Rep. Steve Scalise with his Defender of Housing Award. From left, NAHB Chairman Randy Noel; Keith West, president of the Northshore HBA; Nick Castjohn, president of the Louisiana HBA; and Frank Morse, president of the HBA of Greater New Orleans.
Builders and community leaders yesterday enthusiastically greeted House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) at a special meeting that covered a wide range of issues affecting the Louisiana economy, housing industry and home buyers.
“We were honored to have Rep. Scalise meet with our members today,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “He understands the importance of housing to the overall economy. We look forward to working together to advance policies that will provide homeownership and rental housing opportunities for Louisianans and families across the land.”
During the business roundtable hosted by the Louisiana HBA, Scalise was presented with a Defender of Housing Award from the Northshore HBA and NAHB. The award honors federal lawmakers who recognize housing’s significant role within the U.S. economy and support pro-housing policies.
“America’s home builders play an important role in helping families achieve the American Dream and growing the American economy, and I’m honored to receive the Defender of Housing Award from the Northshore Home Builders and the National Association of Home Builders,” said Scalise.
Builders told the Majority Whip how dramatic price increases in softwood lumber have driven up the price of an average new single-family home by more than $6,000 since the beginning of 2017. The higher costs are directly related to tariffs averaging more than 20% on Canadian softwood lumber shipments into the United States.
Scalise said he would support builder efforts to urge the Trump administration to hammer out a new agreement with Canada to provide America’s residential construction industry with a stable and affordable supply of lumber.
On another area of importance to the Louisiana business community, Rep. Scalise pledged to work to ensure the National Flood Insurance Program does not lapse and to urge the Senate to pass a long-term reauthorization of the program that keeps it available, affordable and financially stable.
Local business leaders thanked Scalise for his support for the landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation, which cut taxes for working families and small businesses alike. A strong proponent of regulatory reform, the congressman also cited the need to remove unnecessary regulations that hurt housing affordability and harm job and economic growth.
“From fighting back Obama-era EPA overreach to working to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program, I’ve enjoyed working alongside Louisiana home builders to protect homeownership and keep costs down for families and small businesses,” said Scalise. “I look forward to continuing to work to protect the American Dream for all Louisiana families.”
The event was one of several held across the country this week for NAHB’s Bringing Housing Home™ effort, where the nation’s home builders asked federal policymakers to support key housing issues.