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Overcoming Challenges, Celebrating Victories

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Overcoming Challenges, Celebrating Victories

NAHB Chairman's Message: 2023 was a challenging year for home building, but among the challenges, there were many victories as well

By Alicia Huey, NAHB 2023 Chairman February 17, 2024
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Image: magann / stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of Pro Builder.

Like many of you, I found 2023 challenging as a home builder. Dealing with high interest rates and their impact on the housing market, trying to predict whatPB+ icon the Federal Reserve was going to do about inflation, and receiving criticism from the media and the public for not building enough homes to meet demand were just some of the hurdles. But, in my last Pro Builder column as chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, I want to share with you the progress made and victories achieved over the last 12 months. 

We began 2023 with a great International Builders’ Show boasting the largest attendance and the second largest exhibit floor since the Great Recession. Seeing so many of you walking the show floor, engaging with the more than 1,300 exhibitors, and networking and learning from fellow industry professionals provided a great start to the year. 

One of my priorities as NAHB chairman was to emphasize wellbeing within the industry. We partnered with the SAFE Project and the Job-Site Safety Institute in 2023 to produce educational resources for home builders about the dangers of opioid use and the correct way to administer naloxone on the jobsite, should it ever be needed. And we worked to elevate the importance of being open and transparent about mental health struggles to reduce stigma and increase support for everyone. 


We also emphasized recovery from external forces such as natural disasters. In March, NAHB responded to the unprecedented tornado damage affecting thousands of families across the southern United States, working with one of our state Home Builders Association partners, the HBA of Mississippi, and local aid groups to provide relief in the affected areas. It was a great show of our members’ commitment to serving their communities and it bolstered my belief in the good NAHB is capable of achieving. 

Housing Policy: NAHB's Advocacy Efforts for the Home Building Industry

In the policy arena, our engagement on Capitol Hill helped move the needle in a positive direction for the industry and for potential homebuyers as well. On multiple occasions, I testified before Congress along with NAHB’s chief economist Dr. Robert Dietz on important issues facing residential construction, to educate lawmakers about the need for reasonable regulations and funding for key programs. 

In May, NAHB saw a major victory on the regulatory front when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision to define water regulations in a way that’s beneficial to both home builders and homebuyers. And in June, NAHB members from across the nation headed to Capitol Hill to advocate for increased transformer supply, continued funding for workforce development programs, and more reasonable building codes

Also in June, NAHB and the Department of Housing and Urban Development hosted the third Innovative Housing Showcase, an event presenting the latest trends in residential construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With the goal of showing lawmakers, builders, and the public new ways to build and make homes more resilient, the showcase tripled in size in 2023, with more than 60 exhibitors presenting techniques and products to make housing more affordable, sustainable, adaptive, and resistant to environmental impacts and natural disasters.

And in the fall, NAHB member volunteers and staff participated in events across the country to demonstrate the importance of workforce development and to recruit new and more diverse young people into the industry. I’m always proud of the way my fellow builders—my teammates—work to develop the next generation of home builders. By laying a strong foundation today, we can build an amazing future. 

As we move boldly into this new year, NAHB is guided by a recently approved Strategic Plan. Developed with input from hundreds of members and staff, this plan will help us fulfill our mission during the next three years and will aid in making NAHB’s vision for our country—affordable and desirable housing available to all—a reality. I believe this plan, under the direction of NAHB’s new CEO, Jim Tobin, will benefit not just NAHB and all of its members, but everyone in our industry who shares a common goal: building homes, enriching communities, and changing lives. 

2024 is here and our work continues. 


IBS Education: Make plans to discover the possibilities of artificial intelligence for your business during a high-impact Game Changers session at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Noelle Russell, a leading AI innovator and practitioner, will be speaking on Feb. 28, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Russell is the global AI solutions lead at Accenture and the founder and chief AI officer at the AI Leadership Institute. Game Changers Sessions are open to all attendees with Expo+Education Passes. Plan to join us for IBS 2024, Feb. 27 – 29, in Las Vegas, where you can take advantage of top-notch and impactful IBS Education. Learn more at buildersshow.com.

NAHB councils target specific disciplines within the home building industry and offer members networking opportunities, professional education, recognition and awards, and exclusive products and services. The councils include: 55+, Building Systems, NAHB Remodelers, Multifamily, Leading Suppliers, the National Sales and Marketing Council, Professional Women in Building, Student Chapters, and NAHB Global. Learn more about how NAHB councils can help you build your future at nahb.org/nahb-community/councils


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Written By

Alicia Huey, a Birmingham, Ala.-based custom home builder and developer with more than 30 years of experience in the home building industry, is the National Association of Home Builders' 2023 Chairman of the Board of Directors. Huey is president of AGH Homes, a custom home building company she founded in 2000.

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