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Bills Filed to Amend the Problematic TRCC
Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Press Release - Bills Would Protect Homeowners from Shoddy Construction
AUSTINRepresentatives Jessica Farrar and David Liebowitz have filed the first two bills intended to amend the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) in the upcoming 2007 Legislative Session.  Since its creation in 2003, the TRCC has repeatedly come under fire for its inability to successfully assist homeowners in resolving home construction defects, and for the lack of enforcement powers to make builders comply with the conclusions of the commission.

        HOMEOWNERS   FOR   BETTER   BUILDING
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                                                                    PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact:  Janet Ahmad
November 28, 2006

Bills Would Protect Homeowners from Shoddy Construction 

             AUSTIN Representatives Jessica Farrar and David Liebowitz have filed the first two bills intended to amend the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) in the upcoming 2007 Legislative Session.  Since its creation in 2003, the TRCC has repeatedly come under fire for its inability to successfully assist homeowners in resolving home construction defects, and for the lack of enforcement powers to make builders comply with the conclusions of the commission.
 
At the request of State Representative Todd Smith, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn conducted a review of TRCC in 2005.   Following the review, Strayhorn issued a scathing report that concludes the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) functions as a Builder Protection Agency and that her research found no evidence that TRCC has any favorable impact on homeowners. See:
TRCC Functions as a Builder Protection Agency.

The Farrar bill,
HB 295 would give the agency administrative authority to hold homebuilders more accountable for defective homes and make the dispute resolution a more consumer friendly process that will be optional and free for homeowners. In addition, the composition of the nine member TRCC Commission, currently stacked with representatives and friends of the homebuilder industry, would change the “general public” commissioner appointments similar to those of other state agencies. 

If passed the law will tighten the requirements for builders to do business in Texas and give TRCC more authority to deny or revoke the registration of builders. Further, builders would need to demonstrate knowledge and financial responsibility under the Texas Star Builder program as a mandatory requirement.

Sect, 430.0075 is a Full Disclosure with Informed Consent requiring homebuilders to explain the terms of contractual clauses, including any binding arbitration clause, warranties, building standards, risks and hazards of a particular property and home to be purchased, before any money changes hands.

The Property Code would be amended to establish procedures for the repurchase of the home by the contractor at the fair market value.  Section 430.011 would be amended to make a breach of warranty a Deceptive Trade Practice (DTPA) violation.

The Liebowitz Bill
HB 326 would assure that the TRCC complaint process would be free to homeowners.

“The TRCC has for too long served as a
 bureaucratic brick-wall, shielding the homebuilding industry from consumers who try to exercise their rights to hold incompetent or unscrupulous builders accountable,” said Janet Ahmad, President of HomeOwner for Better Building . “These bills will help balance the scales to make sure consumers are getting a fair shake.”             

###


National Board of Directors
Janet Ahmad - San Antonio h Laura Munoz – Austin h Linda Armstrong - Florida h Jo Hayman Dallas  
Flo Roberts/Osteen & Brenda Tom linson – Georgia h  Mary Cohn – Houstonh Charles & Ainslie Vice Kentucky  Lorinda & Brian Couch – North Carolina h Marie Crosby New Jersey hGloria Adams - South Carolina

 
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