Homebuilders associations exist to help their member homebuilders grow and protect their businesses. So obviously, they would have a vested interest in monitoring what is being voted on at local government public meetings because such decisions can significantly impact homebuilders’ business operations and bottom lines. Local governments have the authority to create laws and regulations that affect the building industry, including zoning and land-use laws, building codes, and permit requirements. Sudden changes to these “ordinances” can impact the costs and feasibility of construction projects, and ultimately affect the homebuilders’ ability to sell their homes.
For example, if a local government decides to impose new regulations on building materials or building methods, the cost of construction may increase. Similarly, if a government decides to change zoning laws or building codes, it may affect the types of homes that can be built, limiting the builders’ ability to construct the types of homes that are in demand. These types of changes certainly would make it harder for homebuilders to sell their homes at competitive prices
By monitoring these local government public meetings, home builders associations are staying abreast of any proposed changes to laws and regulations, allowing them to mobilize their members to voice their opinions and concerns to local officials before the votes are cast, educating officials about the potential impacts of these changes on the homebuilding industry and the local economy.
A real-world example of this is the recent controversy over building codes changes in California. In 2018, the California Energy Commission adopted new building codes that require new homes to have solar panels installed on their roofs starting in 2020. This was met with resistance from many local home builders who argued that the new regulations would increase the cost of construction and make it harder to build affordable homes. In February of 2020, home builders were able to convince the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, a public power agency, to let them take credit for electricity generated by off-site solar farms, instead of constructing houses with rooftop solar panels. This increased the ability of local home builders to build more affordable homes while at the same time to further the goal of more clean energy in the state . A great example of lobbying local government representatives to consider the impact of new building codes on the building industry and to find ways to make the regulations more affordable for builders and homebuyers was a win-win for everybody.
Clearly, monitoring what is being voted on at local government public meetings is crucial for homebuilders associations to protect their interests and the interests of their members. By staying informed and engaged in the decision-making process, they can ensure that their homebuilder members’ voices are heard and that any proposed changes to laws and regulations are fair and reasonable for everybody.