ALBANY, N.Y. (05/10/2016)(readMedia)-- A diverse group of organizations have come together to advocate for legislation that safeguards New Yorkers and insulates communities after catastrophic weather events. Protecting Owners from Roofing and Contracting Harm (PORCH) is calling on lawmakers to advance S5126A/A7339A this session to ensure that New Yorkers are hiring reputable contractors to properly and safely repair their homes.

"The vast majority of contractors and roofers are honest and principled, but there are a select few who prey on disaster victims to line their own pockets," Ellen Melchionni, president of the New York Insurance Association said. "These scam artists target the elderly and the vulnerable to make some quick cash. Passing this legislation will help consumers at a time when they are in the greatest need."

"Too often after a catastrophe or severe weather event, storm scammers flock to the affected area claiming to be qualified contractors," Joe Wehrle, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau said. "These fly-by-night operators perform substandard work or simply take a homeowner's money and run. This bill will help protect disaster victims from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals."

"This bill shines a bright light on costly contractor scams, while empowering homeowners to get honest and well-done repairs," Dennis Jay, executive director, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud said. "Requiring signed repair contracts is especially important to ensure fair dealing after storms."

The New York State Attorney General's Office consistently lists home repair/construction as one of the top 10 consumer complaints. The proposed legislation complements consumer protections already in place and would be applicable statewide.

PORCH is a coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting consumers from scam artists and supporting the work of reputable roofing and contracting businesses.