The Sunset Advisory Commission agreed Tuesday night to recommend that the Texas Residential Construction Commission be reviewed again in four years, instead of the usual 12.
But it said the agency must resolve disputes more quickly and recommended that a recovery fund be established to help compensate homeowners when a builder goes out of business.
The Sunset Commission, a panel of 10 lawmakers and two public members, rejected a staff review that said the agency is ''fundamentally flawed'' and should be abolished. The staff report said the agency is doing more harm than good for homeowners, who must go through the agency's dispute resolution process before they can file lawsuits against builders.
The Legislature, in the session that begins in January, ultimately will decide the future of the agency it created in 2003 at the behest of homebuilders who wanted a process to resolve complaints against their members outside of the legal system.
Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Republican from Katy who is on the Sunset Commission, proposed the streamlined process as a way for homeowners to get to court more quickly.
The Sunset Commission rejected calls from consumer advocates to allow homeowners to bypass the TRCC and go directly to court.
Alex Winslow of the consumer group Texas Watch said compressing the time it takes for the agency to investigate claims is a ''step in the right direction.''
''However, it needs to be coupled with making the process voluntary, so consumers have choices," he said. "For us, that's the bottom line."