I’m honored to serve as the NAHB’s chairman this year. It is a great privilege to represent our industry, and I’m looking forward to a very productive year as the NAHB flexes its political muscle on many important advocacy items.
In particular, we will continue the fight against the growing number of overly burdensome regulations. These rules touch every aspect of our business, from the environment to housing finance to labor. Residential construction has made significant headway since the Great Recession, but we need to put the brakes on excessive and ineffective regulations if we want to keep the momentum going.
To effect policy change, we must have officials in Washington who appreciate our industry and how it contributes to the economy. For that reason, this year I will focus heavily on making sure our elected leaders understand housing’s importance and our perspective on critical housing issues. And with the election coming up in November, it is essential that we impress our key priorities on all presidential candidates as well as individuals running for state and local office.
One great opportunity to engage our elected representatives is through “Bringing Housing Home,” our third annual in-district legislative conference, which is scheduled for March 7–11. During a House of Representatives recess that week, all NAHB members and HBAs are encouraged to meet with their representatives and senators in their home offices to discuss issues affecting the industry. Even though the Senate will be in session, we anticipate that members will have the chance to meet with their senators in-district during this period as well.
Bringing Housing Home has been a huge success the past two years, and we’re looking forward to another great event in 2016. I urge members to reach out to your elected officials and emphasize the positive effect of housing-friendly policies. Details are available at www.bringinghousinghome.com.
In addition, our senior leadership team is reaching out to every presidential campaign to have face-to-face discussions regarding housing policy. We hope to take advantage of a competitive election—when policymakers are most receptive—to move our agenda forward and ensure they prioritize housing in their campaigns.
Working with legislators and presidential candidates is only part of our advocacy strategy. We also engage regulators, meeting regularly with officials from HUD, the EPA, and other federal agencies to demonstrate why excessive rules can harm our industry, our customers, and the greater economy. And, when necessary, we employ legal means to facilitate policy change.
We do all this because we know that builders have a tremendous responsibility: to house America’s families. Creating a home is a complex job, and harmful regulations and misguided laws only make it more of an uphill battle. With rational, cost-effective, and realistic measures in place, our whole sector can move forward.
One of NAHB’s most important missions is to improve the business environment for our members. I’m looking forward to making great progress in achieving that goal.