By Jeff Click, Vice President /Treasurer, OSHBA
As I've become more involved in the leadership of OSHBA, I've grown more interested and aware of the value the organization brings to its members.
I'm often asked about them, or have opportunity to speak about these benefits to various local associations, and I thought it would be worth compiling a list of our top achievements on behalf of our members.
The Oklahoma State Home Builders Association is charged with several duties.
1. First and foremost is legislative advocacy at the Oklahoma Legislature on legislation that affects our industry.
2. Our state insurance program offers great discounts to our members for General Liability, Builders Risk, and Workers Compensation.
3. Our Certification program for Professional Builders began a few years ago as an effort to keep our professional builder members at the top of their game. OSHBA offers many educational opportunities throughout the year on a variety of subjects to help professional builders remain on the cutting edge of the industry.
There are many other activities OSHBA undertakes on behalf of the industry.
4. A solid presence on the Internet - up-to-date website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube - advocates to the public on behalf of the association and professional builder members.
5. Many of our educational opportunities have blossomed into great reoccurring events. Our annual Oklahoma Green Building Summit is a great example.
6. OSHBA has also advocated for the association in the court system on issues that have a statewide impact.
However, since legislative advocacy is preeminent among our duties, here are the highlights in recent years:
7. The Right to Remedy, also known as Notice of Opportunity to Repair, allows a builder an opportunity to repair an alleged construction defect before it ends up in a lawsuit. It took over three years to finally accomplish this task at the legislature.
8. Energy Efficient Tax Credit legislation allows for up to a $4,000 tax credit for building high-performance homes that are 2,000-square-feet or less. After the passage of this legislation, we added a transferability clause the next year. While these credits fell under a moratorium during the recent recession, we continue our advocacy to get these restored.
9. The Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission developed the first ever statewide building code, making life a little simpler for builders who build across several jurisdictions.
10. Impact Fee Model Ordinance was a multi-year effort, putting in place many safeguards as to when a municipality imposes an impact fee. The fee cannot finance common infrastructure items on the backs of home builders.
11. We have worked toward Workers Compensation Reform, forming alliances within the construction industry and with the State Chamber on a variety of common business issues.
12. We helped protect CompSource, blocking its sale to a private entity. This would have privatized the "insurer of last resort" and potentially would have cost high-risk industries thousands of dollars in higher premiums.
13. Our largest court-advocacy effort dealt with how assessors value lots. Two cases went all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. We were able to keep intact the valuation for a developer to the builder.
Your state association membership is a valuable component of your overall membership in the home builders' federation. From your local association to the national association, the state sits squarely in the middle protecting you from potential threats to your business.
This list is just a glimpse at our more recent efforts and achievements. However, there are numerous other efforts go on behind the scenes, as well as others on the horizon for which we're preparing. Your membership in OSHBA will continue to provide value to you, and aid OSHBA's leadership in exercising our hard-earned influence with policy and lawmakers throughout the state.
We'll continue to press forward with commitment to our industry's, and thus your, best interests in mind.