When you join Lewis & Clark Home Builders Association, you automatically become a member of the National Association of Home Builders. The information found below is the view of Jerry Howard, Chief Executive Officer of the NAHB in June of 2012. He found he was often asked to explain the value of a membership and while a membership is about networking and industry-specific programs, he felt that we can put a dollar value on advocacy…$5.7 Billion.
NAHB’s advocacy efforts in 2011 provided members with $5.7 billion in either reduced costs or increased revenues this year. Those savings fall into eight broad categories; FHA loan limits, Environmental Protection Agency actions, Building Codes, OSHA, Building Materials, Tax Code, HUD Multifamily programs and Fish & Wildlife Services.
Here are a few examples of these savings:
Restoration of Higher FHA Loan Limits
The best example is the reinstatement of FHA loan limits. This represents the largest share of savings for builders, $1.9 billion. In late 2011, Congress allowed higher FHA loan limits that were in effect in 2010 and 2011 to expire. Later, after an intense campaign by NAHB, the higher FHA loan limits were reinstated. Home builders would have lost more than 6,000 new home sales if the higher loan limits had not been reinstated. From this and other aspects of the reinstated loan limits, NAHB’s efforts saved builders just over $1.9 billion.
Environmental Protection Agency
The next largest savings, $1.4 billion, are the result of NAHB’s actions related to regulations and requirements imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Following regulatory and legal challenges by NAHB, the EPA admitted that the government did not have sufficient data to support a numeric limit for stormwater discharges. EPA then withdrew its proposed numeric limit, which will save builders $1.2 billion this year.
A different EPA action affecting remodeling will save $240 million this year. EPA proposed a requirement that a third-party test for lead be conducted following professional remodeling of homes built before 1978. NAHB argued that EPA had already imposed a regulation that all professional remodelers must be trained in lead abatement procedures, so the “swipe test” requirement was unnecessary. The higher costs associated with the test would cause some people who would otherwise use the services of a professional trained in lead paint remediation to do the work themselves or hire an uncertified contractor. In response to NAHB’s concerns, EPA withdrew the proposal. At $260 per room, requiring the test would have cost professional remodelers $240 million.
The expanded 1099 reporting requirement in the tax code would have required companies to file a 1099 form for every corporate purchase over $600. NAHB opposed the requirement and it was deleted, saving members $140 million.
Advocacy and Other Benefits
The examples above are just three of many ways that NAHB’s efforts provided tangible savings for members. $5.7 billion is a very impressive number, but that is just a fraction of the value that NAHB provides. Members often tell us that the things they value most from NAHB are advocacy, education and networking.
NAHB’s wide array of local, state and national events provide excellent networking for builder and associate members. Also, our highly regarded educational programs are offered by local associations at events like the Green Building Conference, at the International Builders’ Show and on the Internet. And then there is the value of being able to call the EO at our local, state or national association to get answers to the questions that keep us awake at night.
The bottom line is that NAHB membership is an excellent value for builders and associates alike. At every level, from the local HBA to the state HBA to NAHB, helping members thrive is our top priority.
The $150 of your membership dues that goes to NAHB purchases $5.7 billion for the housing industry. That’s good for your bottom line, and a nice return on your investment.