By BUILDER Magazine Staff Roberts Mourned

Donald "Don" J. Roberts, assistant staff vice president/producer for the NAHB's broadcast communications operation and executive television producer, died August 17, 2001, at age 53, following a nearly two-year battle with cancer.

"Don designed and built a nationally recognized television production group for the association and housing industry," says Jerry Howard, NAHB CEO and executive vice president. "During his 17 years at the NAHB, he developed a great working knowledge and passion for the housing industry and was widely respected and admired by his peers and colleagues. He will be greatly missed."

Roberts joined the NAHB in 1983 to manage the association's fledgling audio/visual department. "Dream Builders," produced by the NAHB under contract with Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV), is a top-rated program. The new, "Old Homes Restored," also on HGTV, features examples of creative and trend-setting projects in the home remodeling market.

The newly renovated National Housing Center will house the Don Roberts Memorial Production Studio named in his honor.

Benefits Offered

NAHB members now have access to retirement, financial, and estate planning services through an affinity partnership with American Buying Retirement Services, Chicago. Collective buying power and a national network of more than 200 specialists allow American Buying to provide excellent local service and high-quality products at reduced prices, the NAHB says.

Holding Steady?

Results of a telephone survey of the nation's 30 largest builders conducted just after the terrorist attacks was somewhat reassuring, the NAHB reports.

Sales were holding up and contract cancellations had not increased. However, sales traffic was off by about 10 percent to 20 percent.

Starts Slip

Due primarily to a drop-off in multifamily production, the Commerce Department reported nationwide housing starts declined 6.9 percent in August.

Starts of new single-family homes declined 2.4 percent in August to a rate of 1.25 million units, while starts in the typically more volatile multifamily sector declined nearly 23 percent to a rate of 280,000 units. Total starts fell in three out of four regions.

Water Resolve

At the NAHB's fall board of directors meeting in Maui, Hawaii, the board adopted a resolution regarding the need for water supply planning. The NAHB sent a letter to the House Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power supporting the goals of H.R. 1985, a bill sponsored by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) calling for the regional planning of water supply. The bill passed by voice vote in the subcommittee. A full House Resources Committee mark-up was tentatively scheduled for October.