Weekly Update: January 25, 2018

2018 HBAI President Scott Webster, 2017 HBAI President Tim Ruth, and HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson had a great time last Friday evening at the Quad Cities Builders and Remodelers holiday party last Friday evening. Over 100 members gathered together to change leadership, raise PAC funds, celebrate victories, and share an awesome meal.

Legislative Update – January 19

The Governor was able to get her top priority delivered with water quality after the House’s bipartisan passage of SF 512 in a 59-41 vote. The governor noted that this is an important next step in making Iowa’s lakes, rivers and streams cleaner. The Senate previously passed SF 512 during the 2017 legislative session. The passage of the same legislation by the House on Tuesday follows several legislative sessions, multiple bills on the issue and dozens of hours of debate.

Our HBAI Legislative Committee also discussed a number of other issues including opioid issues, plans for Iowa Prison Industries to build homes, personal property rights, along with rural and rehabilitation issues.

Mechanics Liens & Public Construction Liens (Baltimore) [HSB 524] – 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.

PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION LIENS. Current Code section 573.15 7 provides an exception to the requirement that a public corporation retain a portion of funds due a contractor on a public improvement project in a fund for the payment of claims for materials furnished and labor performed. The exception provides that a public corporation need only retain funds due a supplier of material to a general contractor if the supplier provides the general contractor with one of two permitted types of notice after the materials are supplied. The bill provides that, in addition to claims for materials, the exception shall apply to claims for labor, service, or transportation. The bill also amends the notice requirement to provide that a supplier of labor, materials, service, or transportation to a general contractor must give only one type of notice, along with a certified statement that such notice was given. The bill repeals Code section 26.13 (public construction bidding — early release of retained funds) and creates new Code section 573.28 with the same language except for corrected internal references.
HBAI Supports

Mortgage Releases (Baltimore) [HSB504] Companion to (Zaun) [SSB3013] – – The bill amends Code section 655.1 to 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. The bill provides that if the mortgage secures a revolving line of credit, then the mortgagee is not required to file a satisfaction upon payment in full unless the mortgagor makes a written request to the mortgagee that the mortgage be released. The bill amends Code section 655.3 to establish a penalty of $500 and to allow reasonable attorney fees to be awarded in addition to rather than included in, actual damages, where a mortgagee, or a mortgagee’s personal representative or assignee, upon full performance of the conditions of the mortgage, fails to discharge such mortgage within 30 days after a request for discharge. The bill also amends Code section 655.5 to increase the penalty from $100 to $500 if a mortgagee fails to file a satisfaction of judgment within 30 days of receiving a written request.
HBAI Supports

Motor Vehicles Approaching Stationary Construction Vehicles (Carlson) [HSB509] – This bill expands the list of protected stationary vehicles to include stationary construction vehicles, and permits construction vehicles to display amber flashing lights.
HBAI Supports

Workforce Housing Tax Incentives (McKean) [HF 2004] [Companion to SF2033]: definition of small city – The workforce housing tax incentive program (program) administered by the Iowa economic development authority (authority) provides various tax incentives to taxpayers who complete certain housing projects in Iowa. The total tax incentives issued per fiscal year cannot exceed $20 million, and $5 million of that total cap must be reserved for tax incentives issued to housing projects located in small cities. Under current law, the definition of “small city” includes any city or township not located within the 11 most populous counties in the state.
HBAI Undecided

Wage Statements by Electronic Means (Rogers) [HF 2019] – 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 also permits an employer to provide the statement by secure electronic transmission or by other secure electronic means.
HBAI Supports

Power of Attorney and Real Property (Zaun) [SSB3014] – This bill provides that, unless a power of attorney otherwise provides and subject to certain restrictions contained in Code section 633B.201, an agent that has been granted general authority with respect to real property is authorized to relinquish any and all of the principal’s rights of dower, homestead, and elective share. The bill is effective upon enactment. The bill applies retroactively to July 1, 18 2014.
HBAI Undecided

Energy Conservation Requirements and State Building Code (Smith) [SF388] [Successor to SSB1126] – The bill provides that if a governmental subdivision adopts minimum energy conservation requirements that are not less restrictive than the 2009 edition of the international energy conservation code, then applicable residential construction must comply with the energy conservation requirements adopted by the governmental subdivision in lieu of the energy conservation requirements adopted by the commissioner.
HBAI Supports

Not a very exciting photo, but an incredibly exciting announcement! HBA Federation member Kreg Tool donated $100,000, plus a giant pile of tools, to the Des Moines Public Schools Central Campus Skilled Trades Alliance. It’s an awesome project and this continues to help the entire skilled trades effort rocket forward. Thanks Kreg Tool!

Top Ten Call Backs

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty just released its list of the top ten call back issues for 2017. There were over 42,000 reported defects on behalf of builder members last year with an average cost of $476. Here is the list:

  1. Drywall
  2. Finish Carpentry
  3. Painting
  4. Plumbing
  5. Exterior and Interior Doors
  6. Switches and Receptacles
  7. Appliance Warranties
  8. Hard Surfaces, Marble,Tile, and Slate
  9. Heating and Air Conditioning
  10. Plywood and Joists.

IFA Video with Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend

The Iowa Finance Authority just released this video carrying the same skilled trades message that we’re all working hard on.

