Victoria and comedian Retta will kick off a new season of the network’s hugely popular “Ugliest House in America” on August 7 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The show follows Retta as she tours “properties nominated by homeowners who believe their place is one of the worst in the country,” according to the series description. Victoria then designs and oversees a $150,000 makeover for the winning property.

Victoria also teamed up with fellow HGTV host and designer Ty Pennington for the network’s “Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge.” The pair won their challenge during the second episode, and during the grand finale airing on August 6, the four finalist spaces will go head-to-head in a Pink Carpet event featuring “Barbie” star Margot Robbie, according to HGTV.

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