What Has Your State Association Done For You Lately?

The Home Builders Association of Michigan deals with a multitude of issues on behalf of the residential building industry in our state. HBAM helps members deal with legal and regulatory issues that arise with their companies and works for members in more ways than can be listed here. But, some of the key efforts made by our state association include the following:

Worked to secure passage of 14 Public Acts including legislation which:

• Lowered the Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Base.

• Allowed Unemployment Insurance contingent funds to be used for

• workforce training.

• Prohibited local governments from adopting ordinances setting mandatory wages, benefits, leave time, scheduling, training, or application information requirements for employers.

• Eliminated the requirement to be employed by a government before being allowed to apply for registration as a building inspector or official.

• Made multi-unit housing inspections discretionary unless a complaint is received.

• Amended the Condominium Act to revise provisions under which a developer may withdraw undeveloped portions from a project without the prior consent of co-owners, mortgagees or other interested parties.

• Increase the electrical journeyman/apprentice ratio from 1 to 1 to 1 to 3.

Worked to prevent passage of legislation to:

• Re-impose the requirement for Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters no longer found in the Michigan Residential Code.

• Give Fire Services control of the State Construction Code Commission and any committees appointed by the Commission or the Department.

• Requireco-ownerapprovalofcondoassociationbudgetsandrequire LARA to provide investigative, enforcement, and dispute resolution services in conflicts between a co-owner and an association.

Worked to begin to solve the Skilled Workforce shortage by:

• Creating the “Skilled To Build Foundation,”

• Getting legislative approval for a funding source for grants to promote skilled trade education.

• Seeking changes in the Youth Labor Law to help encourage students to consider a career in residential construction.

• Partnering with the Lieutenant Governor to promote skilled trade education statewide.

• Partnering with Intermediate School Districts, Career Tech programs and their instructors to expand and improve skilled trade educational opportunities.

Worked to create and continue a reasonable, rational, cost-effective residential code, not one ruled by manufacturers and special interests, by:

• Keeping sprinklers out of the 2015 Michigan Residential Code.

• Removing Arc-faults from the 2015 Michigan Residential Code.

• Assuring Chapter 11 energy efficiency requirements in the 2015 Michigan Residential Code met Michigan’s law for cost-effectiveness. • Conducting an ongoing statewide outreach program to forge partnerships with local building officials and inspectors and getting them registered to vote by computer on the proposed changes to the 2018 International Codes including residential and energy.

Continue to fight permit overcharge legal battle in the Court of Appeals

• The City of Troy entered into a contract with a private company to operate Troy’s building department. In return, Troy agreed to pay the company 75-80% of the revenue Troy collected in building department fees. This arrangement has resulted in a substantial surplus of fees (exceeding one million dollars in 2011) which Troy has deposited into its general fund for general uses.

• HBAM sued charging Troy’s depositing the excess revenue from building department fees into the general fund violated the law’s prohibition against using building department fees for any other purpose than running the building department, and that Troy’s collection of Building Department fees in excess amount owed under the contact to the private company amounted to a disguised tax which violated the Headlee Amendment.

• There is no longer any controversy as to whether there is a surplus. The primary legal issues now before the Court of Appeals are whether Troy may charge excess current fees to pay an alleged past deficit and even if that is the case, can those excess fees be used for general purposes, i. e., other than paying for operations of the building department. A COA decision is expected in 2017.

Worked to renew and expand affinity discount programs which included:

• Maintaining our members 10% Meijer discount on all general merchandise purchases for another year, as well as other programs like the Speedway gas discount and fleet management programs.

• Creating a new online purchasing program for outdoor wear items that can be purchased at www.getzs.com/hbam(then use corporate code: HBAM2016). Products include Carhartt, NorthFace, Columbia and others at discounts of as much as 50%.

• Creating a new health insurance trust, in partnership with ABC Michigan, to provide a new employer health insurance option for members. Contact Bob Filka at (517) 646-2555 if you provide health care coverage to your employees and might be interested in applying for coverage thru this new program. Monthly premium savings, in some regions, are as high as 20% or more.

Worked to strengthen the HBA association network across the state by:

• Working to halt the scheduled 2017 national dues increase and develop an alternative funding model that will better enable local associations to grow and remain part of the local, state and national structure.

• Supporting executive officer training and professional development by sponsoring the annual EO seminar and providing scholarships and membership in the Michigan Society of Association Executives.

• Visiting all 24 local associations for various board, membership or other local meetings and events.

• Facilitating communication and shared best practices through an EO Listserv and other means. l