The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says it supports President Trump’s $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan designed to rebuild the country’s aging transportation system.
“This package includes a number of provisions that are designed to spur economic and job growth that will also boost the housing sector,” NAHB Chairman Randy Noel (inset) said in a prepared statement issued by the association.
A custom home builder from LaPlace, La., Noel also said, “Specifically, it will streamline the regulatory and permitting process to get new projects off the ground, place an emphasis on vocational training and delegate authority back to state and local governments.”
Under terms of the infrastructure plan, the Army Corps of Engineers has the primary authority to make jurisdictional determinations under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and removing the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to veto a CWA Section 404 permit. The NAHB said improvements to the CWA Section 404 permit program are particularly important to home builders who rely on them to authorize impacts to wetlands and streams as a result of residential developments, utility lines and linear transportation projects, among other activities.
Also include in the proposal are a number of initiatives to help to alleviate the severe labor shortage in the residential construction industry. The plan would expand Pell Grants and alter the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program to increase funding to high schools, including the promotion of strategies such as apprenticeship, work-based learning, and dual-enrollment.
“A robust transportation system that enables people to live near where they work will benefit housing and the economy,” said Noel. “We urge Congress to support the president’s infrastructure initiative.”