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News Release    

June 18, 2003

Steinhaus Releases Home Improvement Guidelines for Seniors

Poughkeepsie... County Executive William R. Steinhaus released home repair and improvement guidelines for senior citizens. Senior citizens across the county will be mailed a handy and informative guide to reference when engaging home improvement contractors for the purchase of goods and services.

The County Executive said, “Every year the Dutchess County Department of Consumer Affairs receives inquiries from homeowners who are planning, or have already contracted for home improvements. Many of these inquiries are actual complaints about incomplete or inferior workmanship. “Older citizens are more often the target of home repair and improvement scams. With the development and release of these guidelines, our goal is to educate consumers about problems that can be prevented before they occur,” Steinhaus noted.

According to the Director of Consumer Affairs, Nelson Kranker, research shows 59 percent of people 55 years or older own their homes free and clear; seniors overwhelmingly want to stay in their homes; and seniors tend to be more trusting than the general population. Steinhaus added, “That means senior citizens are more inclined to make repairs and they are also more vulnerable to unscrupulous home repair contractors.”

Steinhaus noted, “The guide can also be useful to any consumer looking for home repair and improvement work. Any consumer who would like a copy of the guide, has a consumer question, wants to file a complaint, or believes you may have become a victim of fraud, should contact the Consumer Affairs Department at 486-2949. If you own or have access to a computer and would like more consumer tips or additional information on the services provided by the Department of Consumer Affairs visit our website at www.co.dutchess.ny.us.