NAHB Fund Helps HBAs Advocate for Housing Affordability
At the 2021 Winter Leadership Meeting, the NAHB State and Local Government Affairs Committee awarded four HBAs with financial assistance through the State and Local Issues Fund (SLIF) to help with advocacy efforts on issues affecting housing affordability. North State Building Industry Association (NSBIA), Gold Coast Builders Association (GCBA), Builders Association of South Florida (BASF), and the Utah Home Builders Association (Utah HBA) were awarded a total of $50,000 to their efforts.
Placer County, Calif. Housing Trust
While most of the issues funded by SLIF are common housing affordability concerns, NSBIA brought a new and unique matter to the committee. Placer County, Calif. proposed exorbitant impact fees totaling $18,000 per house. To address this challenge, NSBIA aligned with the county’s desire for more affordable housing but redirected their efforts to create a housing trust that would significantly reduce the industry's share of the costs. The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported the idea of the county working with NSBIA on the formation of a housing trust instead of imposing hefty fees.
“Providing affordable housing must be addressed at the societal level,” said Housing Trust Placer Board President Dave Cook. “Housing Trust Placer lifts the full financial burden off the home building industry and spreads it out to all sectors of our economy, maximizing funding opportunities and minimizing the impact to individual home buyers.”
NSBIA sought SLIF funding to hire a fundraiser and/or grant writer to build a robust fund to help finance the building of multiple affordable housing projects. For this venture to be successful, it will need to secure funds from a variety of sources, including grants from the federal, state and local governments, and contributions from local healthcare organizations and other major local commercial interests, as well as local and national nonprofits. NSBIA was awarded $15,000 for these efforts.
Impact Fees in Florida
GCBA and the BASF teamed up on an issue affecting Broward County, Fla., which is in both associations’ jurisdictions. The average cost of a new home in Broward County is $490,000, well above the U.S. average and out of reach for the majority of residents. Broward County, part of the Miami metropolitan area that includes Fort Lauderdale, passed a 25% school impact fee.
GCBA and BASF were able to keep the fees capped at 25% compared to the 49% the county originally wanted. They were also able to delay the start of the fee to 2022. The HBAs sought SLIF funding to launch a public relations campaign to work on reversing the fee before it begins in 2022. Each association was awarded $10,000 to these efforts.
Public Awareness Campaign in Utah
The Utah Valley HBA (UVHBA) has been working for a few years within a new coalition to educate community leaders and elected officials about housing affordability. They have been using the NAHB Land Use 101 Toolkit, best practices from other HBAs and local data in their presentations. The statewide Utah HBA sought out SLIF funding to support an outreach initiative modeled after UVHBA’s efforts. A robust public awareness campaign is dependent on funding as well. The HBA was awarded $15,000 for the project.