October 12, 2004
We have had a couple of interesting conversations with media professionals outside the state of Arizona in the last week. As the largess and the influence of the building industry grows in Arizona, our mission changes. At first we just wanted to expose the builder who destroyed our lives and cost us our home. As we have dug into why this builder felt so emboldened to act with impunity, we found that the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) props up these builders and influences the regulators and legislators with their “super-PAC” status. The story just grows and grows and the Arizona media remain silent on the underlying issues behind builder fraud.
The laws in Arizona protect the builders. The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AROC) not only licenses and regulates the building industry; they also promote contractors who are in fact the very people funding the department! How can they be impartial? We have sent a letter to Israel Torres, Director of the AROC asking him exactly who represents the homeowner at the meetings he holds with SAHBA officials. The legislators pass laws that protect builders and make it so expensive to fight a defective house that the average consumer is left in the dust. Who can afford to fight a builder's insurance company? The mortgage companies offer no hope to the homeowner whose house is suddenly worth less than their mortgage. They just foreclose and let their insurance absorb the cost.
The issue in Arizona gets larger by the day. We feel compelled to do something to protect other consumers from our pain. We must challenge the way this industry works! It is not only Arizona that has this problem. We have heard from consumers across the country. From New England to California there is a growing chorus of discontent - voices that need to be heard. As we did last April, we will be picketing the SAHBA homeshow this coming weekend. We will continue to speak out - with passion, with anger, with great commitment to truth and justice.