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HOBB Update Message
Monday, 05 May 2008

A message from Janet Ahmad - Erin Brockovitch Confirms Contamination in Lennar Homes & Texas Supreme Court Grants Double Standard Decision to 'Bob the Builder' Perry

A message from Janet Ahmad
ERIN BROCKOVITCH CONFIRMS CONTAMINATION IN LENNAR HOME & TEXAS SUPREME COURT GRANTS DOUBLE STANDARD DECISION TO ‘BOB THE BUILDER’ PERRY  

Erin Brockovitch has her eye on the homebuilding industry.  Brockovich will disclose test results of high levels of contamination in the Lennar Homes Westcott community in South Carolina .  Undisclosed source say Brockovich plans on naming KB Home a contamination case in conjunction with the Wescott lawsuit as well.

Additionally, Lennar is the subject of homeowner outrage as community leaders in Hutto Texas  (See: Lennar Homeowners Unite in Hutto Texas ) hold a meeting next Saturday, May 10 to address loan irregularities as well as major construction defects. See details

For those of you who live in other states other than Texas , it is important to pay close attention to what is happening in Texas .  Why should you become more involved and be concerned about Texas ?  The reason is Bob Perry of Texas (Perry Homes) and his nationwide campaign money machine is endorsed by the building industry (NAHB) to promote Tort Reforms and Binding Mandatory Arbitration that protect builders to assure new home warranties are unenforceable. 

Case in point; the Texas Supreme Courts decision Friday, in the infamous Bob Perry vs. Robert and Jane Cull case which illustrates how builder political contributions can so profoundly influence, when the court found in favor of Perry.  The Cull's were understandably stunted at learning of the decision. The couple has come to understand under the worst possible circumstance that a new home warranty is not a warranty at all but a deceptive false sense of security, designed to end in vicious litigation, influenced by big money. This decision sets a double standard.
 
No where has special interest money been more powerful and evident as Texas where builders freely build substandard homes, confident they will not be held accountable.  As I have said before, “As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation.”   

Last week a stunning article by Lise Olsen of the Houston Chronicle titled
Owners stuck with flawed homes – Families' costs mount, but state, builder give scant help, files show”   The article once again reported the scandals of Bob Perry’s TRCC builder protection agency and how the agency fails homebuyers.  Be sure to r
ead the more than 300 reader responses the first day to the article.

Help us to help you by keeping in touch. Tell your story through HOBB, to your elected officials, and write the press.  We would like to hear from you so, please take a few minutes to post your comments on the
HOBB Forum

Thank you,
Janet Ahmad, President
Home Owners for Better Building

  *******************************************
News Updates:

Texas Supreme Court has Double Standard
TEXAS SUPREME COURT GRANTS DOUBLE STANDARD FOR BUILDER
The Robert and Jane Cull’s construction defects case was thought to be the only homeowner Binding Arbitration victory in Texas history until today, when it was overturned by the state’s highest court. The very rich Bob Perry has demonstrated in brazen fashion the lengths at which builders will seek relief from all warranty liability.  As for Robert and Jane Cull’s 11-year ordeal, no amount of Bob Perry’s money will ever compensate them for their years of being deprived of the full enjoyment their home they so valiantly fought to preserve.  The Texas high court and Bob Perry have this day made the case for the undeniable need for campaign finance reform and the passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act introduced by Senator Russ Feingold and Congressman Hank Johnson. Read more...

Dallas
Morning News: Cull Ordeal is Bob Perry's Supreme Court
Texas Supreme Court rules against Mansfield couple in battle with homebuilder
The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday in favor of Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, the state’s most prolific campaign contributor, in a case homeowner advocates say reflects the influence of big money over elected judges... Mr. Perry, who has given millions of dollars to state and federal candidates, and members of his family have contributed more than $260,000 to all nine members of the Supreme Court, either directly or through a political action committee. A spokesman for Mr. Perry hailed the decision and denied that political contributions played any part. Mrs. Cull, who said the case has taken a toll financially and emotionally, called the ruling “a sad day for Texas homeowners.” “All we ever wanted was a home with a good foundation, built properly, that could serve as our retirement home,” she said. “The little guy just can’t win, and that’s what’s so devastating about it.”  Read more...


Test Results of Lennar Homes Contamination Gets Erin Brockovich's Attention
Erin Brockovich Sets Sights on Lennar
High-profile environmental advocate Erin Brockovich has been investigating possible health-damaging chemicals at a Lennar housing community in South Carolina. Next week, she will be unveiling test results that, she says, confirm the existence of methane and hazardous chemical contaminations at the site that are "of concern," TheStreet.com has learned...Last year, the EPA tested the air quality of 19 homes in the community and found methane levels, but the agency concluded that all of the homes were "significantly below the lower explosive limit for methane." Read more...

Texas Watch Press Release: Supreme Court Special Decision for Bob Perry
Texas Supreme Court Bails Out Bob Perry
 Alex Winslow, Executive Director of Texas Watch, released the following statement: “After years of forcing consumers into a lopsided binding arbitration process, the Court today carved out a special decision for the man who gives the Court more campaign cash than any other individual in the state...“This decision is little more than a bail out for a major political moneyman, and is the latest in a long line of pro-defendant rulings by our state’s highest court.” Read more...

