British Columbia's Homeowner Protection Office was born in 1998, following the province's leaky condo fiasco. But at least one homeowner advocate won't be mourning its imminent death, which was quietly announced earlier this week. According to budget documents released on Tuesday, the office will be wound up effective April 1, 2010 as part of an effort to "reduce corporation overhead" and find "administration efficiencies" across government.
"From a consumer standpoint, it makes absolutely no difference because there was no protection coming from the office," commented John Grasty, the former president of Consumer Advocacy and Support for Homeowners. "It was in existence for 11 years. It was a failed experiment as far as the consumer concerned."
The office's responsibilities will be divided between BC Housing and the ministry of finance. During the budget lock-up, the government was unable to say how much money would be saved by its closure. That decision follows the scrapping of a high-profile interest-free loan program for leaky condo owners which was administered by that office.