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ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration
Byron Harris WFAA News8 Homebuilder Reform
Friday, 22 April 2005

Consumers want homebuilder reforms
"The TRCC was not created to help the consumers," consumer advocate John Cobarruvias said. "It was created for the builders; it was created by the builders." ...State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, has filed a bill that would erase the fee the commission charges consumers to enter complaint resolution, increase builders' registration fees to $500 and require all builders to participate in the Texas Star Builder process to improve quality... There are now more than 18,000 builders registered to construct homes in Texas. The TRCC has denied just eight applications. Video:Byron Harris reports

Consumers want homebuilder reforms
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

By BYRON HARRIS / WFAA-TV

Some owners of new homes in the Lone Star State are mad at their builders, and Monday night they vented their anger at state legislators in Austin.

Two years ago, the Legislature established the Texas Regulatory Construction Commission to mediate homebuilding disputes. Now, consumers want the agency beefed up.

If you've got a complaint about your new home, it's supposed to end up at the TRCC. The agency has only been in business a few months, but critics said that's long enough to determine the TRCC is not working.

"The TRCC was not created to help the consumers," consumer advocate John Cobarruvias said. "It was created for the builders; it was created by the builders."

It costs homebuilders $150 a year to register with the commission, yet it costs a homeowner $350 to enter into the complaint resolution process, though that money is usually refundable.

In most cases filed so far, builders have been found at fault. But the agency has only processed 137 complaints.

"We are ... designed to provide resolution to homeowner and builder complaints, and expedite the matter without the individuals having to go through the legal process," the TRCC's Steve Thomas said.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, has filed a bill that would erase the fee the commission charges consumers to enter complaint resolution, increase builders' registration fees to $500 and require all builders to participate in the Texas Star Builder process to improve quality.

"It takes the burden off a consumer to file a complaint," said Farrar.

There are now more than 18,000 builders registered to construct homes in Texas. The TRCC has denied just eight applications.

 
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Outsized Ambition, Greed and
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