STOP ALLOWING HOME BUILDING ATROCITIES

April 7, 2006

Updates on SAHBA Events and Initiatives

The article above appeared in the SAHBA Blueprint Magazine in December 2005.  It’s the annual call to take up arms against the consumer.  Please donate your money so we can screw Joe Q Public with five times the influence that anyone else has.  They get their money’s worth; So much so in fact that their lobbyist from last year, Jonathan Paton is a new Republican Representative this year.  So go ahead SAHBA members make that $10 donation – then pray for the family member or friend that encounters a corrupt builder.  After all – If the insurance you touted to “Deflect Building Defect Complaints” doesn’t work – the pro-builder legislation you pay for will certainly do the trick.  After all it is a government for the corporation isn’t it?   We must start a SuperPAC for the consumer so we can compete.  Anyone want to help us with that?


Above you see a Picture of  Republican Senator Jon Kyl talking to SAHBA members.  Below is our letter to him.  Big Surprise, to date,  Senator Kyl has not responded.

Senator Jon Kyl
7315 North Oracle Road, Suite 220
Tucson, Arizona 85704

March 12, 2006

Dear Senator Kyl,

As your constituents we are livid over your recent appearance at a SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) meeting.  We are an ex-military family who lost our home due to the actions of SAHBA and specifically a SAHBA supported builder.  SAHBA touts themselves as “community builders” with a certified custom builders program.  This certification lends credibility to the custom home building process and would be a benefit to consumers if it actually meant something.  It does not.  SAHBA is an anti-consumer organization and your appearance at their meeting gives them more power in the Sate Legislature. 

The home building system in Arizona is rife with fraud and deceit.  The legal system is set up to support the builders and developers at the expense of your constituents.  While the builder is represented by his insurance company lawyers, the homeowner must pay out of pocket to fight any defects.  This process has led to the financial ruin of many homeowners, including us. 

McCreary Homes, a SAHBA certified custom home builder, built our home with over 200 defects.  SAHBA Attorney Marc Simon then represented McCreary in a lawsuit.  Despite all sides agreeing that our home was defective; the legal process was dragged out for over 2 years.  State Farm Insurance (Representing McCreary) spent more fighting us than what it would have cost to fix our home.  We could no longer afford the thousands and thousands of dollars it was costing for the legal fight over what should have been ours in the first place:  A defect free home!   We couldn’t sell the house because of the defects and were finally forced to turn it back to the bank.  We lost everything and eventually had to file bankruptcy.  For the first time since early in our 25 year marriage we don’t own land or a home – we are now renters.  We are trying to start over but are concerned about those that follow behind us in Arizona.  This is your state Senator.  There is something terribly wrong in the State of Arizona.  The system must be fixed!

We thought a good place to start would be to let SAHBA know that they were supporting a deficient builder.  We know from our involvement in HADD (Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings) that other SAHBA supported builders also have complaints lodged against them.  SAHBA makes no effort to protect the community that they say they build.  We wrote letters of complaint to the SAHBA board of directors; many letters.  Our complaints to SAHBA about their continued support of this builder have gone unanswered.  SAHBA chose to turn a blind eye to a builder whose shoddy work caused devastation to this family.  The certification they tout to the public is nothing more than a sham designed to raise more funds for this Arizona SuperPac. 
We would hate to think that SAHBA’s SuperPac status is what lured you to appear at their meeting.  But as constituents, we need to know if you support what they stand for.

We need your answers to these questions:

1. Do you support an organization that does not care if people lose their homes at the hands of their members?
2. Do you support ex-military families losing their home? 
3. What can you do to help the State of Arizona develop a more equitable system for homeowners? 
4. Would you ask SAHBA to respond to us?  
5. Will you refuse to meet with them again until they stand behind their own written policies? 
6. Whose side are you on?  Will you stand with Arizona homeowners or with the lobbyist’s and SuperPacs? 

Please Senator don’t tell us there is nothing you can do.  We have heard the “It’s a state matter” excuse before. You care enough about SAHBA to answer their questions at the State level – we expect you to answer ours.  We did nothing wrong.  We simply followed the American dream of building your own home – it cost us everything.  It almost cost us each other.  We continue to struggle day to day with rebuilding our lives and finding some measure of justice.  We know that you are in a tight race for your Senate seat Senator Kyl, but we would appreciate your affording us the same courtesy you gave to SAHBA by personally answering our questions. Your meeting with SAHBA was not open to the public, so we didn’t have the opportunity to ask you about them there.  We look forward to your written response to our questions by March 20, 2006.


We have also sent the following letter to Senator McCain – There was no response.

