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HBADE Office Closed Reminder

A quick reminder that our office will be closed Wednesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

Can you believe it, summer is in full swing!

Enjoy your day off.

Weekly Legislative Report

Below is the legislative brief for this week. The legislature will be closed today Friday, and closing out tomorrow afternoon.

Storm Water Regulations

The coalition letter that was drafted and signed by a number of business groups, including HBADE, was delivered to Secretary Collin O’Mara and Governor Markell on 3/14. Secretary O’Mara pulled Rhett and Kim aside in Leg Hall on 3/14 to discuss the letter and to offer to have a small group of the industry experts sit at the table with Deputy Secretary Dave Small to discuss the specific issues and concerns that we have. He indicated that he would be willing to hold off on promulgating the rules for a few months to sit down with us and work to find common ground. He has asked that we be as specific as we possibly can with our issues. Rich Julian and Mike Riemann are representing the group. Meetings have started.

Legislative Update:

Senate Bill #149 AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CONSERVATION AND ENDANGERED SPECIES.

Primary Sponsor: Sen. McDowell; CoSponsors: Rep. Heffernan, Hudson, Sen. Cloutier;
Introduced On: 6/23/11

Synopsis: This bill updates Title 7 Conservation, Chapter 6 Endangered Species relating to the conservation and endangered species. This bill models the policies of neighboring states (i.e. Maryland and New Jersey). Provisions in this bill define the powers and duties of listing and delisting of threatened and endangered species, rules and regulations, and implementation authority (DNREC). The Secretary of DNREC is given statutory authority to designate threatened or endangered species based on scientific investigations by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife and can establish rules and regulations necessary for the conservation of those species and the continued ability for those species to sustain themselves. The bill inserts qualifications of endangered and threatened statuses. Provisions in this bill allow for public notice of species listing and criterion for review of status and delisting of species. The statute on the potential for permits is amended to include instances of take. This bill prohibits the take of threatened or endangered species. The importation of hides, parts, or articles made from endangered or threatened species and the sale of skins, bodies, or animals of endangered and threatened species continue to be prohibited. The bill allows for the establishment of a framework to create and implement conservation programs including the acquisition of land or aquatic habitats and conservation agreements needed to conserve threatened or endangered species of plants and wildlife. In implementing these conservation programs, the DNREC shall not restrict the use or development of private property. The bill also ensures that the disclosure of property maps and locations of essential habitat of any endangered or threatened species may be withheld if the disclosure of such information would create an unacceptable risk of destruction or harm to species or habitat.

Update: Hearing in Senate Natural Resources Committee on 6/6 at 2:30; HBADE and many other are opposed. The bill did not come out of committee.

House Bill #302

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24 AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LICENSURE OF THERMAL SYSTEM INSULATION MECHANICS.

Primary Sponsor: Rep. J. Johnson; Co Sponsors: Sen. DeLuca, Reps. Bolden, Brady, Jaques, Keeley, Mulrooney, Osienski, Walker, D.E. Williams; Sen. Ennis, Cloutier, Connor

Introduced on: 4/24/2012

Synopsis: This bill creates the Board of Thermal System Insulation. The bill provides for licensing requirements for individuals that install or maintain thermal system insulation. This bill will not affect thermal system insulation work done on a single family residence. This bill will take effect on June 30, 2013.

Update: The bill was defeated in committee on 5/3/2012. An amended version of the bill was heard in committee on 5/16/2012 and defeated again. It is our understanding that the legislation is not going to be worked further this year. We will continue to monitor in case something changes.

 Senate Bill #195

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HOME CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT PROTECTION.

Primary Sponsor: Ennis; CoSponsors: Rep. Walker, Sens. Bunting & Venables; Rep. Keeley, Carson, Jaques, Osienski

Synopsis: This Bill provides for disclosure materials and information to be distributed where additional density or bonuses have been granted by the local government. It also provides for penalties for failures to provide these materials at the discretion of the local jurisdiction.

