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Builder Salesperson Licensing Issue

The DE Real Estate Commission is pursuing a change in the licensing statute to bring builders salespersons under their licensing jurisdiction.

HBADE has been participating in sub-committee hearings going back several years in which we have expressed our opposition to their efforts as overreaching, unfounded and unwarranted.

We have repeatedly asked for specific examples of why there is a need and were given none.  In addition, we have asked what the specific goal is behind this change and have been told “to increase consumer protection”, but they can not explain or justify what added protection (protection from what?) for the consumer this will provide.

It has been made clear to us that they intend to move forward with this and are prepared to present a draft of the proposed regulation at the public hearing on Tuesday, February. 2, 2010.

HBADE was given the choice to make revisions and suggestions to the draft document they are proposing or accept that they are moving forward with it as it is currently drafted.

Our response, as decided by the HBADE Board of Directors on 1/28/2010 was to oppose this in full and show our opposition by attending Tuesday in large numbers, so here is the invitation/reminder to attend.

Date:  Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Time: 10:30 am (as per the agenda)
Location: 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover

This is a public hearing and there will be an opportunity to  make comment.
PLEASE let me know if you will be able to join me at this meeting.   We need to be heard!

Thank you for helping!  We can only protect our industry by engaging in the issues and helping in the battles.


Jennifer Casey
Home Builders Association of Delaware

Delaware towns: Odessa’s proposal puts homeowner in pinch

Article Title:
Delaware towns: Odessa’s proposal puts homeowner in pinch

Read the full article here.

To view the contents on DelawareOnline.com, go to:

FHA announced tighter lending requirements

FHA announced tighter lending requirements
during the week of the International Builders’ Show, a move that spurred an immediate reaction from NAHB. As a means of strengthening its reserves in the face of rising foreclosures, the agency said it intends to raise Mortgage Insurance Premiums, increase downpayment requirements for those with FICO scores below 580 and reduce allowable seller concessions from 6% to just 3%. The changes to Mortgage Insurance Premiums will become effective this spring; other changes will likely go into effect by early summer. Responding to the agency’s actions, NAHB sent a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan seeking a meeting to discuss ways to ensure that the policy changes do not impede the ability of the FHA to insure loans for viable mortgage borrowers in the near term and the longer run. NAHB also issued a statement in which 2009 Chairman Joe Robson said, “NAHB understands the need for the FHA to respond to developments in its portfolio that will enable the agency to continue to operate on a sound financial footing. At the same time, the FHA is an indispensable source of financing for America’s home buyers and must fulfill this vital mission at this fragile juncture. NAHB looks forward to working with the agency to ensure that it maintains its central role in the nation’s housing finance system and provides homeownership opportunities for millions of creditworthy borrowers.” We will keep you informed via this report as the latest developments unfold.
Contact: jen@hbade.org.

NAHB: High Unemployment Levels Put Housing on Slow Growth Track

January 19, 2010 – The end of the economic recession along with the continuation of low mortgage interest rates and stabilizing housing prices will result in growth in the nation’s housing market this year, according to economists speaking at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas today. But improvements will come slowly, they said, as high unemployment levels continue to discourage consumers and push home foreclosures higher. Click below to read more…

via NAHB: High Unemployment Levels Put Housing on Slow Growth Track.

Public cooling on climate, bay cleanup?

FYI.  The article below is taken from EPA’s Chesapeake Bay website.  It is a blog put out by the Baltimore Sun newspaper titled B’MoreGreen.

January 26, 2010

A new national public opinion survey finds Americans are cooling on dealing with climate change, while a statewide poll finds Marylanders also want to put off saving the Chesapeake Bay. 

In both polls, the vast majority rank jobs and the economy as their top priorities for government action.  Climate and the environment trail.

The national survey, by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, says that global warming ranked last among the public’s priorities. Just 28 percent of those questioned called it a top priority, down 10 percent from two years ago. Protecting the environment fared better, with 44 percent rating it a top priority.  That’s a slight improvement over last year, but down more than 10 points from where it was a few years ago.

A recent survey of more than 800 Marylanders, meanwhile, found that 77 percent think creating jobs and improving the state’s economy should be a higher priority for the O’Malley administration than taking steps to reduce bay pollution.   Just 15 percent put the bay first.

The poll, by Gonzales Research and Marketing Services of Annapolis, also found that a majority, 55 percent, think the state should postpone any new bay cleanup regulations until economic conditions are better.  To see the full results, go here.

The poll was done for the Maryland State Builders Association, which is pushing back against new regulation requiring tighter controls on polluted storm-water runoff from development and redevelopment sites.  Builders contend the rules could make their projects more costly and some even unbuildable.

“We commissioned the survey because in the third year of a recession, the leadership of our state needed to know what the priorities of their constituents are – JOBS,” wrote Tom Farasy, president of the state builders association.

But Kim Coble, Maryland director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, questions whether the latter poll is a true reflection of voters’ minds.  She argues that the builder-backed survey is based on a flawed assumption that environmental protection has to cost jobs. 