This is pretty fun, not something that happens everyday – HBAI Board of Director member Brandon Patterson (RE/MAX Des Moines) was interviewed by an international news wire service last week and the story was picked up by Swiss TV on Tuesday. It highlights the Des Moines area and construction needs – we have no idea what they’re saying with the interpretations, but he looked good doing it. They did attempt to discredit the Trump administration as much as possible. Check it out by clicking here.

Weekly Update: January 18, 2018

NAHB Leadership Team

In last week’s newsletter we announced that Chuck Fowke of Florida was elected NAHB third vice chair, but there is more to the story from our meeting last week at IBS.  With more than 700 affiliated state and local home builders associations and more than 140,000 members across the country, NAHB represents the interests of the nation’s housing professionals through advocacy, education and research.

Taking the helm as NAHB Chair is Randy Noel, a Louisiana-based custom home builder with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Noel is president of Reve Inc., a custom home building firm that has developed more than 1,000 custom homes in the greater New Orleans area.

“We will work this year to keep the housing recovery on track and to reduce burdensome regulations that harm housing affordability and inhibit job creation,” said Noel. “We will also urge Congress and the White House to ensure that housing remains a national priority and to promote policies that will provide affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for hard-working American families.”

Also moving up on the association’s leadership ladder was Greg Ugalde, a Connecticut builder and developer with more than 25 years of experience in the home building industry. He was elected First Vice Chairman of the Board. Ugalde is president and chief legal officer of Torrington-based T&M Building Co., Inc., one of the largest home builders in the state. Since its founding in 1962, T&M has built more than 3,500 new homes in over 40 Connecticut communities.

Dean Mon, a New Jersey-based builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Board. He is president of the D.R. Mon Group Inc., which specializes in the development and construction of classic urban living projects throughout New Jersey. Since 1985, the company has created communities throughout Morris, Hunterdon, Union, Hudson and Monmouth counties.

John “Chuck” Fowke joined the NAHB leadership ladder with his election as Third Vice Chairman of the Board. A Tampa, Fla.-based custom home builder with 40 years of experience, Fowke is owner and president of Homes by John C. Fowke Inc. His company has created hundreds of homes in many neighborhoods in and around the Tampa Bay area.

2017 NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, from Kerrville, Texas, remains on the leadership ladder as Immediate Past Chairman. MacDonald is chairman and CEO of the MacDonald Companies, a diverse development, construction, and property management enterprise with nearly 50 neighborhoods completed and managed throughout Texas.

Rounding out the association’s leadership is NAHB CEO Jerry Howard, from Washington, D.C. Howard heads up a professional staff of more than 240 working out of the National Housing Center in Washington. He has served as the association’s CEO/EVP since February 2001. Previously, Howard was NAHB’s chief tax counsel.

Webster Latest Capitol Club BUILDPAC Member

2018 HBAI President Scott Webster raised the bar at IBS, taking his BUILDPAC Gold Key ($1k annual contribution) Membership and converting it to Capitol Club ($5k annual contribution).  South Dakota puts Iowa to shame, with 49 Gold Keys – let’s help change that.  Email Jay Iverson and he’ll get you set up.


Build My Future Road Trip

We are planning a road trip to Springfield Missouri on March 28 for the Ozark Region Build My Future.  It’s an awesome event where 1,000 students get together for hands on skilled trades participation.  If you’re interested in being a part, email Jay Iverson.

Governor Reynolds to Review Iowa’s 160k Regulations

Governor Reynolds announced that a review of Iowa’s 160,000 regulations will be taking place.  “It’s not about wiping out every rule and regulation,” Governor Kim Reynolds said on Tuesday, “but it’s about finding the balance to make sure that we’re protecting the safety and health of Iowans, as well as making sure that we’re not creating just unsustainable burdens for especially small businesses and startups, because we want them to grow and expand in the state.”  Hopefully we’ll have much more to report on that later!

If you didn’t get a chance to hear her Iowa Condition of the State address, please do so, it was excellent.  Listen in at the 35:15 mark where she talks about our Mike Rowe event and the need for skilled trades.  You can see it by clicking here.

Availability and Affordability Keeping it Hamstrung

While starts increased by 9% in 2017 over 2016, the characteristics of these new homes stayed largely the same, according to survey results from NAHB released during a press conference Jan. 10 at the  International Builders’ Show.The average home size, at 2,622 square feet in 2016, was essentially unchanged in 2017, at 2,627 square feet. Forty-six percent had four bedrooms or more compared to 45% in 2016; 37% had three full baths or more compared to 35% in 2016.

Housing availability and affordability remain a serious issue, and it’s reflected in these findings, said Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president of survey research.

Further, 65% of home owners surveyed don’t believe it’s going to get any easier in 2018. Seventy-nine percent of these prospective buyers can only afford half the homes in their markets, Quint said. “These potential buyers see a problem with housing availability. They know it’s a tough nut to crack, but they are not deterred. They are still planning to buy a house in the next 12 months.”

An NAHB survey of builders revealed that homes built in 2018 will most likely include a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, a separate laundry room, a great room, nine-foot ceilings on the main floor and granite kitchen counters. They are also very likely to contain energy-efficient features such as low-E windows and Energy Star-certified appliances and windows.

Member Advantage Discounts

Your 3-in-1 membership includes an exclusive program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) called Member Advantage. This offers you ways to reduce expenses, increase efficiency, and maximize profits through discounts on products and services with leading, national companies. To learn more about these discounts and how to access the savings go to NAHB Member Discounts. Click here for an overview of all discounts.