Introduced on: 4/30/12

Update: The bill was heard in committee on 5/8 and did not have the votes to move out of committee. Thanks to Fred, Scott, and Steve who testified on behalf of HBADE.

House Bill # 255

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29, CHAPTER 104 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REGULATORY FEASIBILITY ACT.

Primary Sponsor: Lavelle; CoSponsors: Rep. Hudson& Rep. D. Short & Sen. Venables & Sen. Booth, Reps. Hocker, Briggs King, Peterman, Willis, B. Short; Sen. Sokola

Introduced on: 1/24/2012

Synopsis: This bill requires all regulations to be reviewed every five years to determine if the regulation should be amended, repealed, or left unchanged.

Update: Rep. Greg Lavelle asked Steve to have HBADE support the legislation and attend hearing. The bill was placed in the Housing Administration Committee but no hearing has been scheduled to date. Rep. Lavelle provided an update to Kim. He is working with the administration to get a compromise. The governor put out an Executive Order that launches regulatory reform and review. Here is a link for the language of the order: http://governor.delaware.gov/orders/exec_order_36.shtml

Senate Bill # 167

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LEGALITY OF ANY ORDINANCE, CODE, REGULATION OR MAP RELATING TO ZONING.

Primary Sponsor: Peterson; CoSponsors: Sens. Blevins, Ennis, Sokola & Simpson; Reps. Gilligan & Ramone;

Introduced on: 03/15/2012

Synopsis: If a municipality or county passes a land-use ordinance that violates state law, an aggrieved party has only 60 days to file a court challenge. After that, the ordinance cannot be challenged, nor can subsequent decisions based on that ordinance be challenged based on its invalidity. This Bill seeks to remove that bar, recognizing that the enactment of an ordinance that violates state law cannot be legitimized by the passage of time.

Update: The sponsor has decided to not attempt to run this legislation this year.

 House Bill # 166

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REALTY TRANSFER TAX. (Homebuyers Incentive)

Primary Sponsor: Brady; Additional Sponsor(s): Rep. Bennett & Sen. McDowell; CoSponsors: Reps. Kenton, Ramone, Scott; Sens. Bonini, Cloutier,Connor

Introduced on: 06/07/2011

Synopsis: This bill exempts the half of the State realty transfer tax for first-time home buyers. This bill also allows the Department of Finance to adopt rules and regulations for an affidavit to state the names and professional license number of the real estate brokers, salespersons, or other licensed professional receiving commission money. This will enhance the ability of the Department of Finance to collect income taxes due on the commission money, particularly from non-residents.

Update: We had been working with Todd Stonesifer, President of DAR and Charlotte Herbert, Executive Director to propose potentially amending their legislation to include our proposal. DAR is doing a study to help support the legislation. Per their lobbyist, the bill will not be moving this year due to lack of funds.

House Bill # 227

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9, TITLE 22 AND TITLE 31 RELATING TO HOUSING.(Universal Design)

Primary Sponsor: Q. Johnson; Additional Sponsor(s): Rep. Longhurst & Sen. Bushweller;CoSponsors: Rep. Jaques

Introduced on: 06/30/2011

Synopsis: This bill requires that bids for all newly constructed dwelling units using public financial assistance shall indicate the extent of the universal design standards in the proposal. Public financial assistance includes a contract with a state agency, real estate donated by the State, State tax credits; grant assistance from State funds, State loan guarantees, federal funds administered by the State or its agency, and funding from location governments and their agencies. In selecting a bid, the extent of universal designs use may form a basis to award the contract based on the best value, rather than lowest bidder. The bill sets up a 40-point scale covering the key elements of universal design.

Current Status: The bill passed the Senate on 6/20 and will be sent to Governor Markell for his signature.

 

Here is our State Tribute and Proclamation – Nice!

