Two NAHB Members and Two HBAs Receive Grants from the Legal Action Fund

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At the 2020 International Builders’ Show, the NAHB Legal Action Committee recommended financial assistance through the Legal Action Fund for three cases, which the Board approved at its meeting. Each case addresses an issue of national significance or a question that poses a common problem for NAHB members. For more than 40 years, the Legal Action Committee has helped builder and developer members, as well as local and state HBAs, defray litigation costs on issues that are common to the industry and that may carry nationwide impact. All three cases touch on legal issues and concepts that can affect any home builder. The HBA of Central Arizona and the HBA of Southern Arizona received a grant to help fund their intervention in a suit brought by environmental groups against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). The environmentalists sued when FWS refused to add the Sonoran Desert Tortoise to the agency’s list of endangered species. The HBAs and NAHB have intervened in this case because listing this common tortoise species would halt development across much of the state. An NAHB member in New York received a significant grant in a challenge against a municipality, alleging that the town discriminated against the developers due to their religion. All of the approvals and permits were in place and the development was shovel-ready when the NAHB member claims the town held up building permits out of fear that the homes built would be sold to members of the Hasidic Jewish community. Discrimination on the basis of religion violates federal law, and it is an NAHB priority to prevent housing discrimination in all its forms. An NAHB member in Tennessee received an additional Legal Action Fund grant as his case nears trial. The member is challenging a municipality for seeking a unilateral rezoning of his property with the purpose of preventing him from building a small multifamily housing development. NAHB will next consider Legal Action Fund applications at its Spring Leadership Meeting in Washington D.C. in June. Applications are due Friday, May 15. For more information, contact Lavon Roxbury at 800-368-5242 x8359.  

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