Builders Discuss Burdensome Regs with Feds

Filed in Codes and Regulations by on August 9, 2017 0 Comments
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George Davis (right) leads a site visit for SBA officials to explain how regulations affect home builders and their customers. Photo courtesy of the Small Business Administration.

Home builders and representatives from other industries took advantage of an opportunity to tell federal regulators about a host of regulatory issues affecting their businesses as the Small Business Administration conducted its third regional regulatory roundtable in Cleveland on Aug. 3.

“In my opinion, we made an impact and kind of stole the show,” said Randy Strauss, Ohio state representative to NAHB. “Most of the other businesses spoke for about 15 minutes, but builders were allowed a full 45 minutes for our issues.”

Joining Strauss at the roundtable were Bucky Kopf and Barry Edelstein of Kopf Builders and George Davis of ProBuilt Homes.

Kopf discussed how permit delays resulting from wetland regulations are harming housing affordability because builders are unable to complete work on badly needed building lots.

Edelstein spoke about the Dodd-Frank law and problems caused by restrictions placed upon the banking community, which have made it much more difficult to finance lot development and housing loans.

Davis talked about the problems builders are having with the appraisal community in getting comps up to the real cost of building new homes.

Strauss addressed several other issues, including:

  • Workplace safety and OSHA (beryllium, confined spaces and silica) and the massive amount of paperwork required to navigate these rules and remain in compliance;
  • Building codes and the Department of Energy’s push to require higher energy efficiency upgrades without a legitimate payback for home owners;
  • Employment issues and workforce development; and
  • The volatility and rising cost of building materials.

“Shortly after we finished our presentation, SBA officials came up to us with numerous additional questions,” said Strauss, who added that the meeting was very worthwhile.

Also after the forum ended, Davis hosted an onsite meeting with SBA officials at a development where he had several homes under various stages of completion. The SBA representatives spent almost two hours on the jobsite asking questions of the various sub-trades.

Builders also participated in previous SBA Regional Regulatory Roundtables held July 31 in Lexington, Ky. and Aug. 1 in Cincinnati.

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