By BUILDER Magazine Staff.

Farms versus Growth

Growth restrictions proposed by the American Farmland Trust would sharply increase the cost of housing and price hundreds of thousands of families out of the housing market, says the NAHB.

Growth restrictions are part of an October report, "Farming on the Edge," from the American Farmland Trust. The report recommends farmland subsidy programs and preservation incentives that the NAHB fears would distort land markets and restrict the supply, especially of moderate- and low-income housing.


According to the NAHB, "a difference in business philosophy between the NAHB and its wholly-owned subsidiary, the NAHB Research Center, resulted in management changes at the research center." Terry Belt has been named acting president of the Research Center.

Budget Balance

The September NAHB fall board of directors meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, culminated in the adoption of a balanced association budget of $73 million for 2003, with no dues increase.

Instead of raising dues, the final budget includes $2.4 million of additional spending cuts beyond the budget committee's original proposal. Eliminated in the final budget was funding for Nation's Building News, leadership training, and the Home Builders Care program. It also reduced spending for the senior officers' travel budget, the field representatives program, and the NAHB's library/knowledge management operation. Before adjourning on September 29th, the board called on the NAHB's senior officers to develop a plan that included ways to increase the association's fallen financial reserves to $25 million by the end of 2004.

News Online

"Eye on the Economy" at is a new bi-weekly e-newsletter from NAHB chief economist David Seiders, and the latest of the NAHB e-reports that can be found online at the NAHB's recently moved and revamped site, now at: Regular reports on smart growth, the Multifamily Council, the revitalized Washington Hotline, a weekly news release summary, and a soon-to-be unveiled quarterly, "The NAHB at Work," are also just a click away. The NAHB says more than a dozen additional reports are in the works for 2003, including those focusing on the jobsite, the courts, and green building. Sign up for these publications as they become available.

Español Goal

One of the largest-ever grants--$276,259 from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)--will be used by the NAHB's Research Center to expand safety and health training, education, and outreach for Spanish-speaking construction workers by developing and updating Spanish versions of existing educational materials on construction safety.