Senator John McCain
407 W. Congress Street  Suite 103
Tucson, Arizona 85701

March 27, 2006

Dear Senator McCain,

As your constituents, we are incensed over Jon Kyl’s recent appearance at a SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) meeting.  We are an ex-military family (12 years as an attack pilot) who lost our home due to the actions of SAHBA and specifically a SAHBA supported builder.  SAHBA touts themselves as “community builders” with a certified custom builders program.  This certification is supposed to lend credibility to the custom home building process and would be a benefit to consumers if it actually meant something.  It does not.  SAHBA is an anti-consumer organization and his appearance at their meeting gives them more power in the State Legislature. 

The home building system in Arizona is rife with fraud and deceit.  The legal system is set up to support the builders and developers at the expense of your constituents.  While the builder is represented by his insurance company lawyers, the homeowner must pay out of pocket to fight any defects.  This process has led to the financial ruin of many homeowners, including us. 

McCreary Homes, a SAHBA certified custom home builder, built our home with over 200 defects.  SAHBA Attorney Marc Simon then represented McCreary in a lawsuit.  Despite all sides agreeing that our home was defective; the legal process was dragged out for over 2 years.  State Farm Insurance (Representing McCreary) spent more fighting us than what it would have cost to fix our home.  We could no longer afford the thousands and thousands of dollars it was costing for the legal fight over what should have been ours in the first place:  A defect free home!   We couldn’t sell the house because of the defects and were finally forced to turn it back to the bank.  We lost everything and eventually had to file bankruptcy.  For the first time since early in our 25 year marriage we don’t own land or a home – we are now renters.  We are trying to start over but are concerned about those that follow behind us in Arizona.  This is your state Senator.  There is something terribly wrong in the State of Arizona.  The system must be fixed!

We thought a good place to start would be to let SAHBA know that they were supporting a deficient builder.  We know from our involvement in the national non-profit HADD (Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings) that other SAHBA supported builders also have complaints lodged against them.  SAHBA makes no effort to protect the community that they say they build.  We wrote letters of complaint to the SAHBA board of directors; many letters.  Our complaints to SAHBA about their continued support of this builder have gone unanswered.  SAHBA chose to turn a blind eye to a builder whose shoddy work caused devastation to this family.  The certification they tout to the public is nothing more than a sham designed to raise more funds for this Arizona SuperPac.
 
We would hate to think that SAHBA’s SuperPac status is what lured Kyl to appear at their meeting. As a strong defender of campaign finance reform, we hope that you would not attend their meetings in order to gain their contributions.   But as constituents, we need to know if you support what they stand for.

We need your yes or no answers to these questions:

1. Do you support an organization that does not care if people lose their homes at the hands of their members?
2. Do you support ex-military families losing their home? 
3. Will you help the State of Arizona develop a more equitable system for homeowners? 
4. Would you ask SAHBA to respond to us?  
5. Will you refuse to meet with them until they stand behind their own written policies? 
6. Are you on the side of developers and builders?
7. Will you stand with the lobbyist’s and SuperPacs?
8. Will you stand with Arizona homeowners? 

Please Senator don’t tell us there is nothing you can do. If you want to have a say on this issue your voice will be heard.  You are much too powerful and influential to be ignored.  We have heard the “It’s a state matter” excuse before.  Obviously Senator Kyl cares enough about SAHBA to answer their questions at the State level – we expect you to answer ours. 

We did nothing wrong.  We simply followed the American dream of building your own home – it cost us everything.  It almost cost us each other.  We continue to struggle day to day with rebuilding our lives and finding some measure of justice.  What specifically will you do to help? Our involvement with HADD has shown us that this is a national issue and while it is not just Arizona’s problem; Arizona is where we live.  Arizona is where your children live – Is this what you want for them?  Senator, are you part of the problem or will you choose to be part of the solution?  We look forward to your written response to our questions by April 5, 2006.


New Board Members were recently installed at SAHBA.  Will any of these people have the courage to contact us – let us know what they are doing to protect home owners from defective custom home builders under their custom home builder certification program?  Or like the last three boards will they just ignore us and hope we will go away?  We won’t.  Somehow, some way we will be at every home show until you make your programs mean something and until our nightmare has been acknowledged and rectified.  We will never stop exposing, never stop working for the benefit of consumers.


It’s bad enough that we as consumers have to fight SAHBA, but their SuperPAC access to high placed government officials still astounds us.  When does the Governor meet with homeowners who have had nightmarish experiences with SAHBA and their builders?  We have a list of people who have filed complaints.  Perhaps the Governor and her officials would set up a meeting with us?


And the circle goes round and round. . . . .  lobby for corporate sponsored legislation . . . . support corporations . . . . . . . get money for lobbying . . . . . .  repeat cycle.   The only thing missing in this scenario is the consumer.  Who is lobbying for you?  Not SAHBA  . . .  Not 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty . . . .  We are on the outside of the circle.  Does this seem right to you?

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