Just the Fax On July 9, President Bush signed the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 into law. Among other things, the new legislation establishes an “existing business relationship” exception to the general rule against unsolicited fax communications. This is good news for the NAHB and its HBA locals, which would have had to obtain express written consent from each member before conducting fax communications. As for staying in compliance with the law:

  • All business faxes should include a chance for recipients to opt out of further communications.
  • This opportunity must be clearly spelled out on the first page of each fax and include a phone and fax number for recipients to use, and at least one cost-free method of response must be available 24 hours a day.
  • The sender may use only fax numbers obtained through a business relationship with the recipient or from a Web site, directory, or advertisement where the recipient clearly intended to make the information available. (Numbers in the sender's possession prior to the law's enactment are exempted.)
  • Building Minds The NAHB has released version 2.0 of “Building Homes of Our Own,” a software program that allows middle school and high school students to experience every step of the home building process. From selecting a location and obtaining permits to construction and material selection to reviewing the credit histories of potential buyers, “Building Homes of Our Own” uses interactive gaming technology to teach the basics of homeownership as well as math, science, civics, language arts, technology, and personal financial responsibility.

    The new version permits users to save unlimited sessions to a network drive, allowing greater flexibility in a school network environment. The CD-ROM, which includes a comprehensive, printable lesson plan guide, is compatible with the Windows operating system and is free to classroom educators and members of HBAs affiliated with the NAHB. For more information, go to www.homesofourown.org.

    News You Can Use To provide the public and investors with the most current and trustworthy information on the housing market, the NAHB has launched Housing Facts, Figures and Trends (www.nahb.org/fft), a comprehensive online source for industry intelligence ranging from new-home prices and forecasts to remodeling trends and building materials. The site gathers sources frequently referenced by housing professionals in an accessible, easy-to-use format. Key components include critical housing data and industry forecasts; video clips of industry experts speaking on housing trends; reports on different segments of the housing market; and the latest news affecting the housing industry.

    Passing Storm A June decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit rejected a challenge to the Construction General Permit (CGP), which regulates stormwater discharges during the home building process. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the CGP does not violate the Clean Water Act's requirements for public notice and public hearing. The court also held that the EPA, which issues the permit, complied with requirements of the Endangered Species Act. The CGP is used by builders in five states and as a model for the majority of states that regulate stormwater discharge.