Weekly Update: February 15, 2018

 hba iowa right to repair bill
   These photos are all starting to look the same, but this legislative session has been a blur of non-stop meetings covering a wide variety of topics.  This is the first funnel week, so everyone is scrambling to clean up the giant volume of bills that everyone threw at the wall to see what would stick.  It should be a little more orderly from here on out.  HBAI has been successful in keeping our bills alive thus far, other than the “Right to Repair” bill, which has an uncertain future.  Mainly because there were so many organizations, including the State Attorney General, all attorney groups, and many unions against it.


Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing Registration Open

Let’s think about the nice weather that we’ll have next June 22 for the Fifth Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Outing.  It will be a great time, as it always is.  The registration is open now, so gather up your foursome and sign up before it sells out.  Once again it will be at Copper Creek Golf Course and begins with a 10:00 a.m. shotgun start.  Click here to register.  There are plenty of opportunities for hole, beverage, and prize sponsorships too – so get your company name in early for maximized exposure in our promotional materials.

February 23 is Last Chance for 2017 Rebate Claim

The deadline to file your fourth quarter 2017 claim is going to be Friday, February 23. Claim for any single family home, remodeling project or multi-family units completed from October – December 2017. CLAIM TODAY and be rewarded for your loyalty to our 50+ manufacturer brands!

Click here for the claim form.

Click here for a text reminder.

Click here for a calendar reminder.


If construction is your business, then politics is your business.  We work hard to elect pro-housing candidates at the Federal and State level.  If you do not care about harmful regulations and laws affecting your business, that’s one thing, but BUILD-PAC is an investment in your business.  We’re proud to have the following leaders give, but we could do so much better.  South Dakota alone has 49 Gold Keys.  It’s like that in many states.  Here are your industry leaders so far in 2018:


Capitol Club ($5,000 or higher)

Don Beal

Scott Webster


Platinum ($2,500 or higher)

Keith Butz

Richard Fitch


Gold Key ($1,000 or higher)

Steve Archer

Karyl Bohnsack

Douglas Burgess

Jerry Cable

Mike Farr

Mary Fitch

Zachary Fleming

Rachel Flint

LaDonna Gratias

Jay Iverson

Bill Kimberley

Dan Knoup

Drew Retz

Tim Ruth

Steve Shuey

Glenn Siders

Bryan Thumma

Federal Senate Banking Committee Ask

The Federal Senate Banking Committee has been asked to move forward on a long-term reauthorization of the program to ensure accidental lapses between short-term reauthorizations like we have seen in the past do not occur.  The budget package also includes the following provisions that are positive for housing:

  1. Mortgage insurance premiums. Consumers who file their taxes can deduct premiums paid for private mortgage insurance in 2017. The deduction does not apply for mortgage insurance premiums paid in 2018.
  2. Mortgage forgiveness tax relief. The budget accord eliminates any taxes home owners might face due to renegotiating the terms of a home loan, which result in forgiving or canceling a portion of the outstanding mortgage, particularly in connection with short sales. The debt forgiveness pertains to debt discharged in 2017 but not in 2018.
  3. More funds for worker training. The spending bill proposes an additional $100 million to retrain workers in areas hit last year by hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. It also includes $30 million to rebuild Job Corps centers in Puerto Rico.

Energy-Efficient Home Credit Extension

The Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2018, which President Trump signed into law on February 9, 2018, has extended the Energy-Efficient Homes Credit for homes sold before December 31, 2017. The extension allows builders a $2,000 credit for each “dwelling unit” built and sold/placed into service before the extended date of December 31, 2017.

This credit has historically been thought to apply to single family “homes,” but is also available for Energy Efficient townhomes, condos, and apartments, assuming they meet the description of a “dwelling unit.” This “dwelling unit” concept dramatically expands the builders and contractors who able to claim this credit.

Additionally, these credits can be claimed on an amended return. Therefore, if you have built energy efficient multi-family dwellings that are less than 3 stories above ground, you could go back and amend your returns to claim a $2,000 credit for each unit built.

Thanks to Jodie McDougal and the Davis Brown Law Firm for the update.

Legislative Update February 9

HF2001 – Service and Assistive Dogs in Rental Property – A bill for an act relating to service dogs and assistive animals in residential rental property, providing for landlord remedies to remove dogs and animals, and providing penalties for misrepresenting an animal as a service dog or assistive animal.  HBAI Supports

HF2233 – (Successor to HSB524) Mechanics Lien – Under current law, a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or as to the amount demanded. The bill provides that a lien statement may only be amended by leave of court in furtherance of justice or to decrease the amount demanded. An amendment to decrease the amount demanded must be accomplished through the mechanics’ notice and lien registry. The bill provides that amending a lien statement to decrease the amount demanded does not affect the priority of the lien statement. The bill also provides that a lien statement shall not be amended to increase the amount demanded. HBAI Supports

HF2234 – (successor to HSB531) (Companion to SSB3053 Succeeded by SF2168) Shortening Periods of Time from Foreclosure – This bill shortens the periods of time associated with redemption of real property from foreclosure in Code chapter 628. It changes the period of time that a defendant-debtor may redeem real property from within one year of sale to within six months of sale. It also changes the period in which the defendant-debtor has the exclusive right of redemption from six months after sale to three months after sale.  HBAI Undecided

