A message from Janet Ahmad
Countdown to Lobby Day and Sunset Hearing
A message from Janet Ahmad
Countdown to Legislative Day and Sunset Hearing
Only 14 more days until the Sunset Commissions convenes to consider abolishing the Texas Residential Commission (TRCC)
The Texas Sunset Commission staff released a scathing report that concluded the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) is "fundamentally flawed" and should be abolished! Read Staff Report. The story has dominated the news and prompted major editorials in agreement that TRCC should be abolished.
Recently the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
called for abolishment of the TRCC, In a letter to Governor Perry and the Sunset Commissioners
announced: âI stand in support of the rights all Americans to be assured that new homes are built correctly and protected by adequate consumer protection laws. Be assured that new homebuyers will not be denied something so basis as decent housing for their hard earned dollars.â (See link to letter below)
Have you made planes to participate this history making event? Join us for the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) Lobby Day, Press Conference & Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 23, 2008.
We all know that the Texas Residential Construction Commission is broken and homeowners are the ones paying the price. On Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008, we have a unique opportunity to encourage lawmakers to make real reforms through the Sunset Review process.
During our lobby day at the state capitol, you will have the chance to attend the Sunset Commission public hearing, participate in a press conference, and meet with your state legislators to have your voice heard. Please bring a brief (one to two pages maximum), typed version of your story as written testimony to give to the Commission. If you would like to attend the lobby day, it is very important that you RSVP to Texas Watch by September 16th so that we can make legislative appointments for all of our activists. To RSVP or to get more details, please email Megan Morrow, Outreach Director, at
The Sunset Report ranks as one the most significant events in our history. Please help
abolish this TRCC and keep it from spreading to other states Remember homeowners in every state have a stake in what happens in
, so please send your comments to the Sunset Commission as well. If successful in
and builders have their way, undoubted TRCCwill become the benchmark of bad state policy throughout the country. Please help, Contact Members of the Sunset Advisory Commission.
Big News: The Fannie and Freddie Government Take Over. Is this good for the county or another bailout for big business and big builders?Be sure to read and post your comments. (283) Read article below.
Help us to help you by keeping in touch. Tell your story through
, to 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
Janet Ahmad, President
Thank you,Janet AhmadHomeOwners for
OUTSTANDING NEWS UPDATES
Action Alert - Tell Commission to Abolish TRCC
Tell the Sunset Commission to Abolish the
Residential Construction Commission (TRCC)
homebuilders have been given free rein to take advantage of ordinary Texans for far too long. We now have a unique opportunity to demand real reforms that will improve protections and options for
homeowners. Send message to the Sunset Commission
Fannie and Freddie Government Take Over
Treasury's Paulson says government to take over Fannie, Freddie
(MarketWatch) -- The
Treasury Dept. said Sunday it is placing troubled mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae under conservatorship by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Under the plan, the FHFA will assume the power of the board, and the two firms' cheif executives will resign after a transitional period. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said: "Based on what we have learned about these institutions over the last four weeks ... and given the condition of financial markets today, I concluded that it would not have been in the best interest of the taxpayers for Treasury to simply make an equity investment" rather than take over the firms outright. Read and Post Comments
LULAC National President Calls on All Texas Legislators to Abolish TRCC
LULAC Calls for Abolishment of TRCC to Assured New Homes are Built Correctly
It is LULACâs intention to call on all Texas Legislators to abolish the TRCC and support legislation to regulate the homebuilding industry and assure all future new homebuyers that a home is built in compliance with HUD minimum property standards and the state adopted International Residential Code before it is sold. As National President of LULAC I stand in support of the rights all Americans to be assured that new homes are built correctly and protected by adequate consumer protection laws. Be assured that new homebuyers will not be denied something so basis as decent housing for their hard earned dollars. Read more...
