The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved NAHB-supported legislation that would strengthen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster preparedness programs and allow the agency to institute a pilot program through which states and localities award grants for hazard mitigation efforts.
Of particular note to the residential construction industry, the Resilient AMERICA Act includes legislative language that would allow state and local jurisdictions to retain control over building code adoption by providing flexibility to adopt one of the two latest published codes. This gives state and local governments the ability to amend the code prior to adoption.
“This language will provide the flexibility needed for communities to take positive steps to withstand and recover from extreme events,” NAHB said in a letter sent to lawmakers in support of the bill before the House vote.
Under current law, state and local jurisdictions have the ability to choose which of the two latest published codes best meet their needs. However, if this bill is not enacted into law, state and local governments will be required to adopt the most recent codes standard after Oct. 1, 2023.
NAHB believes the Resilient AMERICA Act would increase incentives to facilitate upgrades and improvements to older homes and structures, help to reduce risks and minimize losses from future catastrophes and protect important building code flexibilities at the state and local level.
NAHB will urge the Senate to introduce a companion bill.