Longtime HGTV Star Under Fire Over ‘Serious Safety Concerns’ in 14 Homes

After spending decades building his reputation as one of the premier home improvement experts in Canada, HGTV star Mike Holmes is under fire for backing a housing development that, in multiple instances, has had so many safety issues that a government agency there has opted to demolish several homes.

Known for his “Holmes Approved Homes” branding and home inspection program in the U.S. and Canada, Holmes — who stars in HGTV shows like “Holmes Family Rescue” — has been named in an $8 million lawsuit that’s come to light since inspectors ordered that three more homes in the TerraceWood subdivision in Meaford, Ontario, be torn down, according to the National Post.

An in-depth investigation by CBC News on January 29, 2024, revealed that Holmes not only endorsed the 25-lot development in ads, photographed giving a thumbs up in front of one of the homes, but he also invested in it and purchased the first home built there. However, since complaints have rolled in and inspections have turned up issues so severe that homes have been torn down, Holmes and his team have denied any involvement.

Here’s what you need to know:

Government Agency Has Found ‘Serious Safety Concerns’ in 14 Homes in TerraceWood Subdivision

 

When ThirdLine Homes began developing the TerraceWood subdivision in 2015, Holmes appeared in promotional materials including a video obtained by the CBC in which he said he was “proud” to work with ThirdLine because its homes “are built with innovation, integrity, and a commitment to make it right.”

However, Ontario’s new-home consumer protection organization, Tarion, has found countless “serious safety concerns” with the homes in question, the CBC reported.

“You feel that if it’s Holmes approved, that it’s most likely something that you can put your money on,” homeowner Fayard Johnson told the outlet.

In 2016, Holmes posed in Fayard’s doorway for a promotional photo during construction, giving his trademark “thumbs-up,” per the CBC. But in 2021, Tarion — created to oversee new construction projects in Ontario — filed an $8 million lawsuit, alleging that 14 TerraceWood houses were built with serious “defects” including improperly installed roofs, water leakage and major structural issues.

Fayard told the outlet that once structural defects were found in his home in 2022, he and his wife had to move out for more than a year while major repairs took place on their dime, including replacing a “wrong-sized beam holding up the second floor.”

All parties involved, including Holmes and his companies, have denied any wrongdoing, the CBC reported.

Mike Holmes’ Company Denies Involvement, But Records Show Otherwise

HGTV‘Holmes Family Rescue’ stars Sherry, Michael Jr. and Mike Holmes

According to his “Holmes Approved Homes” website, the program he offers ensures that homebuilders use “the right building practices to build you a home that goes beyond residential standards, from construction to final inspection.”

Two of the homes in question have since been demolished and a third family is awaiting their tear-down date.

“Given the nature of the defects discovered, demolition was a more reasonable option than repair,” Tarion spokesperson Andrew Donnachie told the CBC.

Tarion’s lawsuit alleges that Holmes’ company, The Holmes Group, didn’t conduct any house inspections for homeowners and misrepresented Third Line Homes as a competent builder.

In its defense, The Holmes Group said it “made no representations” about the development, wasn’t hired by any homeowners to conduct inspections and “had no involvement whatsoever” with the project.

But the CBC’s investigation turned up Ontario land registry records that show M. Holmes Holdings Ltd., where Mike Holmes is listed as president and treasurer, “provided Third Line Homes with two mortgages…to help it buy 25 TerraceWood plots of land.” Those mortgages cost $390,000.

In addition, the Meaford Independent reported in 2016 that Holmes had personally inspected the home he bought there, giving it his stamp of approval. The home was later sold to a couple, but it was evetually found to have its own defects, per the CBC. A letter from an engineering firm sent to Tarion confirmed that the home had required structural and roofing repairs in 2022.

As word has spread about the debacle at TerraceWood, Holmes’ social media accounts have been flooded with comments from angry consumers. Holmes has continued to post on Instagram, from promoting a casting call for a new show on January 9 to sharing photos of his granddaughters posted on January 29. On every recent post, people have urged him in the comment sections to address the TerraceWood debacle and “make it right,” which is his motto.

One person wrote, “Hey Mike! My parents lost their home in Terracewood. Maybe you could have my family on and MAKE IT RIGHT!”

“Make it right with the folks you ripped off in terrace wood,” another commented.

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