Frank Bradshaw and his 13-year-old granddaughter were fighting for their lives in a defective home built on expansive clay soil — soil that’s great for cotton farming but caused their concrete slab foundation to crack and develop plumbing leaks inside. Their doctors said their survival depended on getting out. Frank is a wheel chair bound disabled Vietnam vet with respiratory problems caused by Agent Orange and made worse by critical levels of mold in their home. His granddaughter has severe asthma caused by the mold. To make matters worse, he and his wife Sandee bought their home in Hutto, TX eight years ago but can’t sell it today due to its many construction defects that the builder won’t fix, defects seem to be in hundreds of homes and caused realtors to black-ball the neighborhood.
Advancements in housing – from indoor plumbing to building codes and contractor licensing – were once driven by the need to protect the health, safety and welfare of occupants. But those objectives are too often overlooked today, as builders focus more on profits and protection from lawsuits with tort reform legislation.
Still, it’s important to remember how housing affects health, because conditions in and around the home can cause or contribute to disease and health concerns that put young children and the elderly at risk.
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