METAIRIE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Builders and community leaders yesterday enthusiastically greeted House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) at a special meeting that covered a wide range of issues affecting the Louisiana economy, housing industry and home buyers.
“We were honored to have Rep. Scalise meet with our members today,” said Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “He understands the importance of housing to the overall economy. We look forward to working together to advance policies that will provide homeownership and rental housing opportunities for Louisianans and families across the land.”
During the business roundtable, which was hosted by the Louisiana Home Builders Association, Rep. Scalise was presented with a Defender of Housing Award from the Northshore Home Builders Association and NAHB. The award honors federal lawmakers who recognize housing’s significant role within the U.S. economy and support pro-housing policies.
"America’s home builders play an important role in helping families achieve the American Dream and growing the American economy, and I’m honored to receive the Defender of Housing Award from the Northshore Home Builders and the National Association of Home Builders,” said Rep. Scalise.
Builders shared with the Majority Whip how dramatic price increases in softwood lumber have driven up the price of an average new single-family home by more than $6,000 since the beginning of 2017. The higher costs are directly related to tariffs averaging more than 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the U.S.
Rep. Scalise said he would support builder efforts to urge the Trump administration to return to the negotiating table with Canada to hammer out a new agreement that would provide America’s residential construction industry with a stable and affordable supply of lumber.
On another area of importance to the Louisiana business community, Rep. Scalise pledged to work to ensure the National Flood Insurance Program does not lapse and to urge the Senate to pass a long-term reauthorization of the program that keeps it available, affordable and financially stable.
Local business leaders thanked Rep. Scalise for his support for the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation, which cut taxes for working families and small businesses alike. A strong proponent of regulatory reform, the congressman also cited the need to remove unnecessary regulations that hurt housing affordability and harm job and economic growth.
“From fighting back Obama-era EPA overreach to working to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program, I’ve enjoyed working alongside Louisiana home builders to protect homeownership and keep costs down for families and small businesses,” said Rep. Scalise. “I look forward to continuing to work to protect the American Dream for all Louisiana families.”
The event was one of several held across the country this week for NAHB’s Bringing Housing Home™ effort, where the nation’s home builders asked federal policymakers to support key housing issues.
ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 700 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.