August 19, 2008
Bye-bye, TRCC

Good riddance if it goes away.

An agency created to resolve disputes between homeowners and builders is "fundamentally flawed" and should be abolished, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff said today.

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

The Texas Residential Construction Commission must be reauthorized by the Legislature next year as part of the state's sunset review process.

This is the agency's first review since it was created in 2003 with support of home builders who wanted a system to resolve disputes before homeowners could go to court.

Since its inception, consumers have griped about costs and delays in trying to resolve complaints through the agency process.

A state audit last year faulted the construction commission for sloppy record-keeping that made it difficult to determine how well complaints were being handled.

The staff review found problems with the regulatory processes, including the requirements to register as a builder, the way bad builders are handled and the difficulties for homeowners trying to complete the dispute resolution process before filing a lawsuit.

"No other regulatory agency has a program with such a potentially devastating effect on consumers' ability to seek their own remedies," the report states.

The fix on this travesty was in from the beginning when Governor Perry appointed one of Bob Perry's right-hand men to the commission. What were the odds an aggrieved homeowner was ever going to get a fair shake from that?

The report will be considered next month by lawmakers and public members of the commission.

Home builders, a powerful source of campaign donations to legislative candidates, are likely to fight to retain the agency.

I like the way one Chron commenter put it: "If this commission was of benefit to consumers, why would builders want to keep it so bad?" Because it's a lot easier to draw a winning hand when you have full control of the deck. Let's hope this is indeed the end for this useless agency. The Observer has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 19, 2008 to That's our Lege

All builders are required to register with the TRCC. But there are no penalties if they do not. The website has no mention anywhere on what happens to a builder if they do not register. Pretty slick way to protect the builders.

Posted by: Jost on August 19, 2008 9:42 PM

This is one builder that is not in agreement with the Builders associations. I say it can go away. It has done nothing but harm and anyone that is caught in their web whether they be guilty or innocent. They becomes guilty on the trcc's part and the treatment is indescribable. It is so badly broken that it is pathethic. You do know that all of the links to the Oversights pdf files are deadlinks? That I find to be very interesting.

I was trying to find the information about when and where they were meeting next week without any luck. I plan on being there.


Posted by: l Mann on September 19, 2008 3:53 PM
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