From coast to coast, members of our Federation stepped up last week to bring housing issues to the forefront during Bringing Housing Home® , NAHB’s 2021 in-district Legislative Conference. Although this year’s conference may have looked a little different — with members setting up meetings virtually as well as in person — NAHB appreciates all efforts to deliver our legislative agenda and highlight key issues of importance in your local communities.
Members held more than 140 meetings with their U.S. senators and representatives to build working relationships with their federal legislators and brief them on several issues affecting the home building community — chief among them the lumber price crisis and its impact on home building and housing affordability.
Additional issues of note included:
- Reforming the nation’s housing finance system
- Strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
- Preventing federal intrusion into the energy codes development process
- Creating a national flood insurance program that is predictable and affordable
- Crafting an infrastructure package that takes housing affordability concerns into account
- Investing in federal vocational job training programs
Builders, Associates, remodelers, EOs and state and local HBA leaders and members worked alongside the NAHB Government Affairs team to ensure housing remains a legislative priority. And the message was well-received.
“Great meeting with the @NAHBhome today! #IA02,” tweeted Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa). “We discussed several challenges facing their industry, including problems with softwood lumber supply chains and pricing issues.”
Builders and developers in Tennessee also shared their concerns regarding lumber — not only prices, but access to materials — and the challenges in overcoming the labor shortage, especially in the wake of the pandemic, with Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.).
“We worked with Rep. Burchett locally for years, so we’ve had an excellent relationship with him going on decades,” shared Ashley Burnette, executive vice president for the HBA of Greater Knoxville. “He’s very supportive — always has been — and he believes in what we do as an industry.”
Representatives from the Builders Association of North Central Florida (BANCF) and the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) had the opportunity to share similar concerns during a conference call with Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.).
“The congresswoman was very receptive to our comments. She had heard them from others,” noted Barry Rutenberg, a builder from Gainesville, Fla., and past NAHB chairman. “She currently serves on the Agriculture Committee for the House and has familiarity with lumber industry, which is prevalent in our district. She was responsive to us not only on the building materials issue, but also another one of our key issues, which was flood insurance.”
The meeting was effective in part because of the team’s preparation ahead of the call, which included utilizing both NAHB government affairs and economics resources, as well as outside information from major news outlets such as Bloomberg, to support their discussion. Rutenberg noted that the same information has been shared with their local board to distribute as needed during future opportunities.
Although Bringing Housing Home officially ran from May 3-7, members are still encouraged to set up meetings and events throughout the month to advocate for housing.
For more information, contact Lauren Goodwin.