The Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders strengthens the residential construction and remodeling sectors of the economy by advocating for greater housing affordability, flexibility, and overall economic development, job creation, and a growing economy. Outcomes of GBAHB advocacy include expanded opportunities for businesses inside and outside the construction industries to succeed. The GBAHB engages in a wide variety of successful advocacy efforts that directly and indirectly benefit businesses in and out of the building industry:
1. Direct efforts by GBAHB keep housing (particularly new housing) safe and affordable for as many people as possible. When successful, GBAHB advocacy of this type results in a greater number of potential buyers/customers for new and remodeled homes. Businesses that benefit from this type of advocacy include home builders, remodelers, suppliers, subcontractors, and other businesses that serve these businesses (their accounting firms, banks, real estate brokers, advertising partners, etc.)
2. Advocacy that broadly promotes overall economic development, job creation, and prosperity in the region. When successful, GBAHB advocacy of this type creates an environment where businesses throughout the region have the greatest opportunity to succeed. Businesses that benefit from this type of advocacy include the same list described above, along with a wide variety of other businesses that are not directly related to the building industries and trades.
The GBAHB is the chief advocate for the residential construction industry (and a leading advocate for the business community in general) in the three counties it serves. Association advocacy takes place on the municipal, county, state, and federal levels, and is categorized into four parts:
1. Regulatory Advocacy includes working with regulatory staff for positive change. Examples of regulatory advocacy include working closely with code officials and inspectors on code interpretation, or advocating for builder-friendly regulations within the various local, state, and federal agencies and bureaucracies (Planning & Zoning, Building Regulations & Permitting Departments, ADEM, EPA, etc.).
2. Legislative Advocacy includes working with elected officials to change, defeat or adopt laws or ordinances that are more favorable to business generally and to the building industry specifically. It engages people who have been elected to public office and who ultimately cast votes to write or re-write the law. Examples of legislative advocacy include lobbying in the federal or state capitols or with members of city councils or county commissions to adopt or modify codes, statutes, ordinances, or laws that affect a business’s opportunity to succeed. 16 ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ Education Advocacy ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ ￼￼￼￼￼
3. Political Advocacy consists of effectively advocating in the electoral process to help elect similarly-minded officials to public office, via the use of campaign contributions, volunteer efforts, campaign management, etc. Specifically, the association’s non-partisan political advocacy involves working to help elect officials on the municipal, county, state, and federal levels who understand the important role residential construction and remodeling plays in our overall economy and quality of life. Using its political action committee (ABPAC), the GBAHB evaluates and supports candidates for office on the basis of how the candidate aligns with broad economic development and growth objectives, and with the specific priorities of the building industry in mind. The GBAHB philosophy is that political advocacy is the central key to success in all other forms of advocacy in which the GBAHB engages.
4. Legal Advocacy is when an unfavorable or abusive law or enforcement method must be challenged in court via lawsuit. The association’s legal advocacy is the last line of defense for the business community and the home building industry. In rare instances, when all other forms of advocacy fail, laws or regulations that are severely damaging may be adopted or implemented over the objections and the best arguments of the GBAHB. At times, these laws or regulations may be illegal or unconstitutional. Therefore the government body that enacted the illegal or unconstitutional provision is subject to legal challenge. In such cases, the GBAHB may, in concert with one or more of its members, file suit against the offending government body. Legal advocacy is very expensive and highly unpredictable. That is partially why the GBAHB engages so actively in regulatory, legislative and political advocacy. Still, there are times when the only remedy that remains is legal action. In those times, the GBAHB remains the chief advocate for its members and the industry, and a leading advocate for the broader business community.
When GBAHB advocacy is successful:
• Rising construction costs and housing costs are contained;
• The overall universe of potential home buyers and home owners is larger;
• More homes are built, sold, and remodeled;
• Economic development of the region is advanced; and
• Thousands of jobs are created and sustained inside and outside of the construction industry.
Every GBAHB member can and should contribute in meaningful ways to the success of GBAHB’s advocacy for the industry. Two of the very best ways every member can support the advocacy efforts of our association are by contributing to the Alabama Builders Political Action Committee (ABPAC) and to and to the Builders United in Legislative Decisions Political Action Committee (BUILD-PAC):
ABPAC: Influence that Counts, in Local and State Elections ABPAC is the best chance to sustain positive growth for your business, right here in the Greater Birmingham Area and throughout Alabama. ABPAC funds help elect officials on the municipal, county, and state, and federal levels who understand the important role residential construction and remodeling plays in our overall economy and quality of life. By supporting the right candidates, we are ultimately helping shape legislation and regulations at the state and local levels that affect the home building industry and your business on a daily basis. Candidates who receive support from ABPAC dollars have demonstrated support for the homebuilding industry and understand how the industry creates and sustains a prosperous economy. Of the many ways GBAHB members can support ABPAC, many have found the most cost-effective and valuable way to be as an ABPAC Patron. ABPAC Patrons contribute $2,500 annually, which includes their full membership dues, affiliate dues, special recognition, and complimentary admission to most of GBAHB’s member events. Plus Patron’s Club members receive exclusive engagement meetings with top ranking elected officials (Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of The House, Attorney General, and more). To learn more, call 205-912-7000.
BUILD-PAC: A Voice for Home Builders in Federal Elections BUILD-PAC is the political action committee of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). And it is your political advocacy voice at the national level. BUILD-PAC is bipartisan – supporting both Democrats and Republicans – and helps elect qualified pro-housing, pro-business candidates to federal office (U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate). Candidates and Members of Congress are evaluated by BUILD-PAC Trustees, based strictly on their merits and voting records, measured against the most critical U.S. policy issues facing the home building industry. Please call BUILD-PAC staff at (800) 368-5242, ext. 8470 or visit www.nahb.org/buildpac.