“If we are pitting jobs against a healthy environment, then we are rolling back the clock by decades,” Coble said.  The bay’s decline also has cost jobs, she argued.  The crabbing industry has lost more than 4,000 jobs since the mid-1990s, she pointed out – a decline her group blames at least partly on poor water quality.

DelDot, DNREC and PLUS Info from Press Conf.

The following are copies of the power point presentations presented on the streamlined programs and changes planned for  DNREC, DELDOT and PLUS as discussed at the Press Conference on 1/11/2010.


DNREC Slides

PLUS Slides

2009 IECC Seminar Info

The HBA/DE Building Block Series kicked off on January 7, 2010 with our 2009 Energy Code Adoption Seminar on Senate Bill 59 and what it means to you and your business.   

From January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010 sellers of new construction shall notify buyers of an option to purchase the construction built to the ICC/IECC 2009 code standard.

We are working on making the pdf pf the power point available.  Until then, here ae the handouts.  NAHB Tax Credit info.   SB 59 & Amendment.  SB 59 Builder Waiver.     

Delaware Governor Signs Model Energy Code Bill

**On July 29, SB 59 was signed by Governor Jack Markell, substantially increasing the stringency of the state’s building energy codes (currently, the 2000 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1999).

On April 7, a bill (SB 59) was introduced in the Delaware Senate intending to make the state eligible for federal money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by mandating the adoption and enforcement of the most recent versions the national model energy codes, the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.  COMcheck and REScheck software (and ENERGY STAR software as an alternative) would be allowed to show compliance. Subsequent versions of the two model energy codes would be reviewed for updates every three years.

The bill also directs the Delaware Energy Office to establish a program for zero net energy capable buildings, with the goal of all new residential construction being so by December 31, 2025 and all new commercial construction being so by December 31, 2030.  

The legislation would become effective July 1, 2010.

NCC Land Use Notifications

The Department of Land Use is developing an Interested Parties E-mail list by which we will send out process information such as code interpretations, scheduling of seminars or educational sessions and updated checklists.  We are asking everyone who is interested in the process and would like to be on the e-mail list to fill out a form so that we aren’t inadvertently sending information to persons who do not wish to receive it or are omitting someone who is interested.

There are two forms attached – one is for an individual who would like to participate and the other is for firms who wish to submit several names at once.  Feel free to use whichever is most convenient.  Also please forward to anyone who may wish to participate.  We have asked the ACEC to help distribute the form and are sending this e-mail to everyone currently on our lists but – obviously – may have missed some folks.

Link to Forms – Click Here

 The forms should be returned to me – djcarter@nccde.org or LandUse@nccde.org.  If you have any questions, you can send them along to me as well.


City of Dover Issues

It was brought to my attention yesterday that the Finance committee for the City of Dover ha on their agenda two items of concern.

1. A taxation ordinance enacting taxes by assessing properties after permit while in the construction progress. Several concerned citizens, including myself on behalf of the HBADE, spoke against this ordinance. This is an unfair tax and will cost the city greatly by driving growth and economic development out of the city and will add more costs to housing at a time  when affordable housing needs to be a primary concern for all residents. City council made a motion to delay this for 90 days while they evaluate costs and benefits while discussing the details of how it would apply and be administered.

2.  The Adoption of the 2009 ICC Code s also an administrative ordinance that the city had on the agenda, bu give that it affects our industry and NAHB has 27 high priority amendments to this code they are endorsing, we had concerns with th timing and lack of opportunity to review.  The City Manager offered to table this ordinance until we could discuss details with their office.  We greatly appreciate their cooperation with our industry.

Agencies Answer Gov. Markell’s Challenge with New 60 Day Turnaround Policy for Majority of Permits at DelDOT and DNRECS

I attended this Press Conference yesterday and believe there are good changes and improvements in the works. Read below.

Yesterday at 11:01am
Dover – Governor Jack Markell today announced that two key agencies will now provide answers to most permit applications within 60 business days. The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will be required to meet or beat this new timeframe while maintaining the rigor and responsibility of state regulations.

back to HBADE Website


  • NLRB Overturns Browning-Ferris Decision; Reinstates Prior Joint Employer Standard December 15, 2017
    In a victory for NAHB and the small business community, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted on Dec. 14 to overturn its 2015 ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries. Yesterday's 3-2 vote effectively overturns an Obama-era decision that radically expanded the traditional definition for joint employer status.
    NAHB Now
  • IHA Meeting Focuses on Housing Affordability December 15, 2017
    Housing affordability continues to be a priority for housing experts not just in the United States, but worldwide, said participants at the 2017 Interim Meeting of the International Housing Association held in Tokyo last month.
    NAHB Now
  • 2018 Could Bring More of the Same: Tight Labor and Costly Materials December 14, 2017
    NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz provides a brief summary of the challenges builders faced in 2017, and describes the impacts of hefty tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber.
    NAHB Now