News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Bill would create New Commission

By J. Lyn Carl,

Austin, TX – Legislation to create the Texas Residential Construction Commission was hailed by lawmakers and building industry representatives as a boon to both consumers and industry.

At a press conference today, Sen. Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) said the bill, SB 383, will provide an "enormous benefit to all Texans" by adopting a building standard for the residential construction industry and by providing a tool for resolving disputes between homeowners and builders.

"Home ownership is one of the greatest dreams of any Texan," said Duncan. "We must give them the tools to make these purchases with confidence."

This legislation, coupled with the Residential Construction Liability Act of 1989 will allow Texas "to take a bold step forward" and set the bar for other states, said Duncan.

The legislation was crafted by leaders of the state's home building industry, industry experts and a number of lawmakers.

Co-author Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) said home ownership is often difficult and that rarely are homes built and turned over to homeowners without some level of litigation involved. "It's just not right," he said.

King said often what is taken up in court could have been negotiated among the parties instead. The legislation, he said, does not remove an individual's right and opportunity to go to court but puts a "simple and expedited system" in place for dispute resolution.

The House member said the legislation "sets up a process Texas can be proud of," one that will "be great for Texas families, for Texas homeowners and for home builders."

Another co-author, Rep. Allan Ritter (D-Nederland), applauded homebuilders for working with the legislature and the industry to draft the legislation. "We're doing the right thing for Texans, the right thing for consumers and the right thing for the industry in Texas."

Bob Garrett, president of the Texas Association of Builders, said filing the legislation marks a "history-making day" because for the first time, the residential construction industry would fall under state regulation.

The commission the legislation would create would include nine members, both industry and public representatives. That commission would be charged with adopting standards and settling disputes that might arise between homebuilders and homebuyers.

The commission would also create specific residential construction and warranty standards for builders to follow. The standards would regulate how homes are built and how they should perform. The homebuilder would be forced to stand behind what was built.