Alfred Tennyson said, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’”. Indeed, a new year brings promise of fresh happenings. Healthy life changes, the closing of difficult times in the year past, and yes, hope for even greater happiness.
This year change is anticipated also with the inauguration of a new president. And, hope rises for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) with President-elect Donald Trump. In fact, Ed Brady, NAHB Chairman, made a statement that, “NAHB looks forward to working in a bipartisan manner with the incoming administration … to tackle critical issues facing the housing industry.”
With cautious optimism, Jerry Howard, NAHB CEO, looks forward to the experience and insight the new president brings to the White House in regard to NAHB passions. Building and developing fall into Trump’s wheelhouse and offer promise of his impact for the good on housing issues over the next four years.
In particular, the areas affecting NAHB which President-elect Trump looks to address include:
During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to promote housing and economic recovery by temporarily freezing creation of new regulations and cutting regulations which hinder building and buying homes. According to the President-elect, burdensome regulations on the housing industry rival those of the energy companies. And, the cost of maintaining these specifications raises housing costs and promotes job loss.
Therefore, reducing overzealous or redundant regulations raises the hope of homes becoming more affordable for buyers. In addition, Trump agreed to eliminate job killing regulations including those in the environmental and labor spheres. The Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OSHA could all feel the impact.
Needed Tax Reforms
Aggressive tax reform also remained a hallmark of Trump’s campaign. And, Howard believes that the new president will act early on reforms affecting housing interests. With the House Ways & Means Committee likely enacting major tax reform legislation, NAHB is watching with anticipation.
These changes look to impact housing and financial policy as well as entities such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Again, more affordable housing costs and an increased flow of capital promise to result. And, these changes prove potent for the housing industry.
Ineffective Immigration Structures
While Howard does not claim to agree or disagree with Trump’s strategies, he does support the overhaul on the immigration system. Recognizing that “immigrants have built this country from the first house,” Howard understands the value of comprehensive reform and consistent legal flow in this regard. Plus, NAHB’s hope is to hold employers liable for employee legal status.
Reform to the immigration system promises hope of security and provision of a much needed workforce. With an estimated 22 percent of the building industry’s workforce being foreign-born, NAHB believes the new administration holds the keys to protecting borders, boosting the economy and continuing to welcome immigrants vital to this nation. In addition, these actions work to the reduce widespread labor shortages in the housing sector.
Lack of Value on Skilled Labor
As mentioned, President-elect Trump adds residential and commercial construction experience to the Oval Office. With an understanding of the value of skilled labor and excellent work product to success, Trump brings insight to the governing bodies on what it takes to build, build well and build the economy all at the same time.
This knowledge fits well with NAHB goals to raise up American-born construction workers. With an emphasis on training, mentoring and job placement, NAHB desires to proactively increase the skilled labor workforce. Through previous work in Indiana with then-Governor Mike Pence, NAHB saw state supported training initiatives including vocational programs in schools brought into the state. It seems both President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence offer hope to NAHB goals.
New Year, New President, New Hopes
While the views of remodelers themselves are mixed, NAHB takes a positive stance with optimistic caution on the weight the soon-to-be President Trump will have over housing issues. Given his track record in building and construction, one might easily see the side of NAHB and grab hold of their hope in Trump’s promises.
Decreased regulations and increased reforms with their resulting lowered building and buying costs, improved job opportunities and increased flow of capital look promising to NAHB. Furthermore, the capacity for Trump and his administration to revamp the immigration system to reduce labor shortages and promote skilled labor initiatives for foreign and American-born citizens as well adds to the promise of this new year.
But, it does seem a lot of promise to fulfill. Then again, hope holds out for great things. And, new years tend to see them brought to fruition. Time will tell if Tennyson’s words penned long ago speak of the hope fulfilled for NAHB, the housing industry and this country. In other words, if indeed, “things will be happier.”