Weekly Update: July 10, 2014

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Rare BUILD-PAC Opportunity…

We’re really close to our annual BUILD-PAC fundraising goal in Iowa (85% reached) and we absolutely need to attain that goal. It’s super sad that only four percent of our members contribute to our political action committee. Your livelihood depends on the decisions made by our elected leaders. That’s another story, but we have a special opportunity for the FIRST FOUR new Gold Key (or higher) members who step forward. Those individuals will then have the opportunity to play golf on an ultra-exclusive privately owned 19 hole course in Ankeny called “Talons of Tuscany.”   The course is available only to a handful of charities each year and foursomes have been known to sell for up to $3k. Dennis Albaugh owns the property, which has raised $8 million for charities over the past few years.

You can be billed throughout the year for your BUILD-PAC contribution, which makes it really painless. The Gold Key level is an annual contribution of $1,000 and that can be split up into payment plans.

Our purpose is to raise and spend money to elect candidates running for political office. We work hard to elect pro-housing candidates by contributing to their campaigns. Around four percent of NAHB members contribute, which is very sad. It’s an investment in the future of your business and the home building industry as a whole.  Whether or not you agree with the method, contributions are essential to promoting a pro-housing agenda in government.

Contact HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson  (515-278-0255) if you would like to be a part of this new group of industry leaders.

 

Mark Your Calendar Now for Member Car & Motorcycle Show

jay-iverson-vw-busWe will hold a “show and shine” networking event in our office parking lot, 400 East Court in Des Moines, on August 21 from 6-8 p.m. Any vehicles that you want to drive or drag here are game.  This will be a BUILD-PAC event, but plan to be here for some great good and drinks. We’ll see if we can have some political candidates present too.  The raindate will be August 28. Mark your calendar and more details will be provided in the future. We will have a “peoples choice” award for cars and for motorcycles.  The VW bus in the photo is one of four split window buses that HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson has flipped in the past 14 months and his all original naked 1978 Honda Goldwing is for sale now, so work begins now to figure out what to bring.  If you would like to help coordinate the event, don’t hesitate to email Jay Iverson.  We’ll keep it simple and just have fun.
Webinar Wednesdays

Significant Changes to the 2012 International Codes

Wednesday, July 16, 2-3 p.m. ET

This webinar highlights significant changes to the 2012 editions of the International Codes, particularly the International Residential Code® and International Building Code®. Presented by NAHB Construction, Codes and Standards.  Click here.

 

Water Features and Landscape Architecture Webinar

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about water features and landscape architecture for single-family homes and communities. It will be held on Wednesday, July 30 from 2-3 p.m. ET.

This session will focus on top water and landscape architecture features that home buyers want to see when they purchase either a single-family custom home or buy into an entire community. In both cases, these features contribute to a resident’s positive sense of place by creating curb appeal in the public space and an intimate, enjoyable setting in their private space.  This is presented by the NAHB Land Use and Design and the Best in American Living Magazine.  Click here.

 

Patent Troll Video

This may be something that might pop up during the next legislative session. Many states successfully passed legislation last year that will protect our members. For now, it’s just interesting. Patent trolls that seek to force companies to enter into a licensing agreement or face litigation can cost home builders and other small businesses big money.

Justin Wood is among several Oregon contractors who have received “demand” letters from a company named Savannah IP, which owns a patent on a moisture removal process used in home construction.

The letters state that the builders face legal action unless they enter into a licensing agreement and pay the patent owner as much as $150 per each home to use the patented “process.”

Wood’s firm has decided to fight the lawsuit threat and his patent abuse story is highlighted in this video.

 

Home Sales Surge

Housing news continued to improve as pending home sales surged following a slow first quarter. Home prices also continued to move higher but at a more moderate pace, suggesting the extra push caused by investors may be slowing. Economic news, however, was mixed. Consumer confidence increased in response to improving labor market conditions. On the other hand, new estimates from the first quarter revealed a steeper decline in real GDP. Early indications are that real GDP will reverse course from a dismal first quarter and gains in housing will continue the pace set before the end of 2013.