Response to TRCC Sunset Review
Response to Sunset Report -TRCC Historic Hallmark for
The Sunset review confirms what Home Owners for
has asserted since the establishment of TRCC in 2003, that there is no incentive for builders to construct homes with care or to get it right the first time. By establishing TRCC as a burdensome process daunted with bureaucratic roadblocks for homeowners; fearless and confident bad builders simply ignored their customers. To that end TRCC aided in pushing 88% of aggrieved homeowners into costly binding mandatory arbitration, protracted legal disputes or to simply give up in submission; setting an historic hallmark for bad state policy. Read more...
Watch Response to TRCC Sunset Review
Texas Watch responds to Sunset Report - TRCC Must be Abolished
Texas Watch agrees wholeheartedly and enthusiastically with the Sunset staffâs recommendation to abolish the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC). The staffâs review of the agency has verified the complaints homeowners have made since the agency was established in 2003 â that the agency is not only an unnecessary barrier to the resolution of disputes between homeowners and builders, but is also a stacked process that does more to protect the interests of the homebuilding industry than those of Texas taxpayers, homeowners, and consumers...We agree with Sunset staff that the TRCC is beyond repair. Homeowners are better served by simply abolishing the agency. Read more...
Chronicle: Builders TRCC scrambles for clever ideas to save the agency
Facing closure, TRCC makes some changes
The governing board of a state agency criticized for being too easy on shoddy home builders adopted proposals on Thursday to make the agency more consumer-friendly but declined to require builders to be licensed and bonded. The Texas Residential Construction Commission also voted down a proposal to modify the commission's makeup to have more public members than builder members. The commission now has four builder members, three public members, one engineer and one inspector. The commission was responding to a sunset staff review report that said the 5-year-old agency is ineffective and should be abolished. Read more...
Take Back Your Rights PAC Response to TRCC Sunset Review
Take Back Your Rights PAC Response to TRCC Sunset Report - Abolishing the TRCC is the right thing to do for all Texans
Our organization commends the fine work that is outlined in the Sunset Staff Report. This comprehensive report revealed the detrimental results the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) has on our new-home consumers. Take Back Your Rights PAC knows that abolishing the TRCC is the right thing to do for all Texans...The commission should not be continued; it should be eliminated. The TRCC is one more obstacle that homeowners in
must endure on the road to dispute resolution. The foundation of the Texas Residential Construction Commission is structurally flawed and must be demolished. The TRCC is both harmful to consumers and wasteful. We must eliminate government waste and remove bad policy. Read more...
Williamson Co. Sheriffâs Office and Taylor Police Dept. at tend meeting of150 disgruntled homeowners
Inspection fees waived for home complaints
...On hand at the meeting were investigators from Taylor PD and the sheriffâs department as well as lawyers representing the Sonterra Homeowners Assoiciation, the Sonterra Municipal Utility District and TRCC. Gravel led the meeting, making sure it did not deteriorate into attacks on Stucky. Gravel shared some of the more sordid stories surrounding homes built by Stucky, including one involving Karen Carter, a wheelchair-bound woman who purchased a house from First Home in Jarrell. Carter bought her home under the condition that her doorways would be widened for her wheelchair. Read more...
housers blog: Abolish TRCC
John Henneberger co-director
Low Income Housing Information Service
The hopelessly flawed Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC) has been recommended for abolition by the Texas Sunset Commission staff. The Sunset staff report on the TRCC concludes, âCurrent regulation of the residential construction industry is fundamentally ﬂawed and does more harm than good.â I reluctantly concur. Read more...
KB Home Promotion Claims Homebuyers are Dissatisfied with the Foreclosure Market
KB Home's Toughest Market Competition May be Its Owner
This is really remarkable! Let me see if I have this right, KB is in using this very odd promotional spin to compete with the âhighly competitive foreclosure marketplace.â A foreclosure market that most likely is glutted with the very same KB cookie cuter models, cheap! If the housing and financial market collapse wasnât such a far-reaching disaster I might fall off my chair in laugher reading this article. If I understand this unique advertising angle it sounds like KB Home is desperate to effectively compete with this giant competitor (85 percent of the market); the very same predatory lending foreclosure scam it was highly instrumental in creating. Myâ¦ myâ¦KBâs creation is now its strongest competition? Read more...
Chronicle: Many applaud panel's suggestion to scrap home builder agency
Consumer Watch : Opinions mixed on the fate of TRCC
Jeryl Bennett paid about $130,000 for her new home four years ago. The appraised value now: $77,000. That dramatic decrease resulted from what Bennett says is a foundation problem, symptoms of which she started noticing shortly after she moved in. But the builder, Lennar Homes, and the Texas Residential Construction Commission have told her the foundation is solid. Consumer advocates and some lawmakers contend that situations like Bennett's highlight their contention that the TRCC is an anti-consumer agency. Nearly two weeks ago, the Sunset Advisory Commission said what TRCC opponents have been wanting to hear: The agency should be abolished because it is "fundamentally flawed."...Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, said he will encourage the sunset commission to go a step further to create a new agency that will "impose real protection for homeowners that ensures builder accountability, quality building standards and real oversight of the home-building industry." Read more...
Express-New Special Report: Agency Lacks Teeth to Force Homebuilders to Act
Homeowners losing fights with builders
The Texas Residential Construction Commission agreed the builder is responsible for the plumbing fiasco, but the agency can't force the company to fix it. That disconnect is one reason the Sunset Advisory Commission staff this month recommended abolishing the agency... The Texas Residential Construction Commission agreed the builder is responsible for the plumbing fiasco, but the agency can't force the company to fix it. That disconnect is one reason the Sunset Advisory Commission staff this month recommended abolishing the agency... âThe remaining 88 percent of reported cases are pursued by one party or the other using the legal system â the very outcome the process was enacted to prevent,â the report said. â Read more...
Homebuilders and Binash whining over Sunset Report to Abolish TRCC
Builders Foolishly Claim Industry Understands what is Best for Consumers
Mr. Binash (President, Greater Houston Builders Association and Wilshire Homes) and any builder that is against abolishment of TRCC and claims the agency is good for consumers are selfishly incorrect. No one is buying the industry (Binash) smoke and mirrors spin, that without TRCC homeowners will end up in "time-consuming and expensive litigation." The true fact is Sunset concluded that of the homeowners with construction defects who were forced into TRCC, 88% were driven to âtime-consuming and expensive litigation.â Sunset further concluded TRCC is bad for homeowners and failed to protect them from the bad actors of the building industry. Shame on the industry that claims an agency that they bought and paid for is somehow good for the consumer. The industryâs attempt to claim to be experts on the subject of what is good for consumers is a hoax. They had their chances and failed miserably while making our
legislators look incompetent for listening to the industry for its legislative wisdom. Abolish TRCC! Itâs bad for consumers and itâs an embarrassment to the industry and
Janet Ahmad. Read more...
Why Realtor Will Not Sell Homes in Hutto, Kyle or any Starter Home Area
Huttoparke Problems Continue, Values Suffer
It is with great fascination that I first saw last year Huttoparke home owners made sure that everyone knew how poorly their homes were built. They may have had no choice but to bring public attention to the problems they were having. In 2006/2007, when our phones rang daily with investors calling to buy in
, many didnât like what I had to say when I told them I wasnât interested in helping them buy a home in Hutto, Kyle or any other starter home area with supposed better cash flow. âItâs a bad ideaâ I would say...I hope the owners in Huttoparke find resolution and all problems are resolved. I feel sorry for them. First time buyers have enough to think about without having to do legal battle with builders. Read more...
Rep Coleman Supports Sunset Conclusions to Abolish TRCC
State Representative Garnet Coleman
This past week the Houston Chronicle editorialized in favor of abolishing the Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), following the recommendation of the Sunset Advisory Commission from a report they issued last week...
homeowners deserve to have a state government on their side when they need it. Read more...
