WASHINGTON, DC — The National Association of Home Builders has renewed its calls on Congress and the Biden administration to help ease building material supply chain bottlenecks that are stunting housing affordability by eliminating trade barriers and seeking solutions to port congestion and major delays in truck and rail transportation.
Testifying before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations, NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke this week told government lawmakers that disruptions in the building materials supply chain that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic are having “a disproportionate” impact on smaller homebuilding firms.
“Without large economies of scale, small businesses generally cannot negotiate bulk discounts on lumber and other key building materials,” said Fowke. “The effects of this uncertainty trickle all the way to the (prospective) homebuyer, many of whom have balked at projects due to unexpected price increases.”
According to the Washington, DC-based NAHB, historically high lumber and building materials prices continue to serve as “headwinds” for the U.S. housing sector, significantly impeding housing affordability.
“From steel mill products and plastic piping to cooper pipe and wood windows and doors, prices are up dramatically year-to-date and are exacerbating the growing housing affordability crisis,” Fowke said, suggesting that the Biden administration address two fundamental problems.
“On the trade front, until a long-term solution can be reached, Congress and the administration should temporarily suspend duties on a wide array of imported building materials and goods, from Canadian softwood lumber to Chinese steel and aluminum,” said Fowke. “In addition, policymakers must continue to aggressively explore solutions to ease building material supply chain disruptions that are causing project delays and putting upward pressure on home prices.”
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HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — A revised set of health and safety protocols, including COVID-19 vaccination requirements and/or proof of a negative coronavirus test result, have been issued for the 2022 Design & Construction Week (DCW), the annual three-day event that encompasses the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and the International Builders’ Show (IBS).
The National Kitchen & Bath Association, which owns KBIS, and the National Association of Home Builders, owner of IBS, this week released the revised protocols for DCW, set for Feb. 8-10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The guidelines, effective as of Oct. 11, apply to all attendee and exhibitor registrants for both KBIS and IBS, and are subject to revision, event sponsors noted.
“The safety and wellbeing of our attendees, partners, exhibitors, site workers and staff remains our top priority, said DCW organizers, adding that they are “working with our vendors, partners and the Orange County Convention Center to…deliver a safe and productive environment in which to conduct business.”
“As we get closer to returning to an in-person event, we continue to update our health and safety policies based upon current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Florida and local Orlando health authorities, event organizers added. “We will continue to monitor their recommendations and will update relevant information as needed.”
Among the following health and safety protocols to be adhered to are the following:
n All registered attendees and exhibitors will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within five days of attending the show. Two types of negative tests are acceptable: polymerase chain reaction, referred to as “PCR” (also called diagnostic or molecular), or rapid antigen test (also referred to as a “rapid test”).
n Any one of the following will be accepted for entry (when accompanied by a valid government issued photo ID): electronic proof of a negative test result through a show-management approved app, or a printed or digital copy of negative COVID-19 test results, written in English, that indicates the type of test administered and includes the name of the person in question and the date the test was administered. Per CDC guidelines, negative COVID-19 test results are valid for five days, meaning that the negative test must have been completed no earlier than Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in order to be accepted for entry for all three show days. If an individual is unable or unwilling to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to entry will suffice.
n Show attendees, exhibitors and others will be required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status when riding on an official show hotel shuttle and when indoors at the OCCC from move-in through move-out and at other show related venues.
n U.S. domestic residents will be considered fully vaccinated if they have completed two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. International travelers who have completed full regimens of vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be considered fully vaccinated.
Show management said it is “continuously monitoring guidance from the CDC and state/local health authorities” and reserves the right to adjust the shows’ health & safety protocols “as relevant recommendations and tradeshow industry standards evolve.”
“Guidance related to large gatherings relative to COVID-19 and associated variants continues to change,” DCW organizers said. “What will remain constant is the commitment of the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) and NKBA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and to the health and safety of attendees, exhibitors, partners and staff at our shows.”
Additional details regarding the health and safety Policies for Design and Construction Week can be found at: http://www.designandconstructionweek.com/healthsafety.html.
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