NAHB Funds Six HBA Advocacy Efforts

Filed in Codes and Standards by on January 26, 2017 0 Comments

stamp padThe NAHB Board of Directors approved six funding requests from state and local HBAs requesting help with their advocacy efforts through the NAHB State & Local Issues Fund.

The board acted on the recommendation of the State and Local Government Affairs Committee, which reviewed the requests during its meeting at the International Builders’ Show earlier this month.

BIA of Hawaii. The state is considering adoption of the 2012 International Residential Code, which requires the installation of a fire sprinkler system in all new one- and two-family homes. Because Hawaii is one of the most expensive housing markets already – the median price for a new home on Oahu is $730,000 – the BIA is concerned about pricing even more families out of the market with no corresponding increase in home safety. The board approved $20,000 to help the BIA fund a public outreach campaign on legislation that would oppose the mandate.

Texas Association of Builders. The city of Austin plans to propose a municipal linkage fee to help fund affordable housing programs. Such impact fees amount to a tax on new development and, ironically, threaten housing affordability. If one city in Texas does this, other cities and states could follow suit to levy new taxes at the expense of home builders and their buyers. The board approved $20,000 to help the state association draft, file and pass state legislation to preempt municipalities from passing laws that establish a linkage fee.

New Jersey Builders Association. New Jersey’s Highlands Act is a 13-year-old law designed to protect the Highlands region by regulating development within its 859,000 acres. Despite specific mandates outlined in the act, the Highlands Council has failed to address all statutory requirements in development or address harmful effects on the area’s economy, and its Regional Master Plan ignores current and future housing needs and economic growth opportunities. The board approved $20,000 for research and comments to advance policy, transparency and consistent rulemaking which would be of benefit to all constituents.

HBA of Greenville. The Reedy River, a signature part of the Greenville, S.C., community is impaired by nitrogen. The HBA and a community coalition together have addressed the issue with stormwater regulations and modernization of sewer treatment facilities. Coalition partners have aggressively opposed the state’s efforts to place a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load regulation) on nitrogen on the Reedy River. They support an alternative called 5R, a community-based, bottom-up plan to accomplish same result as a TMDL but without costly litigation. The board approved $20,000 to build an economic model to show community-based collations in Greenville and other HBAs how they can solve environmental impairment problems without TMDLs and costly litigation.

Colorado Association of Home Builders. Over the past 10 years, the construction of condominiums in Colorado has been in drastic decline due to the threat of construction defects litigation, creating a shortage of affordable units. The Denver City Council has compounded the market problem, recently approving a schedule of impact fees on residential and commercial construction for the development of affordable housing for families earning less than prescribed levels. The board approved $20,000 to help fund a comprehensive media and communications plan for successful bill introduction and passage in the 2017 legislature.

HBRA of Northern Vermont. For years, the Vermont Department of Labor has misclassified independent contractors, and how such classifications apply to workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. HBRANV has spent the past two years partnering with the labor department to update definitions of independent contractors and create clear distinctions. The 2016 bill was unanimously voted through committee but died on its way to the Senate on a technicality.  The 2016 election resulted in a pro-business political landscape, increasing likelihood the bill will pass this year. The board approved to up $20,000 to bolster the association’s efforts.

The committee will consider additional funding requests at the NAHB Midyear Meeting in June. For additional information about applying, contact Katie Bernard at 800-368-5242 x8402.

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