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Willowbrook Residents Take Aim at Builder

Residents ask County Commissioners to stop KB Homes from building more developments in Manatee County.

Residents of the county's Willowbrook condominiums pleaded with County Commissioners on Tuesday to prevent KB Homes from building anything else in Manatee County until they resolve existing construction problems.

KB Homes, they said, has been abe to get away with shoddy home construction that has led to failing balconies, moisture intrusion and mold.

Commissioners stopped short of going to KB Homes executives. Instead they asked the county attorney and county inspectors for a report about KB Homes, the problems with the condominiums and when they can expect repairs to be completed. The county's inspectors were out at the condominums this week to document the problems at the housing development.

KB Homes did not send a representatitve to Tuesday's meeting, even though residents informed the company they planned to meet with commissioners about the problems.

Cara Kane, a spokeswoman for KB Home, told the Herald-Tribune in an emailed statement,

"KB Home has made a comprehensive proposal to the Willowbrook Association to resolve the homeowners' concerns and complete repairs to the impacted homes. Again this week, KB Home was actively making repairs to the accessible homes, and we stand ready to continue to address any concerns."

But residents told commissioners that the company has never addressed the major issues. Residents, who are prohibited under their contracts from suing the company, have inundated KB Homes with letters listing complaints. Those letters have also been sent to stte and federal officials.

Under the terms of the purchase contracts, homeowners must enter into arbitration over any problems with their homes.

Tony T August 22, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Where were the inspedctors when these condos and other were built? I hope it's not the same inspectors?
Kylie A August 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Sadly, I believe some of them are. One of the inspectors even noted that he would have never signed off on these homes...until it was pointed out that it was his signature on the Certificate of Occupancy. Maybe he and other inspectors during that time were not actually looking to see that these were built to code. Additionally during a recent interview, Manatee’s CJ Dupre (who was named Building Official of the Year in 2011) said he would have no problem living in these homes and residents could have intentionally made some of the damages to the homes themselves. What a slap in the face to the families who have been dealing with these issues for years. I'm thankful that the Manatee County Commission listened to residents and hope that they will show more concern and common sense than the inspectors and building officials.
KB Home Sucks August 24, 2012 at 07:22 PM
The following website says that it believes KB Home has lowered the standards of the industry leaving many homeowners stuck with a liability, even to the point of foreclosure and has had more websites against it than any other builder! What a company! Check out http://www.kb-homesucks.com

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