Yesterday the House State Affairs Committee killed Senate Bill 177 on a party line vote. While the spin on SB 177 from a coalition led by the Metro Mayors Caucus and Denver Chamber of Commerce was impressive, there is no question the bill would have destroyed the rights of homeowners living in HOAs to hold builders fully accountable for their defective construction. A week earlier, the same Committee killed Senate Bill 91, which would have reduced the statutes of limitations and repose relating to construction defects for single family homes.
After testifying on SB 177 yesterday in Committee, I sat through five hours of testimony on the bill. I was astounded that the Mayor of Lakewood, Mayor of Littleton and other members of their coalition never talked about the horrific consequences that SB 177 would have had on homeowners living in their communities. It was painfully obvious they were willing to sacrifice homeowners to potentially spur condominium construction. However, not one of these witnesses testified that the destruction of homeowner rights would actually result in the construction of affordable housing. In fact, their failure to tie immunity for builders to construction of affordable housing is why the bill died in Committee.
There is no question that it is in the best interest of HOAs, homeowners living in them and builders to settle defect claims early on in the process. There is also no question that the current system for resolving defect claims is broken. It’s time for the coalition to sit down with representatives of Community Associations Institute and homeowners to determine what is actually broken and to develop a fair and balanced approach to fix the problems. It’s time to stop the insanity and work together!