Here is my Whirlwind Washington Wrap-up. Many of us prefer smaller government. Being small-business people, we all know that rules and regulations can stifle our ability to do what we want, when we want to do it. Being self-employed gives us the ability to be nimble and take advantage of opportunities as they appear. Government rules often dampen our free enterprise spirit.
The fact is, however, that other very large players in the home inspection transaction would like nothing more than to rein in our freedom using regulations favoring their position at the expense of home inspectors. And those other entities have a lot more money and would love to wield their power to promote their agenda. One example of the wealth of those groups was apparent when Randy Pence, our lobbyist on Capitol Hill, drove me past the headquarter buildings those organizations have in Washington D.C. I could see just how much money they had to construct and own their offices on some of the most expensive land in the country.
Without focused, accurately aimed and directed efforts, ASHI home inspectors would have succumbed to the will of those outside players long ago. Mr. Pence is an expert at knowing where to place the maximum amount of effort with a minimal amount of money to achieve David vs. Goliath results in the halls of Congress.
Randy has worked with Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) to sponsor legislation titled “Consumer Protection Home Inspection Counseling Act.” The end result was Section 1451 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which, among other things, requires HUD to:
> “Take such actions as may be necessary to inform potential homebuyers of the availability and importance of obtaining an independent home inspection.”
> Provide a brochure titled, “For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection.”
> Train all HUD housing counselors on the materials specific in Section 1451 that are required to be delivered to HUD housing counseling clients.
> Require all HUD housing counselors to counsel their clients as set forth in Section 1451 with the materials specified in the provision.
That favorable legislation was introduced with Randy Pence’s guidance. It goes to show that a concerted effort of a small, dedicated group of ASHI members has helped us remain an independent advocate for homebuyers.
However, we need to remain vigilant. I have confidence in Randy Pence to keep a watchful eye on Capitol Hill so we will be alerted to any possible unfavorable changes.
Interim Executive Director
American Society of Home Inspectors