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Media Advisory: Rice Requests Public Input To Solve Home Construction & Condo Issues

NEWARK – Senator Ronald L. Rice today said that he is looking forward to the public’s input on how to better protect home buyers in New Jersey and people’s opinion on current and future condo laws, at a Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee hearing here on Monday.

The panel will take public testimony on Monday, November 6th at 4 p.m. at the Smith Lecture Hall on the campus of Essex County College, 303 University Ave.

“Last year, the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) uncovered major problems with poorly built homes,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “The number of residents with nightmarish experiences of negligent workmanship in their homes has been overwhelming and I want to give homebuyers a forum to express their personal stories and to offer suggestions on how to make sure that homes built in this State are safe.

Senator Rice, the Committee Chairman and sponsor of a package of reform bills based on SCI recommendations, said “This legislation will increase government oversight and provide safeguards for those purchasing homes in New Jersey.”

The four bills that will be voted on at a future committee meeting include:

S-1824, to establish a Bill of Rights for new homebuyers. The rights would include ensuring a fair and realistic opportunity to seek mortgage financing and allowing homebuyers to require the holding of escrows for items that are incomplete.

S-1825, to enhance the protections under the current “New Home Warranty and Builders’ Registration Act” to include longer warranties and an expansion of what is covered under those warranties.

S-1826, to amend the “State Uniform Construction Code Act” to provide a procedure for getting inspections done properly and in a timely manner.

S-2046, to enhance the protections of purchasers of units in housing developments where some parts of the property are under common ownership and control.

The Committee would also like to hear from the public on condo laws and the rights of unit owners, governing boards and associations.

“There are a few bills on the rights of condo associations’ and owners that have been referred to my committee, but it is important to hear directly from the public about how they feel on this issue before posting any bills,” said Senator Rice. “I urge the public to come to the hearing and share their personal stories. Only after hearing from the public can I know what bill would best serve the people of New Jersey.”