HF2240 – (Successor to HF2019) (Companion to SSB3156 Succeeded by SF398 in 2017) – Electronic Wage Statements – Current law requires employers to provide certain employees on each regular payday with statements showing hours worked, wages earned, and pay deductions made. The employer may send the statement by mail or provide it at the employee’s normal place of employment during normal employment hours. This bill permits an employer to also provide the statement by secure electronic transmission or by other secure electronic means.  HBAI Supports

HSB588Utility Charges to Tenants – The bill removes the requirement that a landlord provide the name of a tenant that is responsible for a delinquency in a notice to a city utility or enterprise. The bill also removes the requirement that a landlord provide a new notice to a city utility or enterprise if the tenant responsible for a delinquency moves out.  HBAI Supports

HSB616Alternative Project Delivery Contract Methods – Under current law, all Iowa government entities except the Board of Regents are limited to only using the Design-Bid-Build (DBB) project delivery method to build public projects. This legislation would give all state and local governments (except the Iowa Department of Transportation) the option to use alternative project delivery methods like Design-Build and Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMAR) as well.

Government Entities would be required to disclose its intent to use the design-build or CMAR delivery methods at regular meetings at least one week prior to publishing the request for proposals. Notice of requests for proposals must be advertised by publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county where the government entity is located once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to opening the proposals, or by a virtual notice procedure that notifies interested parties for at least twenty various purchases, design contracts, construction contracts, or other contracts each year for the government entity. The government entity shall publish a notice of a request for proposal with a description of the project, the procedures for submission, and the selection criteria to be used. HBAI Undecided

SSB3110 – (Companion to HSB568 succeeded by HF2253) Competitive Bidding Requirements – This bill relates to competitive bidding requirements for construction on properties that certain government entities will lease or lease-purchase. HBAI Supports

SSB3142 (companion to HSB633) – Unenforceable Provisions in Rental Agreements – The bill provides that landlords cannot willfully enforce provisions that the landlord knows are prohibited in a rental agreement for a rental property. The bill also provides that a landlord or a tenant cannot knowingly enforce provisions known to be prohibited in a rental agreement for a space at a mobile or manufactured home park. HBAI Undecided

SF2166 – (Successor to SSB3012) (Companion HSB605)- Redemption of Parcels Sold at Tax Sale – This bill relates to the mechanism by which minors or persons of unsound mind, or their legal representatives, who own real estate which was sold at a tax sale may redeem such parcels. The bill defines “legal representative”. HBAI Undecided

SF2175Partition of Property (Successor to SSB3065) – This bill relates to partition of property in kind and partition of property by sale and creates new Code chapter 651. The bill includes partition provisions currently in the rules of civil procedure. The bill defines terms not previously defined for partition including “ascendant”, “collateral”, “cotenant”, “descendant”, “heirs property”, “owelty”, and “relative”.  HBAI Undecided

HF2232 (successor to HSB504 [HBAI in Favor]) (Companion to SSB3013 [HBAI in Favor] and SF2138) – Mortgage Releases – require that within 30 days of a mortgagor fully paying off a mortgage, a mortgagee must execute, acknowledge, and record a written instrument of satisfaction referring to the mortgage.  HBAI Supports

SF2225Department of Corrections Appropriation for Home Building Program – This bill appropriates project funding ($2 million) for FY 2018-19 from the Rebuild Iowa infrastructure fund for certain costs associated with establishing a home building program to provide low-cost homes for income-qualified buyers.  HBAI Supports

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Weekly Update: February 8, 2018

All eyes were on HBAI President Scott Webster last Tuesday as he discussed SSB3138, which is a proposal put forward to guide the adoption of the energy code. It was a very interesting meeting and the future of the bill is unknown at this time. There was an excellent home rule discussion.

Legislative Update February 2

Budgets will not be delivered officially until March reports, but you might check out SF2117, which are the proposed budget cuts on the Senate side.

We asked you to contact your senators and representatives regarding SSB3064 and HSB575. These are companion bills that allow for the opportunity to repair construction defects prior to litigation. It was a top priority, but now may be on the path to pushing it to next year. More info will follow after we make it past next week’s funnel. Here are a few other bills of interest:

SSB3065 – Partition of Property -The bill contains general provisions applicable to all property partitions. The current procedures related to an action for partition, partition pending probate or administration of an estate, a petition for partition and the parties to such, the answer to a partition petition, and the prohibition of a counterclaim or joinder of claims to a partition petition are not changed by the bill. The bill requires that personal property subject to a lien be partitioned by sale. Partition of real and personal property owned by the same person may be partitioned in the same partition action. HBAI Undecided.

SSB3087 & HSB602 – Workforce Development/Apprenticeship – This bill relates to workforce development by establishing a volunteer mentoring program, a registered apprenticeship development program, an employer innovation fund, a summer youth intern program, and future ready Iowa skilled workforce scholarship and grant programs and funds, and providing for shared postsecondary summer classes for high school students that are aligned with career pathways. The bill also makes conforming changes. HBAI in Support.

