The mission of the North Carolina Home Builders Association is simple—to protect the affordability of housing while enhancing the economic and social benefit to the community. The wide range of issues affecting home builders makes it safe to say that no other trade association is impacted by as many bills in the General Assembly as NCHBA. Every session, NCHBA works to protect our members’ interests. While our issues are wide-ranging, the following are four general categories of interest to NCHBA:
Construction and Business Issues
NCHBA is made up primarily of small business owners; therefore the association is concerned about the wide range of issues that face the business community in general. In addition, NCHBA is particularly concerned about issues that are unique to the construction industry. Home building requires a well-trained and readily available work force, which NCHBA believes should be addressed through improved education and vocational training. Continuing education/accreditation and licensure issues are also extremely important to our members.
Environmental and Land-Use Issues
During the home building process, the natural environment is necessarily altered. This alteration is not always detrimental to the environment and may enhance sustainability. Regulations intended to protect and enhance natural resources, while well intentioned, often decrease the availability of homes for working North Carolinians by increasing the cost and reducing the supply of land and materials available for homes. When considering environmental protection measures, NCHBA urges lawmakers to consider economic costs as well as environmental benefits; urges environmental agencies to base requirements on sound science; supports just and timely compensation to private property owners when land acquisition or restriction is necessary; and prevail upon agencies to remain within their statutory authority when making rules.It is important to recognize that growth is absolutely necessary for a healthy economy. In spite of the recent economic downturn, North Carolina is still growing (albeit more slowly than in the past). Growth is attributable to increased birth rates, immigration, economic vitality and job availability. Builders respond to housing demand; we do not create the market. NCHBA supports planning and broad based funding for infrastructure improvements. NCHBA also supports the revitalization of older suburban and inner-city housing markets.
Tax and Revenue Issues
NCHBA supports efforts to increase housing opportunities and opposes any proposal that unnecessarily increases the cost of housing. Impact fees, transfer taxes, adequate public facility fees and other assessments are opposed by NCHBA due to their disproportionate impact on low- and middle-income families and their adverse effect on housing affordability. In addition, NCHBA encourages passage of tax credits for energy efficient homes and home ownership tax incentives. NCHBA strongly supports green building and incentives for both home builders and home buyers.
Building Code Issues
In addition to representing the Association before the North Carolina Building Code Council, NCHBA also follows building code related issues before the General Assembly. We work to develop and support cost-effective and affordable building codes, standards, regulations and state legislation in the construction area. While safety is our priority, proposals also have to be examined for their cost-benefit and practicality. NCHBA supports changes to the building code that have supporting data, follow the proper process and are viable. NCHBA also supports construction worker safety training initiatives and is represented on the state’s OSH Advisory Council.