NCHBA Continues to Craft its Legislative Priorities While Monitoring Other Housing Bills
NCHBA’s legislative team continued crafting their legislative priorities this week. It remains their hope that some or all of the bills will be ready for introduction as early as next week. The central staff at the General Assembly has been inundated with draft requests and are working to get drafts out to legislators and stakeholders.
A bill that NCHBA is closely monitoring cleared a House Committee this week. House Bill 107 Increase Building Permit Exemption Threshold introduced by Representative Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck) would raise the building permit exemption to $20,000. The bill passed the Local Government Land Use, Planning and Development Committee on Thursday. This bill would raise the exemption for the first time since 2015. Originally slated to increase in increments of $1,000 annually for 5 years, NCHBA recommended that the bill be amended to increase the amount in one year. Representative Hanig agreed to this important change and now the legislation increases the exemption by $5,000 at one time.
Another bill that we are closely watching, House Bill 139 Soil Scientist/On-Site Wastewater Cert. Bd cleared two committees and passed in the House on Thursday. The bill would add a licensed soil scientist to the on-site wastewater contractors and inspector’s board. NCHBA has followed this board closely to ensure builders constructing on well and septic have a voice on this critical board. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Representative Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) introduced legislation that would ease the stormwater requirements for redevelopment or expansion on a preexisting development. House Bill 218 was introduced on Wednesday and seeks to ease the regulatory burden created when a development is expanding and creates additional impervious surface. Often these sites do not have the area to meet regulatory burden created by the stormwater rules, thus not allowing a business to expand. We will monitor this closely as the bill proceeds.
HB 220 Ensuring Choice of Energy Service was introduced by Representative Dean Arp (R-Union) in the House this week. The bill seeks to limit cities and counties from prohibiting the consumer’s choice in the type of energy that is servicing the home. This is a precautionary bill attempting to stop the practice that has been adopted in other states seeking to limit consumer choice on a particular form of energy.
Finally, House Bill 232 LRC Study-Affordable Housing was introduced this week by Representative Vernetta Alston (D-Durham). The lack of affordable housing has become a major issue for many members of the General Assembly. This bill would direct the staff to study the issue to ensure that the state is utilizing all available federal dollars and examine the current availability of affordable units in metro and rural areas of the state. Finally, at the request of NCHBA, the bill directs the staff to examine the role regulations play in driving up the cost of housing. Recent studies conducted by NAHB concluded that 25% of the cost of a home comes from regulations.
If you need any help with issues you are facing, please reach out to our staff. We stand ready to help. If you have any questions about this report, please email Steven Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org.