Indiana HBA Leader Testifies Before Congress on Affordability Issues | Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho | Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Idaho | Treasure Valley
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Indiana HBA Leader Testifies Before Congress on Affordability Issues

Rick Wajda, chief executive officer of the Indiana Builders Association, told Congress today that the “primary challenge to the building industry is the lack of attainable, affordable housing in the single-family and multifamily markets.”

At the invitation of Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), the ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Wajda testified before the panel on a hearing focusing on housing issues.

“The fact is homeownership is unattainable for many across Indiana — including two-earner households — due to tight supply, inflationary pressures, regulatory costs and rising mortgage rates,” said Wajda. “This is why we must look at reducing the cost of housing at all levels.”

Wajda cited NAHB research to lawmakers that nearly 25% of the costs of a new home nationwide can be attributed to regulations.

“Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by various levels of government,” he said. “At the local level, jurisdictions may charge permit, hook-up, and impact fees and establish development and construction standards that either directly increase costs to builders and developers, or cause delays that translate to higher costs. State and federal governments may be involved in this process directly or indirectly. For example, restrictive building codes add thousands of dollars to the cost of a house, making it that much more difficult to qualify for a mortgage.”

To improve housing affordability, Wajda told lawmakers that all regulations should be examined for their impact on housing affordability.

“Communities can reduce the cost of producing new housing by eliminating fee increases, assisting with infrastructure costs and allowing for higher density housing where the market demands it,” said Wajda. “Our aging population may want to age in place or age in community. Creativity and options to allow this must be explored and implemented.”

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