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 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.