Bob Perry's Money and Political Favors Like TRCC
Local 2 Investigates
' Top Political Donor
Gov. Rick Perry and the top statewide elected officials in
have more than just politics in common. When it comes to padding their political campaigns, one man gives them far more than any other donor. "Bob Perry's automatic checkbook raises the eyebrows of what used to be high-rollers in
," said Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, a non-profit policy and research organization, which tracks the influence of money in
politics. "He (Perry) is just off the charts." Local 2 investigative reporter Amy Davis unmasked the top donor and explains why some say he's giving so much. While Perry's donations are legal and part of the public record, his critics claim his "off the chart" spending is buying influence and even political favors. Read more...
BBB and TRCC Complaints of Little Help to Lennar Homeowners
Homeowners file house complaints with BBB
Copperfield area homeowner Imran Moola had problems with vents tilting and bending, then giving way to water leaks in the house he had built and had lived in for less than two years, but a roof leak around the stove exhaust was of particular concern to him. Several inspections showed that the roof wasnât properly installed, and though it was under warranty for 10 years, a company representative told him that the repair was his responsibility, not Lennar Homes, the builder... Lennar has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, partly due to outstanding unresolved complaints or outstanding unanswered complaints,... Read more...
More Homeowners Claim Lennar Sold Lemons and No Help from TRCC
Woman has been fighting home builders for 4 years
Jeryl Bennett purchased her brand-new three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in August of 2004. The home, located in
subdivision near Interstate 45 in Spring, was built by Lennar Homes, Inc. and was documented to be worth $134,000 when Bennett bought it. But in October of 2007, the Appraisal Review Board of Harris County Appraisal District said the home was worth $70,000. Bennett believes poor construction by the builders is the reason for the drop in value of a home that Bennett now refers to as âa piece of junk.â...Bennett said sheâs been in a battle with Lennar and TRCC since she purchased her home and said Lennar has given her the run-around and taken advantage of her. Read more...
Understanding the Failure and Elimination of TRCC
Sunset staff: Eliminate builder commission
The Sunset staff report on the construction commission is already controversial. The homebuilder lobby immediately attacked the reportâs recommendation to abolish the commission. The action of the staff itself, and ultimately the Legislature, will be an interesting test of whether lawmakers are actually committed to reducing the size of government."The
Residential Construction Commission was never meant to be a true regulatory agency with a clear mission of protecting the public," the staff report notes. "Despite changes last Session ostensibly to strengthen the process by making builders subject to new penalties if they refuse to offer repair of a confirmed defect, the Commission still has no real power to require builders to make needed repairs. Read more...
Gets Serious about Consumer Protection
home builder charged with Consumer Protection violations
The charges allege that Premiere Homes' building contracts contain illegal clauses that the builder used to terminate building contracts with consumers without any liability if it failed to build a client's home. The charges also allege that Premiere Homes repeatedly took advantage of this temrination clause when favorable market conditions caused housing prices prices to rise. The AG's Office says the company would cancel its contracts to build homes after one year and refused to build the homes unless consumers signed new contracts agreeing to pay Premiere Homes more money. Read more...
Express-News Editorial: TRCC Doomed to Failure
Time to demolish flawed commission
Critics contended that the resolution process was already stacked against homeowners before the commission went to work. So it was incumbent on lawmakers and Gov. Rick Perry â who appoints the nine commissioners â to create a new entity that leveled the playing field. That wasn't likely to occur in
, where the campaign contributions and lobbyists of builders and developers are a potent force... The sunset panel found a construction commission that was âfundamentally flawed.â âIt's really doing more harm to homeowners than good,â the panel's executive director told the Express-News Austin Bureau. Read more...
Chronicle Commentary: TRCC and Builders Money
A builder, a commission, a lot of cash
It remains to be seen what will happen to the recommendation to abolish the Texas Residential Construction Commission, but it is no sure thing, thanks largely to the money with which
home builder Bob Perry continues to shower lawmakers. Although the proposal was applauded by consumers, who view the agency as little more than a protective haven for home builders, the first of several potential obstacles is the Sunset Advisory Commission itself, which must decide whether to endorse or reject its staff's work. Read more...