In a critical win for the Home Builders Association of Dayton and the residential construction sector, the DeWine-Husted Administration designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business.”
The designation enabled many home building organizations to keep their businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic and help to stabilize the housing industry and its supply chain. More detail about the construction workers who qualify as essential can be found in both the “Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services” and “Residential/Facilities and Services” were incorporated in the Order, as well.
Keep in mind that there was no mandatory order on what was an essential business, and many states have their own rules. Working closely with local officials, the HBA of Dayton, played a critical role in more workers on job sites in 2020.
The HBA of Dayton, as well as our members being represented from the Ohio Home Builders Association (OHBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), were at the forefront among all housing groups in calling on the government entities to make this designation.
“The Dayton region depends on a functioning residential construction sector to provide safe, and fair housing for our communities, and this need is especially acute during this pandemic,” said HBA of Dayton C.E.O., Eric Farrell. “Moreover, a healthy housing market is critical in maintaining a sound economy. We commend the DeWine-Husted Administration for heeding the urgent concerns of the housing community and taking this decisive action to assure the men and women of the industry will be able to stay on the job and serve the needs of the communities they represtent at this critical time.”
On March 20, in an effort spearheaded by the HBA of Dayton, the Board of Directors (comprised of seventeen organizations representing our membership) sent a joining letter to Governor DeWine urging him to designate the construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an Essential Infrastructure Business.
“As cities and states issue declarations and public health orders as a result of the crisis, it is essential that communities have access to our professionals to build and maintain essential services including: building, plumbing, roofing, electrical, HVAC systems, waste/wastewater treatment plants and power generations,” the letter stated. “Home construction, including those industries listed above, should be designated as ‘essential’ because it is necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and economic security.”
The safety and health of all those who work in construction remain a top priority. The industry continues to adhere to all public health guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Working on a new unfinished home site occurs primarily outdoors and does not involve going onto a location occupied by residents or a public location, and there is minimal (if any) physical or transactional contact with customers.
Access to the latest HBA of Dayton resources can be found via the COVID-19 Resource and Information page, as well as NAHB's news and business resources to respond to this challenge at the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response section on nahb.org.