As my year as chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) draws to a close, I want to reflect on the successes of 2022 and the housing industry’s prospects in 2023 and beyond.
We began the year with the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., coming together for the first time in two years to experience the latest in building products, techniques, and educational sessions. During the show, we announced a new partnership between NAHB and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to introduce more of America’s youth to potential careers in residential construction and provide young people with opportunities for career exploration through skills-based learning activities.
As supply chain challenges worsened and housing affordability reached new lows, NAHB called on the White House to address the affordability crisis, sending a letter signed by over 10,000 NAHB members, which resulted in several meetings with the White House during the following months. NAHB leadership also testified on Capitol Hill on a variety of issues affecting the housing industry, including workforce diversity and addressing supply chain bottlenecks. And the association pushed to ensure provisions beneficial to residential construction were included in the final version of the Inflation Reduction Act.
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In June, NAHB co-hosted the second Innovative Housing Showcase on the National Mall with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This event last took place in 2019, and this year’s Showcase was bigger and better, with more display homes and exhibitors.
NAHB strengthened its status as the leading voice for housing, offering the industry’s perspective on some of the nation’s biggest media stages as major media outlets often quoted member volunteers and senior staff on key policy issues, economic developments, and trends.
During a year where housing employment saw unprecedented growth, several NAHB initiatives worked concurrently to support and grow association membership. A key effort was implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the industry to broaden the workforce. Additionally, we expanded workforce development programs to bring more young people into the industry and developed mentorship opportunities within the federation. And we promoted jobsite safety and mental health programs to support members and their employees.
NAHB launched several grassroots efforts throughout 2022, including engagement in the International Codes Council codes development process in October. The association and its members were also engaged in the midterm elections through BUILD-PAC, endorsements, and the “Defender of Housing Awards.”
What Lies Ahead for the Housing Industry in 2023
Looking ahead, with high inflation and mortgage interest rates rising to levels not seen in 30 years, we’ll likely see a significant slowdown in new residential construction. With the potential for a recession this year, NAHB has been preparing resources to support its members during a potential downturn.
As climate change affects more states and local jurisdictions, and policymakers propose more climate-related regulations, NAHB will remain engaged. Because the climate issue touches so many aspects of our industry, we have a proposal to establish a new Climate Risk and Sustainability Committee—the first time in decades that NAHB has created a new committee, which speaks to the importance of this initiative.
During this interesting and challenging year, I’ve drawn strength from fellow members all around the country. Home builders are the most positive, never-quit people I know, and I look forward to collaborating with my member colleagues for years to come.
W2W4 at NAHB
• IBS Centrals: If you’re headed to the 2023 International Builders’ Show, stop by one of the Centrals to connect with other housing-industry professionals and enjoy educational sessions led by seasoned pros. Access is included with an Expo Pass.
• NAHB BizTools give NAHB members a competitive edge, with tips and strategies to help refine your business expertise, boost your bottom line, and build a stronger company. Access this business-building content at nahb.org/biztools.