SSB3097 – Abandoned Structures – Read it, it’s sort of long, but The bill defines abandoned structures, requires a property to remain vacant for 135 days before a person may request the responsible building official to inspect a building to determine whether it is abandoned, and adds a section on the term “responsible building official.”. HBAI Undecided.

SSB3100 – Mechanics Lien Anti-Collateral – The bill removes the bar to obtaining a mechanic’s lien if a person takes collateral security, either at the time of making a contract or during progress of the work, on a contract for furnishing material or performing labor. HBAI in Support.

SSB3138 – Energy Conservation Requirements – This bill relates to energy conservation requirements contained within the state building code or adopted by governmental subdivisions. HBAI in Support.

HSB596 – Time of Sale Requirements for Real Property – This bill prohibits cities and counties from restricting a person’s ability to refinance, sell, or transfer title to property. Under the bill, a city or county cannot, by ordinance, motion, resolution, amendment, or other means, restrict the ability of an owner to refinance, sell, or otherwise transfer title to property by requiring an owner to take or show compliance with any action with respect to a property or pay any fee before, at the time of, or within a certain period of time after refinancing, selling, or transferring title to the property. HBAI in Support.

The Iowa Building Code Advisory Council met Tuesday to discuss the state energy code. It’s been a long struggle, but we’re looking out for housing affordability and the opportunity to make amendments that make the most business sense. There will be much more to talk about in the coming months.

2017 Federation Membership Saved $7,500 Per Housing Start

NAHB economists have put a dollar value on selected member benefits and advocacy victories achieved in 2017. Add it up, and you get an average of $7,500 per housing start for a typical builder. That figure demonstrates just how much value NAHB delivers for members: the value per housing start a typical builder will see in 2018 as a result of key NAHB advocacy victories in 2017. Some members will experience more of these benefits than others. Here are some of the advocacy victories that contributed to that number.

  1. OSHA Suspends Enforcement of Onerous Beryllium Rule. Estimated value: $2.03 billion ($1,600 per housing start). On Jan. 9, 2017, OSHA published its final rule on Occupational Exposure to Beryllium. Even though the proposed rule did not apply to the construction industry, the final rule did. NAHB filed a lawsuit challenging OSHA’s authority to issue such a rule under these circumstances. In response, OSHA announced that it would stop enforcing the rule in the construction industry.
  2. Preservation of Lower Cost Options in Building Codes. Estimated Value: $1.26 billion ($1,000 per housing start). NAHB was successful in keeping a number of costly provisions out of the 2015 versions of the International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code. Defeated proposals include: Fenestration-U-Factor in Climate Zones 5, 6, 7 and 8 increased to triple pane levels; a high-efficiency water heating equipment requirement; and requirements for new homes to facilitate future solar energy system installations.
  3. Tax Reform: Reductions in Builder Taxes. Estimated value: $1.51 billion ($1,200 per housing start). NAHB was involved from start to finish in the legislative debate over tax reform. On the business side, NAHB worked to reduce taxes on business, including reductions for pass-thru entities, which resulted in lower tax rates and a special pass-thru deduction intended to benefit small business.
  4. Tax Reform: Private Activity Bonds. Estimated value: $991 million ($800 per housing start). House-passed tax reform legislation followed early tax reform plans by eliminating the tax-exempt status of private activity bonds (PABs). NAHB worked hard to demonstrate the importance of PABs to the housing market, especially the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and the final bill preserved PABs.
  5. Tax Reform: Protection of Builder Interest Deduction. Estimated value: $884 million ($700 per housing start). The 2016 Better Way Tax Reform blueprint (published by the Ways and Means Committee as an initial draft of tax reform) proposed to eliminate any business deduction on interest paid on business loans, including acquisition, development and construction loans. Because of NAHB’s advocacy efforts, the final tax reform legislation includes a special exemption for real estate businesses from the interest deduction limits imposed on the rest of the economy.
  6. Elimination of Seriously Flawed Duct Proposal. Estimated value: $867.4 million ($700 per housing start). NAHB, along with HBA leaders in California and Nevada, strongly opposed a proposed change to the 2018 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) that would have limited the length of flex duct to five feet in residential applications. Recently, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials announced that it has decided not to approve this change.

Rural Ruin

Since 1/1/10, total employment growth has been 14% in the 53 metro areas with a population exceeding one million. In metro areas between 250,000 and one million, employment growth has been 9%, and in smaller metro areas, it’s been just 4.5%. Worse, in non-metro areas, employment growth has totaled 2%! The 53 largest metro areas have generated 93.3% of all new jobs despite accounting for just 56% of the population. Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D

SkillsUSA Partnership

SkillsUSA will be working with Iowa Skilled Trades to expand opportunities for all SkillsUSA students. The Iowa Skilled Trades group works with companies from all over the state who specialize in skilled trades including construction companies, cabinetry, plumbing, HVACR, and many other areas that we cover in their competitive events.

They are promoting the HBAI Educational Corporation scholarships for students pursuing a career in the home building industry and related trades. The deadline is March 31 and the scholarship details are available by clicking here.