Pending homes sales posted the biggest month-over-month increase in four years. The Pending Home Sales Index increased 6.1% in May. It follows a healthy increase in existing home sales and a Census report showing a surge in new home sales. In May, new single-family home sales increased 18.6% from April.

Weekly Update: June 26, 2014

2014 National Electric Code Hearing August 12

   We’ve been on top of this every step of the way, but here is a document that you may want to look at. During the Electrical Examining Board (EEB) meeting held on June 19th, 2014, the board discussed and voted on the Notice of Intended Action (NOIA).  The NOIA is in regard to adopting the 2014 National Electric Code (NEC) with a few amendments, and with an effective date of January 1, 2015. A public hearing is going to be held on August 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM at the Oran Pape Building located at 215 East 7th Street in Des Moines, IA.  If you are not able to attend in person, or you prefer to submit your views in writing, you may do so by emailing them to: admrule@dps.state.ia.us.  If you have any comments that you would like to funnel into a potential HBAI document, please email HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson.

Navigating Reform

   New Delays. New Rules. Everywhere you look, consumers and the industry alike are feeling the effects of the Affordable Care Act. Are you moving in the right direction? The Iowa Association of Health Underwriters is holding a really interesting symposium.

Who Should Attend:

* Business Owners * Executives * Managers * HR Professionals * Insurance Brokers & Agents

* Risk Managers * Legal Counsel * Benefit Specialists * Supervisors

July 23 & 24 – Prairie Meadows – Altoona, IA

Learn from the Experts addressing the pressing issues of healthcare reform including New Delays & New Rules. The speakers include:

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

Avik S. Roy, Senior Fellow Manhattan Institute

Grace-Marie Turner, President of the Galen Institute

Nick Gerhart, Iowa Insurance Commissioner

Jennifer Vermeer, Iowa Medicaid Director

Sen. Ben Nelson, NAIC Chief Executive Officer

John C. Goodman, PhD., President & CEO, Kellye Wright Fellow

And More…

Check out the details by going to the official website here.

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Pack a Bag and Ride to South Dakota

hba-pacThere is no shortage of motorcycle ride opportunities, but this one might be really fun. If you have any interest in putting a ride together in Iowa with the same purpose, email Jay Iverson. So South Dakota is already famous for riding, and now it’s time for the first-ever America’s Ride for Housing NAHB BUILD-PAC Poker Run on Saturday, Aug. 2 and every NAHB member is invited to attend.

   Beginning and ending at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City, riders – who can be on two, three or four wheels – will enjoy seven stops at historic locations and monuments to fill out trivia questions during the 115 mile run through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota.  All NAHB members are invited to attend and support home building’s voice on Capitol Hill.  Learn more about the ride – including cost, giveaways, and prizes – by visiting the Black Hills HBA website. Stay tuned for future updates about other BUILD-PAC events.

Iowa DNR Wastewater Hearing

The Iowa DNR has drafted rules that are intended to update and clean up several portions of the NPDES wastewater rules, located in 567 – Chapters 60, 62, 63, 64, and 67 of the Iowa Administrative Code.  The draft rules propose to:

  • update federal code references (including the reference regarding wastewater testing procedures),
  • change rule language to accord with the federal regulations,
  • remove obsolete rule language and citations,
  • extend and clarify bypass reporting timelines,
  • add operational monitoring requirements to ensure proper operation of two newer wastewater treatment types,
  • remove extraneous public notice requirements for permittees,
  • clarify language on permit reissuance, and
  • add a new subrule to allow DNR to issue fee refunds without variances.

   They are inviting all of the wastewater stakeholders to an informational meeting regarding the draft Wastewater Cleanup rules on July 15, 2014 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in Conference Room 4E of the Wallace Building (address below).  At the informational meeting, they will cover the draft rules, job impact, and fiscal impact in detail, and we will accept questions and comments on all of the documents.  Click on any of the documents – the draft Notice of Intended ActionJobs Impact Statement, and Fiscal Impact Statement. If you see anything that the HBAI needs to present, please email HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson.