The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is urging Congress to work on legislation that would result in more women entering the residential construction industry and overall workforce.
Testifying on behalf of NAHB before the House Ways and Means Committee on June 15, NAHB First Vice Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder, remodeler and developer from Birmingham, Ala., told lawmakers that increasing female participation in the construction trades is one key to solving the industry’s labor shortages.
According to the NAHB, lawmakers must pursue flexible, targeted, and incentive-based strategies to tackle the high cost of childcare and availability of paid leave.
“Congress should pass the Protecting Worker Paychecks and Family Choice Act, which would expand the Paid Family and Medical Leave tax credit to make it more generous for small businesses and make it more affordable for small businesses to offer paid leave by expanding pooling options,” said Huey. “Similarly, Congress should ensure that existing tax incentives for employer-provided childcare are flexible for businesses. This will help more women who are currently unable to work to get jobs.”
Citing Census Bureau data that shows the lack of housing affordability hits female-led head of households particularly hard, Huey urged Congress to focus on the large role that a lack of affordable housing plays as a barrier to women entering the workforce.
“With home prices and rents rising even faster than inflation, and a growing scarcity of entry-level owner-occupied housing along with affordable rental units, Americans are being squeezed hard, particularly single-parent households that are headed predominantly by women,” said Huey.