 

Erin Brockovich to report contamination of Westcott Plantation Homes built by Lennar 
COMMUNITY AND PRESS RELEASE:
Erin Brockovich along with the Law Offices of Girardi and Keese and Masry and Vititoe have been investigating VOC and METHANE contamination of indoor air and sub-slab soils at homes in the Westcott Plantation area. Experts have traveled to this site and test results have CONFIRMED that there is VOC and METHANE contamination of the indoor air and the sub-slab soils that are of concern. We have been retained by community members and are having a community meeting on May 6, 2008 at Charleston Place Hotel,

205 Meeting Street
at 6:30 p.m. for the residents to discuss test results, future testing and potential health impacts. Erin Brockovich.  Undisclosed source says KB Home to be named in conjunction with Wescott lawsuit.

Lennar Homeowners Unite in Hutto Texas
Lennar Neighborhood Meeting to be held in Hutto Texas - May 10, 2008
Are you experiencing problems with your Lennar Home.  Exspansive shifting soil, roofing defects, nail pops in drywall, plumbing and foundation problems... State and government representatives will be in attendance to help you find solutions for your defective home.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  Learn what others are doing to resolve their problems.  YOU ARE INVITED: No matter who your builder is you are invited to join HOBB at this very important meeting. Read more...

 

Lennar: Expansive clay soil pushing and pulling houses apart
Austin-Statesman: Interview with Lennar Homeowner
By Jay Janner - Hutto clay leaves some home Homes needing... Hutto Park built by Lennar Home. Home construction problems causing major headaches... Hearing the nails popping throughout the day. Continuously on a daily basis your are reminded that you home is defective from the time you walk in.  From the cracks to the holes in the cement outside, to the nail pop...
View video report

Woman Dies as Maryland Officials Tolerate Fly-by-Night Shoddy Contraction Scams
Residents: Agency Didn't Protect Against Shoddy Contractors
Some residents are claiming that the state agency in charge of protecting homeowners knew of problems with two local contractors but did very little until it was too late. The I-Team met with other homeowners who said they were victimized by contractors Robert Scott Huff and/or Greg Haigis. The men are affiliated with Bay Area Design and Build and Arundel Home Connections... "I went down to their desk and told them this is a medical issue. My wife can't get up and down the stairs. My wife can't handle this. You guys have got to get going on this," Artale said. Artale's wife, Linda, died just before the work was supposed to be completed. Read more...

700 Pulte Sun City Stucco Home Defects
Residents: Agency Didn't Protect Against Shoddy Contractors
Some residents are claiming that the state agency in charge of protecting homeowners knew of problems with two local contractors but did very little until it was too late. The I-Team met with other homeowners who said they were victimized by contractors Robert Scott Huff and/or Greg Haigis. The men are affiliated with Bay Area Design and Build and Arundel Home Connections... "I went down to their desk and told them this is a medical issue. My wife can't get up and down the stairs. My wife can't handle this. You guys have got to get going on this," Artale said. Artale's wife, Linda, died just before the work was supposed to be completed. Read more...

Pulte: More than 2,000 Sun City Home with Faulty Trusses
Review of county inspectors progresses slowly
County administrator Gary Kubic hired the firm in October to review the building codes department after learning that county inspectors had failed to spot faulty trusses in the roofs of more than 2,000 Sun City Hilton Head homes. Read more...

 

Houston Chronicle; Nowhere but Texas
Letters to the Editor: Reaction to 'flawed homes'
It has been nearly six long years since "Bob the Builder" Perry and his builder friends bought, built and now operate the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). The state agency offers no help for aggrieved homebuyers; instead, its process forces homeowners into costly protracted legal disputes ending in abusive, binding mandatory arbitration that most cannot afford.  There is far too much blame to go around. It is our obligation as victims to fight for our basic rights that the building industry has systematically taken from us. No one group or group of organizations can possibly stop this madness, which will continue to devastate families unless more become actively involved. See: YouTube Video on Tremont Towers                  Read more...

Houston: Owners stuck with flawed homes
Owners stuck with flawed homes - Families' costs mount, but state, builder give scant help, files show
For years, neighbors in a stylish Montrose cul-de-sac named Hyde Park Crescent fought to get something out of the developer they claim failed to fix faulty windows, water-soaked balconies and defective roofs that spawned leaks, mold and rot in their nearly new $350,000 homes. Families alleged in a lawsuit that they were sold flawed town homes and then stuck with thousands of dollars in repair bills. They also contended that the men behind the company committed a kind of corporate identity fraud to avoid responsibility and keep right on building on other fertile ground in construction-friendly Houston...  Texas laws offer minimal recourse for homeowners, and their complaints often drag on for years with disappointing results, advocates say. Some owners lose money fixing their homes or lose their homes because they can't afford to fix them. See Houston Chronicle Readers Comments                   Read more...

 

Homebuilding industry lobbies for Big Tax Break Rewards for its Predatory Lending
Home builders group spent $3.2M lobbying
Read more...

 

San Antonio Housing look to Buy Back KB Defective Houses
SAHA takes no action on Mirasol settlement
The San Antonio Housing Authority's board of commissioners postponed a decision Tuesday on whether to accept a settlement offer from KB Home, which would have ended a year-old lawsuit over the agency's troubled Mirasol Homes development...SAHA has budgeted $4 million to repair 246 homes and expects to spend roughly $3.5 million on a buyback program that allows Mirasol homeowners to sell their houses to SAHA and retain their first-time homebuyer status...Homeowners and tenants still attend SAHA board meetings to complain about the quality of repairs in their houses. Read more...

 
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