Like most home builders, I tend to focus primarily on current housing industry concerns, including government overregulation, housing finance reform, and the slow but steady recovery of the housing market. But it's also important to consider things coming down the pike in the next five, 10, or 20 years.
One important way the NAHB invests in the future is through our philanthropic arm, the National Housing Endowment. For nearly 30 years, the endowment has worked to develop the most effective approaches to home building, to enhance education and training, and to increase the body of knowledge on housing issues. During this time, the endowment has distributed more than $13 million in grants to support the NAHB and the broader home building industry.
The National Housing Endowment helps distribute funds in several ways. For one, the endowment manages the popular Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP) grant. HELP awards major seed grant--to two- and four-year colleges and universities nationwide. Through this financial support, HELP hopes to increase the number of qualified college graduates entering the residential construction profession and becoming NAHB members.
The endowment also gives to residential construction students directly through scholarships that provide tuition assistance, offset costs related to attending the International Builders' Shows, and support research. If you know someone--particularly a member of an NAHB student chapter--who is interested in this program, please encourage them to apply. More details can be found on the Student Scholarships section of the endowment's website.
In addition, the endowment provides grants to the Home Builders' Institute, the NAHB's workforce development arm, and Home Innovation Research Labs, our wholly owned, independent subsidiary that provides market research, consulting, product testing, and accredited third-party certification. It also supports the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, an initiative that examines the role of housing in the economy and in communities.
But to continue to invest in our industry's future, the endowment needs support from NAHB members. I ask you to please donate to this important cause. Information about making a tax-deductible contribution can be found on the endowment's website.
As a second-generation builder, I am indebted to those who came before me, and I want to "pay it forward" to the industry leaders of tomorrow. I'm sure you also care about the future of home building. That's why as a federation, we must always have one eye toward the horizon, looking to strengthen the housing sector for generations to come. With a donation to the National Housing Endowment, you are helping to pave the way for the home builders of tomorrow.