Over 250 Expected at Home Building Industry Day at the Capitol

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Roseville, MN (March 14, 2016) – The Builders Association of the Twin Cities, along with the Builders Association of Minnesota and 12 local home builders associations from greater Minnesota are hosting Builder Day at the Capitol on March 15th from 12:30pm – 6:30pm. Over 250 individuals from the home building and remodeling industry across Minnesota will be visiting their State Senators and Representatives to have their voices heard.

With the new building and energy codes taking effect last year and cities increasing requirements of builders, the housing industry is feeling the full impact of an array of regulatory costs. Industry members are prepared to share several key issues with their legislators and share how they affect their businesses during Builder Day at the Capitol.

“The new codes raised the cost of a new home by thousands of dollars. It’s a clear example of how increased regulation is making it more difficult to build affordable homes,” said BATC President Meg Jaeger. “We want our legislators to think about the role government plays in our collective effort to achieve greater housing affordability, and to support ideas that contain costs for Minnesota homeowners.”

Home building and remodeling generates substantial state and local economic activity, from well-paying jobs for residents to tax revenue for local governments during and after construction. In fact, according to research by BATC’s national affiliate, the National Association of Home Builders, the residential housing industry has contributed on average 15 percent to the United States’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In Minnesota, the home building and remodeling industry is experiencing a steady recovery after a historic downturn. The industry built more than 10,000 new residential housing units in 2015, and remodelers report a commensurate upsurge in activity. Homebuilders and remodelers employ highly trained and skilled laborers, both union and non-union, with an average wage for subcontractors currently at $32 per hour. Home ownership remains a core value for most Americans, and housing is truly an American-made product.

The Top Issues for BATC Home Builders and Remodelers in 2016:

Home Ownership Initiative – Owner-occupied multi-family housing is not being built at a rate that keeps up with market demand. This is mainly due to problems with the existing warranty law, the lack of use of the Notice and Repair law (NOR), and litigation surrounding common interest communities (CIC)/ homeowner associations (HOA). Builders simply cannot take the risks associated with building this type of housing, creating a void in the mix of housing options and limiting the number of affordable homes in our market. The home building industry supports legislation that will balance the homeowner protection goals with a reasonable process that will ensure all claims are addressed in a timely and cost effective manner.

Fairness in Land Use Moratoria – Several land use moratoria have been adopted in the metro over the past 18 months in cities like Minneapolis, Golden Valley, and Lake Elmo, suspending landowners’ right 
to obtain development approvals while the community considers and potentially adopts changes to its comprehensive plan, zoning, or other land use regulations. These moratoria freeze projects and impact the local land and housing market almost immediately. We’re asking lawmakers to require local governments to provide a standard public notice 30 days prior to placing a moratorium on housing applications. Require a super majority (2/3) vote to establish a moratorium, just like it is required for other major land use decisions (comprehensive plan amendment, zoning).

Help Wanted – Across all segments of the homebuilding industry it is a tremendous challenge to attract and maintain a quality workforce. This challenge puts upward price pressure on every aspect of building or remodeling a home and impacts bottom-line costs for homeowners. We’re asking lawmakers to work with us to find creative ways to support a quality workforce plan that attracts and maintains healthy workforce levels throughout the homebuilding industry.