YOUNGSVILLE — Youngsville this month lifted a City Council-imposed ban on construction permits to national homebuilder DR Horton, after a probe showed homes built by the company in the Sugar Ridge subdivision met residential construction codes.
Rick Garner, who runs day-to-day operations for the city of Youngsville, said the permit ban ran from Oct. 17-21. The city on Oct. 21 resumed issuing permits to DR Horton, a major homebuilder in Youngsville’s Sugar Mill Pond and the developer of Sugar Ridge, which is part of the Sugar Mill Pond development. DR Horton also is a major builder throughout Louisiana.
The City Council decided to institute a temporary ban on new DR Horton construction at an Oct. 16 meeting after complaints by Sugar Ridge resident Tara Proffitt and others that their new homes’ plumbing leaked and developed mold because of faulty plumbing and subpar piping.
Garner said the city halted new permits after Proffitt alleged city inspectors had approved construction that did not meet the minimum levels of residential construction codes.
“In order to make sure we’re not having anybody move into an unsafe structure, we temporarily froze the permits for DR Horton,” Garner said Monday.
Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator said he met with officials at Parish Inspections LLC, a private home inspection company that contracts with governments in Lafayette, Iberia and other parishes. Viator said the contract inspectors showed him they had not approved a home for occupancy that did not meet minimum construction standards.
Viator said he offered to have Youngsville act as intermediaries between Proffitt, other disgruntled homeowners and DR Horton. Viator said Proffitt told him she had retained an attorney.
“I did as much as I could,” Viator said. “The people who were at the meeting crying refused to cooperate with us.”
Efforts to reach Proffitt for comment Monday were unsuccessful. And as of Monday afternoon, neither Proffitt nor any other homeowners in Sugar Ridge had filed a lawsuit against DR Horton in state district court.
DR Horton spokeswoman Marissa Awbry said in a statement Monday that the company had reached out to Proffitt before the Oct. 16 City Council meeting.
Awbry said DR Horton in a Sept. 16 letter to Proffitt’s attorney “stated the company, in a good faith effort, would be working to resolve their warranty concerns.”
She said two letters sent to Proffitt regarding repairs that could begin in early or mid-October were not acknowledged by Proffitt or her attorney. Awbry did not identify the attorney.
“The satisfaction of our homeowners is a top priority, and DR Horton’s offer to address the homeowner’s concerns remains,” Awbry said.
She said DR Horton provides a “robust” warranty on its new homes.
“We encourage any homeowner to contact us directly if they ever have concerns with their home, and we are committed to superior customer service and providing families with quality homes and neighborhoods in Louisiana,” Awbry said in the statement.