By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Call to Action
Robert Lawson testifying (on behalf of the NAHB) in support of the "Housing Affordability for America Act of 2002," urged legislators to focus on the housing needs of the 3.7 million "working poor" households.
Lawson cited Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies report on the "State of the Nation's Housing" and the Center for Housing Policy's "Paycheck to Paycheck: Working Families and the Cost of Housing in America." The Virginia Beach, Va., home builder noted that more than 14 million households spend more than half their incomes on housing. Producing 60,000 to 70,000 affordable rental-housing units to serve these citizens should be a top housing priority, he says.
Passage of a Senate energy bill may provide builders with a voluntary tax credit of $1,250 for each home built to 30 percent above the energy-efficiency levels included in the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code; House legislation includes a $2,000 tax credit for each home built to 30 percent above code.
"Homes today are greener than ever before and promise to be even greener in the years ahead," says NAHB president Gary Garczynski
"New homes today are 100 percent more energy efficient than those built in the 1970s. ... Builders are recycling, using recycled materials, implementing techniques that conserve water indoors and out, and developing sites to preserve the natural environment, reduce erosion and runoff, and protect vegetation, especially trees," Garczynski says.
"Building Greener, Building Better: The Quiet Revolution," is the NAHB's recently released publication that examines green building in depth and is available on the NAHB's Web site at www.NAHB.com/housing_issues.
Aware of Access
Under terms of an April agreement, HUD and the NAHB will campaign to increase awareness of design and building requirements related to accessibility to builders, architects, building owners, engineers, local governments, disability advocates, and others.
As HUD Secretary Mel Martinez stressed, "Access for the disabled should be considered before a single nail is driven."
HUD has also awarded $900,000 to the International Code Council to help develop a single set of national model construction codes consistent with the Fair Housing Act.
The NAHB has launched a global online directory for the construction industry accessible in 16 different languages. It will be promoted in 172 countries.
The b-2-b directory, is available at http://directory.nahb.com/. It presently lists more than 151,000 manufacturers, brokers, and buyers and sellers of goods and services in the residential and light commercial building industries.