Apartment and Condo Market Shows Continued Gains

Reprinted from NAHB Monday Morning Briefing

NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released on June 7, reached its highest reading in more than six years in this year’s first quarter, at 51. The index, which measures builder and developer sentiment regarding current conditions in the multifamily market on a scale of 0 to 100, rose for a seventh consecutive quarter and was up from 49 in the final three months of last year. In the latest index, the component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties recorded an all-time high of 69. The component focused on low-rent units dipped slightly to 53 and the component focused on for-sale units increased to 37, which is its highest reading since the final quarter of 2005.

Meanwhile, NAHB’s Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, dropped to a level of 31, the lowest recording since the inception of the index in 2003. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. The MVI has decreased considerably in the last three years after peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009. Commenting on the latest report, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, “Multifamily construction continues to be a bright spot in the overall housing market. However, as indicated by the MVI, demand for apartments is now quite high, and production is still very low in a historic context and in the context of what we project is necessary to meet long-term demand.” Read more in NAHB’s press release, or for data tables on the MPI and MVI, visit www.nahb.org/mms. Contact: Rose Quint(800-368-5242 x8527).

Great Membership Meeting; HBADE Honored by State Representative Michael Ramone

HBADE held it’s spring membership meeting last night at Noble’s Pond in Dover.  Everybody had a great time.

Besides a delicious catered dinner, we enjoyed a unique “networking bingo” game that got everyone up and talking with each other.  Builders talking to subs, suppliers and other Associate members, and vice versa.  Everybody had a great time, the winner of bingo was new member Tonda Parks of the Delaware State News.

We were especially honored, our Senior Vice President Scott Bradley of Bestfield Homes received a tribute certificate from the State of Delaware House of Representatives, awarded to HBADE, by Mike Ramone, State Representative.  Mike had kind words honoring the role that home building plays in the local industry and HBADE has helped since our founding 65 years ago!

Special thanks to Bob Thornton of Silverstock Builders as our main sponsor for the evening.  Also a big thanks to Harry Miller, Mary Field and Tom Cekine of Regal Builders for hosting the event.

National Homeownership Month Highlights Opportunities to Support Homeownership in Delaware

June 22, 2012 – The Home Builders Association of Delaware, a local affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) wants current and future home owners to know about the many opportunities they have to show their support for the American dream of homeownership during National Homeownership Month in June. For anyone looking to buy their first home, or to move up to a space that is better suited for their current lifestyle, market conditions make it a great time to buy a home. And a new website from NAHB — ProtectHomeownership.com — helps the public take action to protect the many benefits of owning a home that are being threatened by legislative and regulatory proposals.

So important is housing to Delaware that Governor Markell and Lt. Governor Denn issued this week a Governor’s proclamation declaring June as National Homeownership Month in the State of Delaware.

Anyone thinking of buying a home shouldn’t wait any longer.  Housing markets locally and around the country are improving, home prices have stabilized, there is a great selection of available homes for sale, and interest rates are at near historic low levels.

Current and future home owners can also take action to protect homeownership. In May, NAHB launched ProtectHomeownership.com, a website that educates the public about the threats to the American dream of homeownership, including proposals to scale back or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and make mortgages and small business loans unaffordable and even more difficult to obtain.

The site empowers visitors to make sure their support is heard with an online petition that urges policymakers to keep housing a national priority, and information about how to participate in homeownership rallies that are being held in a number of communities in 2012. There are also links to stay informed by joining social media communities on Facebook.com/ProtectHomeownership and Twitter.com/4Homeownership.

Even with the recent economic downturn, American families still value the American dream of homeownership. A January 2012 study conducted on behalf of NAHB found that 96 percent of home owners said they are happy with their decision to own. Nearly seven out of 10 American adults who are not currently home owners said it was a goal of theirs to buy a home.

Homeownership remains a core value to American families,  Even more important than the financial advantages of homeownership, is that first and foremost, a home is where your family can relax, spend quality time together and build lifelong memories.

