Yesterday the legislative session ended but our work continues. It’s been a hard few months advocating for homeowners’ rights, but our fight isn’t over.
It’s simple for us: homeowners deserve to live in safe, well-built homes. When someone unknowingly buys a home with shoddy construction, s/he should have the option of a fair jury trial to hold the developer accountable.
It’s not rocket science.
But when Colorado families have to go up against big developers with seemingly endless resources, it can feel like David vs. Goliath. No one should have to choose between paying their mortgage or fixing their home – but sadly, some homeowners are faced with that impossible choice.
That’s why we fight.
Bad actor developers write clauses in their contracts that force homeowners to go through binding arbitration without the opportunity to appeal an unfair decision when construction defects are discovered. Others use quick fixes to try to run out the clock on when a homeowner can file a claim. The past few years, they have spent dollar after dollar lobbying local elected officials to pass ordinances in cities across Colorado to essentially let them off the hook should they construct a shoddy building — all in the name of affordable housing!
But the people they are supposedly fighting for would actually be the ones least likely to be able to afford to fix shoddy construction, least likely to be able to walk away from their new home, least likely to be able to seek the resources needed to hold the developer accountable.
In addition, it’s been over a year in some of the cities where these developer-driven ordinances were passed…. yet where is all of the affordable housing they promised? Who is being held accountable for the fact that there is neither new affordable housing nor homeowner rights to fight for their home in these cities?
Homeowners shouldn’t lose their rights because they don’t have the money to stand up against big developers. Coloradans shouldn’t have their rights taken away when they fulfill their dreams of buying a home— the most expensive purchase they will ever make.
We promoted affordable housing AND defended homeowner rights.
Homeowner advocates worked hard to promote affordable housing measures that would have directed funds toward developing affordable housing projects and for rental assistance programs at no cost to taxpayers. We also went to the mat for homeowner legal rights, ensuring that a proposal to launch an industry-dominated construction defect judicial pilot program was defeated.
The legislative session is over, but we won’t stop fighting for homeowners’ rights. The bottom line is that anyone who buys a home should expect that it’s built right, and that they don’t lose important legal rights to protect that home when they sign on the dotted line.
That’s what we’re about.