Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) sent a letter to President Biden and the Department of Justice on March 4 urging the administration to respond to rising building materials prices and supply shortages, particularly, lumber, that are harming the housing market and threaten the economic recovery.
Using data provided by NAHB, the lawmakers stated that "shortages of lumber have nearly tripled the price of lumber since mid-April 2020, causing the price of a new single-family home to increase by more than $24,000."
NAHB's top priority is to find solutions that will ensure a lasting and stable supply of lumber for the home building industry at a competitive price. NAHB is urging the Commerce Department to investigate why lumber production — particularly sawmill output — remains at such low levels during a period of prolonged high demand.
Reps. Costa and Arrington mirrored our concerns and stressed the need to boost sawmill activity in their letter to Biden and the Department of Justice.
"Unfortunately, this unprecedented price increase on new homeowners, as well as home builders, will persist until new sawmills come online and current mills re-open and operate at full capacity," the letter stated. "To address this issue, we ask your Administration to facilitate a discussion with all stakeholders, including sawmills, home builders, loggers, and distributors, to ensure all needs are met in a timely manner."
The two lawmakers also attached a letter sent last fall to President Trump that was signed by nearly 100 members of the 116th Congress seeking action on the lumber issue.