Texas: Houston Home Inspections Go Private

Originally Posted By: gromicko
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(November 3, 2004) – Private firms will be allowed to conduct official building inspections for single-family residential projects in Houston for the first time under a new privatization scheme that aims to solve some of the problems facing the city’s building and real estate industries.

The plan was developed by "housing czar" John Walsh under the guidance of Mayor Bill White.

Local builders say that partial privatization of the residential building inspection process will help alleviate the delays and red tape caused by a recent surge in retirements among public inspectors.

The Greater Houston Builders Association estimates that the 20 or so inspection firms in the city will get a significant boost in business under the new plan. The privatization, set to begin on a pilot basis in about four to six weeks, involves a shift in building inspection oversight from the Planning and Development Department to the Department of Public Works and Engineering. In order to qualify, private building inspectors will have to be certified by the city, prove that they have no ties to the company hiring them, and agree to a payment cap.

Source: Houston Business Journal (11/01/04); Colley, Jenna

Nick Gromicko

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