GHBA members advocate for homebuilding on Capitol Hill at 2023 Legislative Conference
On June 7, 2023, as part of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Legislative Conference, more than 700 builders, developers, remodelers and associates engaged in all facets of residential construction marched on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to take steps to ease the nation’s housing affordability crisis and make housing and homeownership a national priority.
As the third largest home builders association in the nation, 16 members of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) along with association staff traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the Greater Houston congressional delegation.
Members urged our elected representatives in Congress to take action on three priority items: transformer regulations, energy codes, and workforce development funding.
Locally and throughout the nation, home builders and developers have experienced a shortage in transformers. This issue was front of mind during our visits, as the Department of Energy considers changes to the way transformers are built and maintained.
NAHB is urging Congress to: 1) Utilize the Defense Production Act to boost output at existing facilities to address the growing supply chain crisis for distribution transformers, and 2) Oppose efforts by the Department of Energy to increase the energy conservation standards for the production of distribution transformers because it will severely exacerbate the current supply shortage.
While in D.C., members were able to share their experience working with the City of Houston, as city officials plan to implement 2021 International Residential Code with proposed Houston amendments. NAHB is urging the Senate to introduce and advance legislation which includes the provision in House-passed bill H.R. 1 that would repeal $1 billion in grants provided to state and local governments to adopt updated energy codes that are more costly and restrictive. Forcing the adoption of more stringent energy codes to qualify for these grants will exacerbate the current housing affordability crisis and limit energy choices for consumers.
Lastly, GHBA explained all the work our members and association have done with local partners to prepare our workforce to continue moving and avoid shortages. There is a shortage of more than 400,000 workers in the construction industry, and this is resulting in housing construction delays and higher home building costs. NAHB is urging Congress to reauthorize the Workplace Innovation and Opportunity Act to help meet the residential construction industry’s severe workforce needs and to fully fund the Job Corps program, which is a vital source of skilled labor for our industry.
In collaboration with the work our members do locally and the work NAHB does in Washington, D.C., GHBA has been able to leverage strong relationships with members of Congress and legislative staff to ask for action on items that directly impact our industry.
Our voices are magnified with your help and support. If advocating for your industry at a federal level sounds appealing to you, please join us in Washington, D.C. next June at the 2024 NAHB Legislative Conference.