Addressing the shortage of affordable housing in California and the nation was the focus of a panel discussion during NAHB's Fall Leadership Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., last month. Donald P. Wagner, chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and California State Assembly Members Greg Wallis and Tom Lackey addressed the State and Local Government Affairs (SLGA) Committee.
In a wide-ranging panel discussion led by SLGA Committee Chair Adam Aschmann and Vice Chair Justin Wood, committee members shared the numerous factors contributing to the high cost of housing. California lawmakers acknowledged the challenges of navigating the state’s political environment to pass pro-housing legislation. To help policymakers in California and other states, the panelists urged the committee to build relationships with lawmakers at all levels and engage with them on housing issues.
After the panel discussion, the committee approved $100,000 for six State and Local Fund (SLIF) applicants. SLIF provides financial assistance to help state and local HBAs successfully deal with a legislative, regulatory or ballot issue that has national significance (i.e., national implications beyond the HBA's jurisdiction) or is a common industry problem, the resolution of which could be precedent-setting, and might not succeed without the financial support of NAHB.
The New Jersey Builders Association and the HBA of Greater Kansas City were granted SLIF funds to support advocacy strategies to improve housing affordability and advance pro-housing legislation. To ensure that pro-housing candidates are elected, SLIF support will help fortify the BIA of Washington’s innovative campaign school.
In addition, a SLIF grant will help the HBA of South Georgia fight against unlicensed activity through a public education campaign and partnership with the local inspections department. In North Idaho, the Building Contractors Association also plans to launch a public education campaign using SLIF to combat an emerging anti-growth movement.
The committee members also approved SLIF for an issue many builders face: onerous fire sprinkler mandates, which jeopardize housing affordability. The New York State Builders Association will conduct a study to assess the impact of a fire requirement for new homes and how it would affect affordability, construction costs, and further price home buyers out of the market.
For more information on each SLIF awardee, visit the common state and local issues page on nahb.org. NAHB members interested in serving on the 2024 State and Local Government Affairs committee are encouraged to apply on nahb.org by Nov. 6, 2023.