PHOENIXVILLE − May 10, 2024 – State Senator Katie Muth (D-Chester/Montgomery/Berks), chair of the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Committee, joined Sen. Nikil Saval (D-Philadelphia) and Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) today in Phoenixville to co-host a public hearing examining challenges faced by owners of newly built homes in Pennsylvania and the lack of protections for these residents in state and local laws. 

“As a new homeowner living in a newly constructed neighborhood, being a first-time home buyer and owner has been challenging and a major eye opener.  I’ve learned that this struggle extends far beyond my neighborhood, with others living in SD44 and across the state who are experiencing similar or even worse situations,” Muth said. “So many Pennsylvanians put their life savings into what they think is a dream home – but they end up living a very expensive and very stressful nightmare. Today’s hearing highlighted many consumer issues, and how lack of enforcement and accountability harm residents all across this state – as well as the weaknesses in state laws which allow builders and developers to financially deceive buyers. All levels of government need to step up and make the necessary changes to laws and regulations to ensure consistent oversight and enforcement.  Further, it’s clear that skilled labor and skilled workers is imperative in ensuring quality homes are built.”

The hearing, held at the Phoenixville Borough Building in Chester County, featured two panels of testimony. The first panel included two impacted residents who have each dealt with several construction and water issues in their newly constructed homes. The second panel focused on code enforcement and inspection issues in the construction industry.

“As a realtor, I understand the devastating impact it can have on a family when a new home construction or a remodel project isn’t completed as anticipated or promised,” Fontana said. “This hearing provided me with some valuable input regarding what is working and what needs some adjustments in terms of licensure, Pennsylvania’s laws and the role the different state agencies play.” 

According to testimony provided by Marc Faulkner, a trained electrician and owner of a certified inspection company, there is no requirement for a contractor to be licensed in their selected trade and requirement by the state for the licensing of plumbers, framers, HVAC, or even electricians.  

“Housing stability affects all aspects of our lives—our families, our work, our health, and our communities. Many people look to homeownership as the best way to achieve this essential stability only to find out that the new home they’ve used all their resources to purchase is putting them in danger,” Saval added. “As we begin to engage seriously with the real and pressing supply problem in Pennsylvania’s residential housing sector, we also need to protect residents from dangerous practices that add stress to our lives and erode community cohesion.”

The Committee is also continuing to seek resident input and is asking Pennsylvania residents living in any county, in newly constructed homes to fill out a brief survey about their experiences as an owner of a newly constructed home in Pennsylvania. The survey responses will remain anonymous and will only be used to help inform Committee members of the challenges being faced by so many Pennsylvanians who were sold on the promise of a newly constructed home only to deal with issues of poor workmanship and unreliable contractors after moving in.  The survey results will also ensure that any proposed policies address all the challenges in new home construction statewide. The survey can be accessed at

Participants in the hearing included two former Philadelphia residents, Megan Murray and Peggy Jackson who have had significant issues in their own newly constructed homes; John Abel, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General; Marc Faulkner, Faulkner Inspection Services; and Warren Obenski, Honey Brook Township Manager.

Senator Tim Kearney (D-Delaware) and Senator Lindsey Williams (D-Allegheny) also participated in the hearing virtually.

The Policy Committee did invite several builders to testify at the hearing but all declined participation.

For more information on this policy hearing and to access all submitted testimony and a full recording of today’s hearing, visit  

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Panel 1: Homeowners

Panel 2: Code Enforcement