- The National Association of Home Builders has asked Congress to consider reducing the "regulatory burden" that it said can add as much as 25% to the cost of a home.
- In testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, NAHB First Vice Chairman Granger MacDonald said that "costs associated with permitting, land development, construction codes" have created a scarcity of both rental and for-purchase affordable housing.
- The NAHB also opposes plans on the part of several government agencies, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, to enact new rules that they say will also drive up housing costs. These include a proposed OSHA exposure standard for crystalline silica and a new Department of Labor joint employer rule.
Also on the NAHB’s radar is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which the NAHB said will leave construction companies without valid flood maps. This, the organization said, has the potential to increase the price tag of multifamily projects, as well as decrease the number of available units, because of the uncertainty of where to build.
The Davis-Bacon Act also came under fire during the testimony. The NAHB said having to pay prevailing wages on federal projects keeps smaller construction firms from participating in some projects because of the expense and drives up costs on federally funded affordable housing, which is in direct contradiction to the ultimate objectives of affordable housing programs.
While the majority of the NAHB’s testimony focused on what changes Congress needs to make to ensure a strong housing industry, the agency did applaud lawmakers for the passage of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, which streamlines HUD and rural housing programs.
In a January report, the Associated General Contractors of America also expressed concern that more regulatory requirements could acompound the effect of other industry problems, like worker shortages and the impact of low energy prices.