Golf and Brunch Raffle…from our friends Bruce and Carolyn Stanley

Apartment and Condo Market Shows Continued Gains

Reprinted from NAHB Monday Morning Briefing

NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released on June 7, reached its highest reading in more than six years in this year’s first quarter, at 51. The index, which measures builder and developer sentiment regarding current conditions in the multifamily market on a scale of 0 to 100, rose for a seventh consecutive quarter and was up from 49 in the final three months of last year. In the latest index, the component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties recorded an all-time high of 69. The component focused on low-rent units dipped slightly to 53 and the component focused on for-sale units increased to 37, which is its highest reading since the final quarter of 2005.

Meanwhile, NAHB’s Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, dropped to a level of 31, the lowest recording since the inception of the index in 2003. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies. The MVI has decreased considerably in the last three years after peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009. Commenting on the latest report, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, “Multifamily construction continues to be a bright spot in the overall housing market. However, as indicated by the MVI, demand for apartments is now quite high, and production is still very low in a historic context and in the context of what we project is necessary to meet long-term demand.” Read more in NAHB’s press release, or for data tables on the MPI and MVI, visit www.nahb.org/mms. Contact: Rose Quint(800-368-5242 x8527).

Great Membership Meeting; HBADE Honored by State Representative Michael Ramone

HBADE held it’s spring membership meeting last night at Noble’s Pond in Dover.  Everybody had a great time.

Besides a delicious catered dinner, we enjoyed a unique “networking bingo” game that got everyone up and talking with each other.  Builders talking to subs, suppliers and other Associate members, and vice versa.  Everybody had a great time, the winner of bingo was new member Tonda Parks of the Delaware State News.

We were especially honored, our Senior Vice President Scott Bradley of Bestfield Homes received a tribute certificate from the State of Delaware House of Representatives, awarded to HBADE, by Mike Ramone, State Representative.  Mike had kind words honoring the role that home building plays in the local industry and HBADE has helped since our founding 65 years ago!

Special thanks to Bob Thornton of Silverstock Builders as our main sponsor for the evening.  Also a big thanks to Harry Miller, Mary Field and Tom Cekine of Regal Builders for hosting the event.

National Homeownership Month Highlights Opportunities to Support Homeownership in Delaware

June 22, 2012 – The Home Builders Association of Delaware, a local affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) wants current and future home owners to know about the many opportunities they have to show their support for the American dream of homeownership during National Homeownership Month in June. For anyone looking to buy their first home, or to move up to a space that is better suited for their current lifestyle, market conditions make it a great time to buy a home. And a new website from NAHB — ProtectHomeownership.com — helps the public take action to protect the many benefits of owning a home that are being threatened by legislative and regulatory proposals.

So important is housing to Delaware that Governor Markell and Lt. Governor Denn issued this week a Governor’s proclamation declaring June as National Homeownership Month in the State of Delaware.

Anyone thinking of buying a home shouldn’t wait any longer.  Housing markets locally and around the country are improving, home prices have stabilized, there is a great selection of available homes for sale, and interest rates are at near historic low levels.

Current and future home owners can also take action to protect homeownership. In May, NAHB launched ProtectHomeownership.com, a website that educates the public about the threats to the American dream of homeownership, including proposals to scale back or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and make mortgages and small business loans unaffordable and even more difficult to obtain.

The site empowers visitors to make sure their support is heard with an online petition that urges policymakers to keep housing a national priority, and information about how to participate in homeownership rallies that are being held in a number of communities in 2012. There are also links to stay informed by joining social media communities on Facebook.com/ProtectHomeownership and Twitter.com/4Homeownership.

Even with the recent economic downturn, American families still value the American dream of homeownership. A January 2012 study conducted on behalf of NAHB found that 96 percent of home owners said they are happy with their decision to own. Nearly seven out of 10 American adults who are not currently home owners said it was a goal of theirs to buy a home.

Homeownership remains a core value to American families,  Even more important than the financial advantages of homeownership, is that first and foremost, a home is where your family can relax, spend quality time together and build lifelong memories.

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