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PulteGroup, Inc. Message Board

  • wilson2207 wilson2207 Apr 28, 2005 1:39 PM Flag

    Home-building report/broken system I

    The following has nothing to do with PHM:
    The emperor is fully clothed. There is no man behind that curtain. There is no wolf. And, WMD's were found in Iraq. From the, Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings web site:

    Home-building report seeks to fix broken system
    Published in the Asbury Park Press 04/20/05

    It has long been an article of faith in this country that buying a home is a fulfillment of the American dream. For many it still is. But for many others, it has turned into the worst sort of consumer nightmare.

    The State Commission of Investigation, of which I am chairman, recently completed an inquiry into new-home construction and inspections in New Jersey, and the picture that emerged is not a pretty one. The final report of this unprecedented investigation sets forth a catalog of shoddy and deficient construction practices, lax regulatory oversight and poor remediation options that routinely plunge unsuspecting new-home purchasers into a quagmire of waste, fraud and abuse.

    And it's not just in one community, but all over the state � in single homes and housing developments, high-priced and affordable, in suburban and urban areas across New Jersey, particularly with regard to large-scale production builders.

    Imagine putting your hard-earned savings on the table and signing on the dotted line only to discover � too late � that the new home you've just bought has a structurally unsound roof, or wobbly walls, or cracked pipes, or a basement or crawl space prone to flooding, or an improperly installed heating system that vents carbon monoxide directly into the living space.

    How could this happen? We found that the construction code inspection and enforcement process, in particular, is fraught with serious shortcomings. Despite significant defects in newly built homes, including structural weaknesses that constitute potentially hazardous conditions, certificates of occupancy have been issued by local government authorities. In extreme situations, forged and fraudulent COs were generated in order to speed the closing of sales with buyers who, for their part, were led only to believe that everything was in proper order.

    The investigation also revealed instances in which local construction officials accepted gifts and other inducements from builders amid lax, deficient or non-existent inspections.

    In short, this is a broken system badly in need of repair. What can be done?

    As an independent fact-finding agency, the SCI has an obligation to set forth practical recommendations once it has identified systemic problems. Of course, we also have a statutory duty to refer evidence of potential criminal misconduct uncovered during our investigations to prosecutors. We have done that in a number of instances as a result of this probe.

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