Members & Associates,
Just a few short months into 2017 and this year is proving to be a decisive test of the industry’s ability to combat influences both at the local and state level, which are intent on undercutting our ability to build new homes at an affordable price. Whether those challenges stem from badly written legislation coming out of Sacramento, or an ill-advised push by local agencies to increase development impact fees, we as a chapter are fighting any attempt by outside parties to add to the cost of building. Currently in California we produce approximately 80,000 homes a year, which is 100,000 homes short of where we as an industry need to be in order to keep up with demand. With this in mind, I’d like to highlight how we at the BIA have been addressing some of the challenges facing the development industry and let you know what you can to join us in this effort.
First, I’d like to share with you an update on AB 199. As many of you know, this badly written legislation threatened to require all residential development projects in California to pay prevailing wage. If this bill were to have passed in its original form, the building industry would have been brought to a grinding halt. Given the dire impacts of this proposed legislation, your Riverside County Chapter, working in conjunction with CBIA, came out in strong opposition to AB 199. Due to our concerted and overwhelming challenge to this legislation, we were successful in getting the author to amend his bill to limit the expansion of prevailing wage. This is a huge win for the industry and enables us to continue building homes for families and creating jobs both in Riverside and throughout the state.
Spring brings with it a review of fees by many local agencies that incorrectly believe that now is the time to add to the cost of building new homes. California finds itself in the middle of a housing crisis, a reality that will not be solved by adding additional fees to the cost of construction. Currently the Riverside Chapter is monitoring over 75 jurisdictions and is actively engaged in discussions with half a dozen local agencies on proposed fee increases related to transportation and school facilities. Fighting and stopping fee increases is vital if we are to make certain development projects viable. This is a fact that we continue to drive home with elected officials who are considering raising the cost of building new homes.
This year’s fights show clearly why expanding and maintaining our membership is of critical importance, and why once again we will be asking for everyone's help in the upcoming membership drives. BIA has consistently been the most effective advocate for the Industry, and this is because of the strength and size of our organization. By recruiting new members, and ensuring that we retain existing members, we grow the ability of our association to face these challenges which threaten the very life of our industry. This month our membership committee will be pushing hard to expand our Association and add new members, and your help is vital.
It is my sincere pleasure to serve as your Chapter President and I look forward to tackling these challenges head on with all of you as my partners.
Jeff Clemens, President
Building Industry Association of Southern California
Riverside County Chapter