How HBAs Can Utilize NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building Expertise

NAHB Sustainability and Green Building Expertise can help HBAs with regulatory review and input.NAHB staff provides technical assistance to state and local home builders associations (HBAs) by monitoring, reviewing and commenting on regulatory and policy proposals related to energy efficiency and green building.

HBAs are encouraged to contact NAHB for help taking a closer look at local and state proposed policy or regulations that could impact their members, such as:

  • Climate action plans,
  • Green certification program criteria for incentive programs,
  • Net zero goals,
  • Solar mandates/incentives,
  • Tap fees, and
  • Community resilience plans.

If a state or municipality is considering any of these types of regulatory or program changes, NAHB can help HBAs propose questions and issues to consider asking local policymakers to ensure the home-building industry is represented.

Recently, NAHB reviewed proposed changes to green building requirements and provided a technical analysis for both Asheville, N.C., and Austin, Texas, at their request. Staff provided issue-specific feedback to each respective HBA to enable its staff to advocate on its members’ behalf through submitted written comments.

“I appreciate NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building team supporting [the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin] to review and provide comments regarding the recent revision of the Austin Energy Green Building rating system,” noted Ray Tonjes, owner of Ray Tonjes Builder, Inc. and chair emeritus of the NAHB Sustainability & Green Building Subcommittee. “I was at the first organizational meeting for this program and have been working with it for almost 30 years; I know how important it is to ensure that both the requirements and options in these programs are technically sound, achievable and affordable.”

“HBA staff must be jacks of all trades, and having the technical expertise of NAHB staff in areas such as green building to support their work is invaluable,” he added.

Staff also monitor green, high-performance proposed changes to requirements and incentives in the financing arena, and offer technical assistance to HBAs to help them advocate for positions that best serve their members.

For example, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) provide an opportunity for multifamily developers to obtain equity financing for the development of affordable housing. Developers qualify for the credits based on the requirements and incentives in state Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs).

“NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building team helps us help our members by monitoring new proposals related to green building in QAPs across the country,” explained Jeff Kolakowski, CEO of the New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA). “While NJBA frequently submits comments to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) on any proposed changes to the QAP, NAHB recently alerted us about a public comment period regarding potential net-zero energy amendments for the 2021 New Jersey QAP. By leveraging NAHB’s expertise, we were able to submit a robust set of comments to the NJHMFA advocating for our members’ interests.”

What local or state green building issues are you facing? Contact NAHB Sustainability & Green Building staff for assistance. To stay current on high-performance residential building, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building efforts on Twitter.

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