Editor's Note: This column is reprinted from the March edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine
By Kurt Dinnes
NAHB State Representative
OSHBA Vice President/Treasurer
Home building is up across the nation. The total housing starts hit the one million mark in 2014 for the first time since David Crowe, the NAHB's Chief Economist, is predicting as much as a 24 percent increase in overall housing starts, which includes single and multi-family, for this year. We are very fortunate Oklahoma continues to be one of the strongest states returning to near normal housing numbers.
NAHB's advocacy efforts quantify as a savings of approximately $6,880 per housing start for a typical home builder last year.
These savings include the NAHB victories:
The ICC National Green Building Standard was approved for use in residential military construction. NAHB's subsidiary, the Home Innovation Research Labs, is now the No. 1 residential green certification program, having certified more than 45,000 homes, apartments and lots to the Standard.
The final definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage will enable more credit-worthy households to quality for a mortgage than the original 20 percent down-payment requirement sought by regulators, among other onerous criteria.
The Federal Housing Administration announced a half percent cut in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, enabling 250,000 new home owners to buy a home over the next three years.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also make homeownership more affordable by agreeing to purchase mortgages with down payments as low as 3 percent. Combined with safeguards put in place to ensure creditworthiness, this is a positive move that should bring more first-time buyers into the market.
And the Federal Housing Finance Agency will increase funding for affordable housing by requiring the GSEs to start paying into the Housing Trust Fund. That pumps at least $300 million a year into supporting rental and homeownership opportunities for very low income families.
Field Rep Charles Liuzzo
The NAHB launched the new field representatives program to help strengthen the ties between the federation and its member associations. The field representatives will be stationed in each of NAHB's five regions and will serve as liaisons between NAHB and the HBAs. I had an opportunity to meet our field representative for region D, Charles Liuzzo. I spend some time visiting with him and found Charles to be an enthusiastic, young energetic person who is making this transition from his involvement with BuildPAC. We have established a dialog with him with respect to our local HBAs, leadership and potential opportunities to begin serving our great state.
The NAHB Board meeting during IBS went much more smoothly than the Fall Board meeting, thank goodness! Issues were calmly discussed and voted on effectively. Some notable changes as a result of those votes are;
The Affiliate dues increase to $15 is now official.
NAHB will begin requiring two board meetings, rather than three, beginning next year. The required meetings will take place at IBS and in July.
The New 2015 NAHB leadership was elected, electing Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.,as our new Chairman and Louisiana custom home builder Randy Noel, endorsed by Oklahoma, won the Third Vice Chairman position in a close race with Dean Mon.
I remind you our membership is not just with our Local HBA. Our membership includes our Oklahoma State Home Builders Association and our membership in the National Association of Home Builders.
I would like to personally thank you. By reading this very article, you are wisely taking advantage of the work done on your behalf and our industry.This is made possible because of your valued membership in both OSHBA and the NAHB. As always if I can be of any help as your NAHB State Representative, please contact me. I would enjoy hearing from you.