Tom Woods, NAHB Chairman of the Board
Herman Farrer Tom Woods, NAHB Chairman of the Board

We all want to get maximum value when we invest money and time in a product or service, and that's especially true of our professional organization. That's why I'm proud that in 2014, NAHB saved members about $6,882 per housing start, including both single-family and multifamily units.

We achieved these remarkable results through legislative, regulatory, and legal victories on a wide range of issues affecting the home building industry.

For example, enactment of the Farm Bill early in the year generated additional home construction and remodeling valued at $1,273 because the legislation allowed more than 900 counties nationwide to retain their status as "rural" areas where residents have access to important rural housing programs.

Enactment of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act resulted in savings of $1,125 per housing start. The legislation provides a more affordable rate structure for flood insurance policyholders and makes other program changes that will make trading up to a new home and remodeling more affordable.

NAHB's ongoing efforts to keep the model building codes flexible, cost-effective, and product neutral resulted in $1,120 savings per start as increasing numbers of jurisdictions adopted the 2009 and 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). The NAHB successfully opposed proposals for those versions of the IRC that would have required builders to provide elevators or lifts in all townhouses and split-level homes with entrances that do not open into living space and would have mandated porches on all homes to provide zero clearance access to the interior.

The NAHB joined with other trade groups in 2010 to file suit against the EPA over its effort to require multifamily and commercial builders to get pre-construction permits for greenhouse gases generated by the buildings they construct. The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the EPA doesn't have the authority to require such permits; the ruling resulted in savings of about $808 per housing start.

Extension of energy tax credits through the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 retroactively renewed tax credits designed to promote residential energy efficiency, resulting in $767 savings per new home unit started in 2014.

Members saved a further $12 million on a wide range of products and services available from major national brands through NAHB's Member Advantage program.

Although such a dollar-by-dollar breakdown can provide a clear picture of benefits that members derived largely from NAHB's advocacy wins and discount program, that figure by no means comprises the total value of NAHB membership.

It doesn't include the value of being part of local and state associations that are vital to the community and represent members' interests with local and state government and regulators. It doesn't include the value of networking opportunities and friendships that evolve into a trusted system of mentors, suppliers, and resources in a constantly changing business environment. And it doesn't include the peace of mind of knowing that no matter what home building problem you encounter, NAHB resources and assistance are closeby.