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IS YOUR STATE NEXT?
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Houston Chronicle Editorial: Shoddily Built
Friday, 22 August 2008

More reasons to raze the badly constructed agency set up to resolve homeowner disputes with builders
The advisory panel that reviews how well state agencies perform and whether they have outlived their usefulness has determined that the body set up to settle disputes between builders and homeowners is "fundamentally flawed" and should be abolished. The fact that consumers are agreeing heartily with the recommendation while the construction industry is lashing out against it speaks volumes about how poorly the agency has served homeowners...Texans indeed need an agency that will provide real protection to victims of dishonest or incompetent builders. But what they have today in the Texas Residential Construction Commission is an ineffective agency built on a shaky foundation too defective to save.

Houston Chronicle Editorial
Shoddily built
More reasons to raze the badly constructed agency set up to resolve homeowner disputes with builders

Post and read other comments on this Editorial
Aug. 21, 2008

The advisory panel that reviews how well state agencies perform and whether they have outlived their usefulness has determined that the body set up to settle disputes between builders and homeowners is "fundamentally flawed" and should be abolished. The fact that consumers are agreeing heartily with the recommendation while the construction industry is lashing out against it speaks volumes about how poorly the agency has served homeowners.

Joey Longley, executive director of the Sunset Advisory Commission, said the agency causes more harm to homeowners than good. "It's not something that we felt could be fixed without some massive overhaul. We think Texas is really better served without it."

Agreed. Homeowners have complained of a dispute resolution deck stacked against them ever since the Legislature created the Texas Residential Construction Commission in 2003 at the behest of construction industry lobbyists. Complying with the dispute resolution process is time-consuming and costly, homeowners have lamented. And there's no going on to file a lawsuit until the often months-long industry-driven process is completed. Most infuriating, consumers said, is the overwhelming perception that their complaints are being heard not by disinterested third parties, but by a panel weighted in builders' favor.

Now the 12-member sunset committee has substantiated many of those criticisms and a host of others as part of its first review of the agency.

Most galling is that TRCC doesn't even accomplish its purported primary goal — that of avoiding lawsuits — the committee reported. Only 12 percent of cases in which TRCC authorized inspectors to review alleged defects resulted in a "satisfactory offer or repair or compensation over the life of the program," reviewers found. The rest of the cases go to court, "the very outcome the process was enacted to prevent."

Texans indeed need an agency that will provide real protection to victims of dishonest or incompetent builders. But what they have today in the Texas Residential Construction Commission is an ineffective agency built on a shaky foundation too defective to save.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/5958839.html#

 
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Reckless Endangerment
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