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Home Owners for Better Building call on HUD Secretay Julian Csstro To Enforce Federal Codes
Saturday, 04 October 2014

Local homeowners call on Julian Castro to overhaul HUD
The Mirasol homes were built using HUD money, and homeowners said if builders had followed HUD's federal building guidelines, the builders would have avoided lawsuits and the wasted, taxpayer money.

Local homeowners call on Julian Castro to overhaul HUD
Joe Conger, KENS 5

    SAN ANTONIO -- With dilapidated and boarded-up homes as a backdrop, a local group is pushing for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro to overhaul how HUD handles its home building.

The group Homeowners for Better Building, or HOBB, said Castro has first-hand knowledge of what happens when HUD homes fail— and they cite the Mirasol development as an example.

Many of the homes along Precious Street are still vacant and boarded up—more than a decade after being built for the San Antonio Housing Authority for low-income homeowners Some of the owners began complaining that their houses began falling apart within weeks of moving in.

The companies that built the homes finally agreed to pay homeowners and SAHA $20 million dollars to settle claims over poor or substandard construction.

The Mirasol homes were built using HUD money, and homeowners said if builders had followed HUD's federal building guidelines, the builders would have avoided lawsuits and the wasted, taxpayer money.

Jennifer Hartman, former mayor of Cibolo, TX. says shortcuts in construction can lead to declining home and community values. (Photo: Jason Eggleston)

Angry homeowners want newly-appointed Castro to reverse HUD's legacy by calling for enforcement of HUD guidelines.

"We're not an isolated community. They are all over: San Antonio, Austin. We've been all around and heard it all across the U.S. these issues are going on. I can't point out one builder because it goes on for multiple builders," said Jennifer Hartman.

Hartman is the former mayor of Cibolo, Texas, and has been dealing with what she calls a "lemon" home for more than a decade. She, along with HOBB, have gone to Austin to ask lawmakers for homeowner-friendly laws that go beyond "contract arbitration."

In 2012, HUD officials wrote Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn, telling him and his constituents that arbitration was the solution to homeowners' problems, not HUD enforcement of its own policy.

"Builders throw up houses overnight, with a disregard for HUD guidelines. The common practice is to submit falsified federal certifications in processing FHA and VA loans. It's a tragedy yet to be understood by home buyers," said Janet Ahmad, President of Homeowners for Better Building.

 http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/texas/2014/10/03/local-homeowners-call-on-julian-castro-to-overhaul-hud/16673107/

 

 

 

 
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