The construction industry and, subsequently, home owners have had to suffer yet another tirade of headlines from the media on the national travesty of justice that is the Leaky Homes Syndrome, or the now “rotten” homes.
In the past seven plus years we have seen reports and regulations passed and inflicted on everyone, and the creation of the $20 million a year weathertightness resolution panel that seems to cost all who cross its path.
The resolutions of lawyered up participants are keeping the legal fraternity alive and well, while little, if any, money filters to the home owner and/or builders to fix the actual issues.
You have to ask — would any of this had happened if:
• the BIA had not removed timber treatment,
• proper inspections had been carried out and not via a site drive-by,
• the architectural plan details had not been missed or badly drawn, and
• yes, if the “stretched” products and their specifications were installed with the benefit of hindsight?
The answer is no to all of these. This issue is systemic and we still have yet to deal with the home owners affected by this.
The Hunn report was commissioned and it was a substantial piece of work. This was not about the builders setting out to cause a problem — why would they?
Some of our very best award-winning builders have been caught up in this smear. Instructions and details were followed, but all too often it’s the builder that gets named and shamed, and the poor home owner spirals into what seems a never-ending hell.
I propose a starter for 10. Mr Government, put your hand in your pocket and while we have the capacity gap (otherwise known as a recession), join with the local authorities, stop spending on the litigation and fix the problems.
Fifty percent Government, 25% local authorities, 25% owners by suspensory loan, and make it happen.
Something as bold as this would be showing real leadership in a time of unprecedented hardship in the industry. Surely the home owners are worthy of this help?
Unless someone has the resolve to end this, it will still be here for our children.
Government, stand up beside the BIA you disbanded; councils, step out from behind RiskPool; suppliers, re-supply your newly specified product at cost or free; and builders, pick up your hammer and let’s create a process to fix this once and for all!