It is impossible not to feel sorry for the dozens of people who have been caught up in the Elara Apartments saga, and whose dreams of home ownership have now turned into a nightmare.
They are all victims of a company called B&T Constructions which built the high-profile unit complex in Bruce in 2007.
By 2011 it had become obvious the development was plagued by numerous quality issues and structural problems. These included water leaking into the basement carpark and substandard first floor columns.
The columns would fail with potentially catastrophic consequences in less than 30 minutes, not the 90 mandated under the building code, in the event of a fire, a report commissioned by the apartment owners' group found. "A fire engulfing these columns in our view runs a serious risk of collapsing the adjacent slab" the inspector said.
The report also stated some of the balconies were at risk of collapse. That claim led to the ACT government ordering B&T to install props.
Those weren't the only issues however. Residents have now been been living with the consequences of major water leaks and defective workmanship in roofs, walls, ceilings, and bathrooms for the past decade or more.
Apartment owners, who say it is expected to cost almost $20 million to bring the complex up to scratch, have been fighting for years to obtain compensation first from B&T Constructions, then from the builders' insolvency insurer, the Master Builders Fidelity Fund, and, most recently, through an "act of grace payment" from the ACT government.
That application was knocked back by the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, in June.
All hope of receiving any money from B&T constructions ended when the company went into liquidation in July, 2017. That was two months after the ACT government had sent a letter signalling its intention to enforce an earlier rectification order, and the day after the apartment owners moved to restart litigation against B&T.
B&T's building licence had been suspended in 2016.
While its director Ivan Bulum is no longer a builder, The Bulum Group is an active player in the ACT property scene with major projects along Lonsdale Street.
It has been reported that The Bulum Group "is not captured under so-called anti-phoenixing legislation - which seeks to stop builders shifting companies - because it does not cover developers who do not construct their own projects".
Given the failure of two court cases to obtain pay outs under the builders' insolvency insurance scheme, and Mr Barr's rejection of the act of grace payment request, the apartment owners now have nowhere else left to turn.
While they argue the ACT government should have acted more decisively against B&T and, as a result, has a moral obligation to help them out financially, the Chief Minister and others in his cabinet disagree.
This is a complex and disturbing issue and the government does have a point when it argues "the responsibility in the building industry, for the quality of building, must always rest with the builder".
That said, although the problems in the ACT's construction sector have been well known for years, the government's reform program, which includes going back to "in-house certifiers" on major projects such as Elara, has been unacceptably slow.
Every effort must be made to learn from what has gone wrong with the development of Elara, and with the response, to ensure this doesn't happen again.