Author Topic: Government drags its feet over setting up New Homes Ombudsman  (Read 3627 times)

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Government drags its feet over setting up New Homes Ombudsman
« on: November 05, 2018, 08:08:44 am »
As there is still no publication of the feedback reponse and it would appear no sense of urgency from government regarding the creation of a new homes ombudsman announced last month.
I have sent Secretary of State James Brokenshire this e mail:

Dear Mr Brokenshire, 

I was delighted to hear your announcement on 1st October 2018 that a statutory New Homes Ombudsman was being created. Especially, as you may be aware, as I have been campaigning for this for over four years.
You said:
”we need to address quality issues in new homes. “That’s why I can announce today the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman. This new watchdog will champion homebuyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account. And give confidence that when you get the keys to a new home you get the quality build you expect and the finish you’ve paid for. “
This will help ensure consumers buying new homes will have an independent and legally backed route of redress against developers who do not deliver what they promise.
We want to protect consumers and ensure everyone has a great place to live and raise a family, currently there is no statutory process to bring redress.”
I am therefore keen to ensure these are not just words, one of an apparent endless stream of announcements and consultations that never appear to result in any implementation.

Please take time to read the Hansard extract in this link from 22 April 1998.

Commons debate regarding poor quality new homes, the NHBC and calling for redress for new home buyers.
Twenty years ago yet the same problems exist right now, with poor quality new  homes, indifferent housebuilders, inadequate warranties and zero redress for those buying UK new homes.

I wrote to my MP on 7th September,  regarding the lack of publication of feedback on the responses of your department’s consultation, which ended 16 April 2018 - nearly seven months ago!
On 27 October I received a response from my MP enclosing a letter from Heather Wheeler which does not indicate any degree of urgency, stating “we intend to publish our consultation response later this year”
Intend? When exactly? Why the delay?

Mrs  Wheeler also states:  "Ensuring that consumers have access to redress when they encounter problems with their housing is a priority for this government"

"We intend to legislate to require all new developers belong to a new homes ombudsman. We will work with consumers and industry to develop our proposals and will publish more in due course."
That word "intend" again, not "we will"  "Develop our proposals" ? There has already been a consultation and an APPG Inquiry regarding the New Homes Ombudsman.  “publish more details in due course” Again vague with no actual date of WHEN!
This statement hardly demonstrates that the creation of a  new homes ombudsman  really is "a priority for this government" does it?

There is no reason at all why a fully functioning new homes ombudsman could not be created by the end of next year. Will you announce a fixed date when the government expect the new homes ombudsman to be operational?
It is now time to implementation not discussion. Talking isn't doing.

Everyday more and more people are being encouraged by this government to buy new build homes using help to buy which is not available for those buying existing homes. Every one of those new homebuyers will discover their home to be defective in some way. This is fact. Sadly many of these will suffer trying to get indifferent plc housebuilders to rectify these defects and some will have bought new homes with very serious structural defects for example weak mortar.

I have devoted the last 13 years of my life campaigning and helping new homebuyers via my websites.
I trust this government will act on the information it already has and start to create the statutory new homes ombudsman without unnecessary further delay.

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