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‘The High Cost of Regulations’

  • Wed Apr 20 2016, 12:39 pm
By James D. York, PA

April 15th 2016

‘The High Cost of Regulations’

By: York Real Estate Group

The National Association of Home Builders appealed to Congress recently in an attempt to ease costly government regulations on builders and potential homeowners.

Says NAHB vice-chairman Granger MacDonald, "Government regulations account for 25 percent of the cost of a new single-family home. The regulatory burden includes costs associated with permitting, land development, construction codes and other financial hindrances imposed on the construction process. Oftentimes, these regulations end up pushing the price of housing beyond the means of middle-class working American families."

MacDonald and others blame regulatory stress for the shortage of affordable rental housing as well. Builders must deal with mandates on Federal construction (e.g., the Davis-Bacon Act), OSHA limits, energy codes, and water/flood regulations on a daily basis, and that’s bound to drive costs skyward.

"NAHB strongly opposes the mandatory use of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates and requirements," said MacDonald. "As this law is currently enforced, it is artificially driving up construction costs on apartment communities that include HUD financing..."

There are some bright spots—the recently passed Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 will streamline requirements for HUD and rural housing programs. NAHB also urged lawmakers to continue supporting successful programs like the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program.

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