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Exceptional Spikes Have VIP Access at 2019 IBS Closing Spike Concert

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in News

Exceptional Spikes Have VIP Access at 2019 IBS Closing Spike Concert  August 09, 2018 Outstanding Spikes will have a VIP area at the 2019 IBS concert! Spikes who recruit at least five new Builder or Associate members during 2018 qualify to RSVP. The sooner you recruit five people, the sooner you’ll have your chance to sign up! The VIP area is limited to the first 150 qualifying recruiters (each of whom can bring one guest) who RSVP – so start recruiting! Access to this exclusive VIP area will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The area is in front of the VIP platform and includes an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. To be invited, Spikes must: Recruit at least five new Builder or Associate members in 2018. Be registered for IBS. RSVP’s without accompanying IBS registration by January 15 will forfeit their spot. Qualifying Spikes will be tallied regularly, and invitations to RSVP for the VIP area will be emailed monthly. Official rules coming...

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New Home Building Arbitration Rules Provide for Quicker Resolutions

Posted by on Aug 27, 2018 in News

New Home Building Arbitration Rules Provide for Quicker Resolutions Filed in Legal by NAHB Now on August 27, 2018 • 0 Comments The American Arbitration Association recently issued revisions to its Home Construction Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures, which became effective on August 1. The revisions are intended to expedite the alternative dispute resolution process. AAA said that it was being responsive to demands from business and consumer clients asking for a more streamlined, cost-effective, and tightly-managed arbitration process. To help speed things along, AAA increased the upper dollar amount limits for its service levels, resulting in more disputes being heard at lower service levels. For example, disputes where the claim or counterclaim is less than $25,000 are considered Level 1 disputes, up from the previous cap of $10,000. Level 1 and 2 disputes are eligible for expedited hearings, saving time and money for participants. The revisions also allow the home construction rules to be used in more cases presented to AAA and generally allow for a quicker resolution process. The push for a speedier dispute resolution process comes as alternative dispute resolution – most often arbitration or mediation – becomes increasingly popular as consumers and businesses attempt to avoid the overcrowded and costly U.S. court system. Learn more about arbitration in construction. Peter Merrill, owner of Construction Dispute Resolution Services and an NAHB member, has been advocating for an even more streamlined approach through a process called binding mediation. Merrill writes, “Especially on smaller disputes, when there is virtually no discovery necessary, binding mediation should prove to be the best ADR method to settle a dispute.” In binding mediation, the parties agree to first try to settle their dispute through mediation. If they are unable to reach an agreement, they give the mediator the power to make a decision for them. This can lead to incredibly quick resolutions, which can be critical when disputes arise during a home build. There will always be disputes between builder and their clients. The first job for homebuilders is to minimize disputes. But when they arise, think of the words of Abraham Lincoln which underpin the very idea of mediation and arbitration: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.” For more information, contact David Jaffe at...

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OSHA Releases Silica Standard FAQ for Construction

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in News

OSHA Releases Silica Standard FAQ for Construction Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by NAHB Now on August 14, 2018 • 0 Comments The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Monday released a set of 53 frequently asked questions – and their answers – to provide guidance to employers and employees on its respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. Through the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, NAHB was an important contributor to the formulation of this FAQ. The development stemmed from litigation filed against OSHA by numerous construction industry trade associations challenging the legality of the new silica rule. NAHB will continue to look for ways to work with OSHA to improve the workability of this significant rule. The FAQ is extensive and organized by topic. A short introductory paragraph is included for each group of questions; the answers appear in an expanded box when each question is clicked. Importantly, the FAQ clarifies that many common construction tasks are likely to be outside the scope of the standard. This includes mixing small amounts of mortar; mixing small amounts of concrete; mixing bagged, silica-free drywall compound; mixing bagged exterior insulation finishing system base and finish coat; and removing concrete formwork. In addition, tasks in which employees are working with silica products that are handled while wet are likely to generate exposures outside of the scope of the standard, including finishing and hand wiping block walls to remove excess wet mortar, pouring concrete, and grouting floor and wall tiles. The FAQ also states that many silica-generating tasks performed for 15 minutes or less a day will fall outside the scope of the standard. Other clarifications in the FAQ highlighted by NAHB staff include: Table 1. The requirement that employers “[o]perate and maintain” tools “in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions to minimize dust emissions,” applies only to manufacturer instructions that are related to dust control.  Other information in these instructions, including recommended respiratory protection, do not have to be followed for purposes of the standard. OSHA also has agreed to issue a Request for Information on Table 1 to revise the table to improve its utility. Written Exposure Control Plan. The standard does not require employers to develop a new written plan for each job or worksite. It requires only that employers have a written exposure control plan applicable to each worksite. Employers may develop a single, comprehensive, written exposure-control plan that covers all required aspects of the plan for all work activities at all worksites. Also, the standard does not preclude employees from entering work areas where silica-generating tasks are occurring when it is necessary for them to do so. Rather, the rule calls only for minimizing the number of employees in the relevant work areas. All home builders should carefully review the new FAQ at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/silicacrystalline/construction_info_silica.html. For additional information, contact Rob Matuga at 800-368-5242 x8507 or Felicia Watson at 800-368-5242...

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Democrats Introduce Several Tax Bills Focusing on Affordable Housing

Posted by on Aug 16, 2018 in News

Democrats Introduce Several Tax Bills Focusing on Affordable Housing Filed in Capitol Hill by NAHB Now on August 16, 2018 • 1 Comment In the final days prior to the start of the traditional August congressional recess, Democrats in the House and Senate have put the spotlight on the affordable rental housing crisis by introducing a number of new bills. Here is a brief summary of the legislation: On July 19, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced the Rent Relief Tax Act (S. 3250), which would create a new, refundable tax credit for renters who pay more than 30% of their gross income on rent and utilities.  The bill has four Democratic cosponsors, none of whom sit on the Senate Finance Committee. On July 26, the Assistant Democratic Leader in the House, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, introduced the Restoring Tax Credits for Affordable Housing Act (H.R. 6542).  This bill would increase state Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations and modify the discount rate formula used to calculate the 9% credit rate.  The goal of this bill is restore the equity lost as a result of the lower corporate tax rate.  H.R. 6542 has 23 Democratic cosponsors, but none of them are on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.  Rep. Clyburn also cosponsored H.R. 1661, the Curbelo-Neal bill to strengthen the LIHTC, at the same time he introduced this bill. On Aug. 1, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity (HOME) Act of 2018 (S. 3342), which would also create a new refundable tax credit for renters.  The bill would also seek to require communities to adopt “inclusive zoning policies,” which would be of concern to NAHB.  NAHB does not support federal pre-emption of local or state land use authority.  S. 3342 has no cosponsors. While none of these bills enjoy bipartisan support or even support of any Democrats on the tax writing committees, they show a growing focus among Democrats on affordable housing. It is notable that two of these three bills focus on creating a renters’ tax credit, an idea that has drawn criticism from the LA Times and the Tax Foundation, and by some estimates could cost $76 billion per year. Unfortunately, renters’ tax credits do not address the fundamental problem driving the affordability crisis, which is lack of inventory. Nonetheless, NAHB will seek to leverage this newfound energy on affordable housing into action on H.R. 1661, the Curbelo-Neal bill, and S. 548, the companion Senate bill sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). We anticipate that in the coming weeks, additional legislation will be introduced related to affordable rental housing. For more information, contact J.P. Delmore at 800-368-5242...

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