C hartered in 1941, the Greater Houston Builders Association is a trade organization whose members are involved in the development, homebuilding, and remodeling industry in 11 counties. The association interacts with the government, community and general public to enhance the business climate for its members, and to provide quality obtainable housing to the community it serves. The association is also active in community outreach and charitable events.
GHBA is the largest home builders association (HBA) in Texas, and the third largest in the nation. GHBA's mission is “To provide advocacy, education, professional development, and valuable services to its members and the homebuilding industry.” Learn more
Residential Electronic Plan Review (ERP) Now in Effect
Residential construction building permit applications and plans now have the option of being uploaded for review online. The Electronic Plan Review System (EPR) allows the customer to submit applications from anywhere without having to visit the Permit Office.
Residential Electronic Plan Review will allow all the steps currently handled in the Permitting Office to be completed online — from submitting the application, to generating a project number, uploading the plans, paying plan review deposit fees, and obtaining notification of results. Electronic Plan Review is available for new construction projects and projects that do not qualify for One Stop Plan Review.
The Houston Permitting Center will be holding a presentation on this new system specifically for GHBA members on Wednesday, September 23, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at their offices (1002 Washington Ave, 77002). To attend this presentation, please RSVP here.
If you are unable to attend this session, Permitting will conducting hands-on, instructor-led training in the Electronic Plan Review System throughout September. Visit www.houstonpermittingcenter.org and click on the calendar widget in the right margin for available dates and times.
City of Houston Builders: Chapter 42 Changes are Here!
On July 24, new Chapter 42 development regulations went into effect. These changes were a result of GHBA meetings with Planning Commission members and Super Neighborhood Alliance members over the past two years. The purpose of the meetings was to address remaining neighborhood concerns and builder needs not addressed in the 2013 amendments. GHBA representatives attended these meetings in order to protect the compromises made in the Chp 42 negotiations, as well as tackle a few builder-related items left out of the amendments. Additionally, these changes were presented to the In-Town Builders Task Force during an April 14 meeting and include new, builder-friendly allowances. The Houston City Council adopted these changes last month. For more information please see:
- Summary of the Ordinance Changes
- COH provided drawing demonstrating compliance for the new basic garbage collection eligibility requirements
- April 14 COH Presentation to the In Town Builders Task Force
- Adopted Ordinance with new Chp 42 changes
Disaster Remediation — Important Statutory Requirements
In response to flooding and other weather events across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 24 counties. Additional counties may be added to the declaration as the situation develops.
With the Disaster Declaration in many counties around Texas, Ch. 57 of the Business and Commerce Code applies to some contracts to clean up or rebuild in those areas (those contractors with offices in the affected counties or adjacent counties for over a year are exempt). This document includes a brief explanation of the implications of the act and the statute itself. We encourage you to review the statute, as ignoring these requirements could result in a deceptive trade practices violation.
The ins and outs of hiring a contractor to repair or rebuild homes damaged in recent storms. Radio interview with Toy Wood, CEO of the GHBA on The Eagle:
City of Houston Flood Recovery Information
As of June 12, the City of Houston issued the following letter to homeowners hit in some of the hardest flood areas during the Memorial Day holiday with instruction about how to repair homes located in the floodplain.
Additionally, the Houston Public Works Department has circulated the following fact sheet that provides detailed information about obtaining a Floodplain Development Permit.
Lastly, at the website below, members of the public may find more information about the flood management office; permits for flood damage repair; and obtaining a Substantial Damage determination as well as appealing a Substantial Damage determination.
The Economic Outlook for Homebuilding in Houston
Over 750 guests heard from Dr. Mark Dotzour at the 2015 GHBA Mid-Year Economic Forecast Luncheon, June 2 at the Westin Galleria Hotel. Dotzour is the chief economist for the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, and a foremost expert on the housing industry.
"Houston is definitely the place to be... Boom-shack-a-lacka!!" said Dotzour. (Yes, those were his words.)
Dr. Dotzour was in rare form for the keynote speech. He shared good news: consumer spending is up and debt is down, small businesses are planning to hire, but housing starts are still behind.
By popular request, the GHBA would like to share the slide presentation with our members. Stay tuned for a full recap of the luncheon in the July issue of Houston Builder magazine.
Member Benefits & Quick Links
Houston Builder Magazine
The official publication of the GHBA, Houston Builder magazine provides up-to-date information on industry trends, products and news. Covers association-related educational opportunities, special events and meetings as well as political updates in relation to the building industry.
For advertising information, email Brittany Feldmann or call 832.215.7232.
Standardized Contracts for Builders & Remodelers
Custom builders & remodelers can save thousands in legal fees by using standardized contracts offered by the association. The 2013 - 2015 Texas Residential Construction Contracts Package is a valuable member benefit, free with your membership to the Custom Builders Council and/or the Remodelers Council.
Not a member yet? Join today!
Newsmaker of the Month
Will Holder, president of Trendmaker Homes, has been a GHBA leader and a visionary. Will's involvement with the GHBA has been deep with a broad range of commitments. He has been an active board member and was board president in 2012. He initiated the You're a Member Too program, an outreach to encourage employee members to participate in the GHBA at all levels. Will wanted to remove the idea that only "executives" can participate in GHBA events and boards.
Will also appreciates the value of engaging young voices and perspectives within the industry. The GHBA Young Professionals (YP) was created during his term as president, and he continues to mentor the program. Will is also a huge advocate of the association's Government Affairs program, green building, education and charitable efforts. He also frequently serves as an industry spokesperson when the media comes calling for comments. His depth of knowledge and experience and his thoughtful commentary, have helped maintain the GHBA as a respected source. Read more
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