The State Association is OUR Collective Voice

Dear Michigan readers. In this issue you will see a glimpse of many of the things your State Home Builders Association is doing on your behalf. But in reality we, the members of the 24 local HBAs around our great state, are the heart of our state association. I suggest to you that it isn’t “what are they doing for us?” It is “what are we doing for ourselves?” Has your local HBA engaged lately with the state association? Do you send your local leaders to Lansing and to our state association meetings? Have you asked your state association leaders to come talk with your HBA? Do you pick up the phone or email our staff in Lansing when you have a problem or issue you’re dealing with? Your voice in Lansing can’t be heard if you don’t share it with your HBA Michigan team thru these many ways. It’s a two way communication street. The only way we will continue to have a strong collective voice in Lansing is for us all personally to take the responsibility to engage and make sure OUR state association is moving and acting on those things that matter most to us and the people that depend on us.

This year I’ve asked our government relations team to make an extra special effort to get on the road and hear directly from members. As you will read in this magazine, your state association is in the process of staging nine such regional housing summits this winter. We want to know what’s working and what is standing in the way of more housing investment in your region. Ultimately, our plan is to issue a report to the legislature on what we heard, along with our recommendations on addressing those issues that our profession is facing here in Michigan and brought to our attention.

YOUR state association is also about having someone to help you deal with problems you will eventually encounter as a businessperson in this industry. It is about having someone to help if you get into trouble with a MIOSHA or other regulatory agency. It is about having someone to help if you need assistance with a DEQ permit. It is about having someone to help with a local zoning ordinance or permit fee that you believe is unfair. It is about having someone to help if you can’t get prompt utility service to your worksite. It is about having someone to help when you need an expert legal opinion.

One can’t say when…but I can say that all of us in the residential industry WILL eventually need some type of assistance in solving a problem with a governmental body. When that day comes, if you aren’t a member, it will cost you a whole lot more. You’ll pay an attorney or someone else who thinks they are an expert and can help you…or you’ll roll over and pay the fine or jump thru needless hoops. You need our HBA team on your side—to protect and advocate for you—not just your industry as a whole. Our team has more than 90 years of collective experience in and around local, state and federal government. In addition to knowing how to get laws passed, they know how to solve problems that are going to come your way!

Please don’t ever hesitate to call our Lansing office. They can’t solve every problem, but they usually know how to assess your options and provide expert advice. The first step is ours!

LR Swadley

2017 HBA Michigan President l