Magazine article USA TODAY

Government Mandates Hurt Housing Market

Magazine article USA TODAY

Government Mandates Hurt Housing Market

Article excerpt

Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C., before a House Subcommittee concerned with "Climate Benefits of Improved Building Energy Efficiency," St. Louis green builder Matt Belcher cautioned Congress on the danger of one-size-fits-all proposals for home construction. Policies that encourage, rather than mandate, energy savings are the most meaningful at stimulating greater demand for energy-efficient homes, Belcher indicates.

"The ability of aggressive building code mandates to achieve massive energy and greenhouse gas emissions savings is incredibly limited The wide-ranging geographic differences in state and local climates create specific building needs, making national benchmarks almost untenable."

Furthermore, Belcher explains, "significant increases in costs for efficiency upgrades and the additional increase in home price to accommodate them has the potential to harm the part of the market with the least flexibility to react to price constraints: the marginal first-time homebuyer. NAHB does not support the assertion that a broad public policy objective should be achieved on the backs of a relatively narrow segment of the market with limited resources. …

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