Update: Disaster Relief Volunteer Opportunity

Update: Disaster Relief

We truly appreciate those who have already come forward to help our neighbors in Columbia. In light of their questions, we have more information regarding where to send donations and where volunteers should meet.

If you’d like to send a donation to assist BIA and HBA Members and their families, please make checks payable to Building Industry Charitable Foundation and send them to the following address:

Building Industry Charitable Foundation 
Attn: Earl McLeod 
625 Taylor St 
Columbia, SC 29201  
Members who would like to travel to Columbia to provide relief efforts directly to those suffering, please meet at Trenholm Road Methodist Church as they are coordinating with the families in greatest need. Any materials or trailers would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for all of your help, and ask that you use caution when helping clean up after such a natural disaster. Please consult this document  which contains safety tips for the clean-up procedure in Columbia.

To: HBA Members

From: Michael Dey
Members have been asking me how they can help in Columbia and Charleston.  I have been in contact with my counterparts in both places and both are still assessing needs.  Charleston has experienced flooding like this before, and they seem to have a handle on their situation.  Our staff is helping them with public relations needs and they told me they would let me know what they need in terms of labor in a couple of days.
In Columbia, the obvious and immediate need is drinking water.  The Hilton Head HBA has organized a large shipment of water to the Columbia HBA for the members there.  And the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors is organizing a water caravan for Thursday.  If you would like to join that trip, or donate, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the Realtors Association.
In Columbia especially there are several HBA members and family who have been directly and tragically impacted by the flooding.  I know of several who have been evacuated from their homes, which are under water.  They are going to need a lot of help in terms of labor, material, and money.  I am working on the best route to handle money, so please standby on making a financial donation that would go directly to an HBA member in need.  
If you would like to donate your time, or your crews’ time, to travel to Columbia, please contact me.  I will work with the HBA in Columbia to match you up with members in need.  I will even act as a guide to help get you to the proper address.
And if you can donate materials, I would like to match you up with the members who want to travel to Columbia to volunteer.  
The HBA is a family, and our family members in Columbia, in particular, have some significant needs.  I was in Columbia for two days this past weekend, very near to the worst of the disaster along Gills Creek.  The pictures do not do it justice.  What happened there is tragic.  Two entire cities, Forest Acres and Acadia Lakes, are literally under water.  The recovery is going to be time and labor intensive.  If you can help, please volunteer.  I think the immediate need will be clean up and demolition.  Long term the Columbia HBA has let me know that they are going to need qualified trades to come in and help. 
Let’s help them out.  Please let me know what you can do, and when.


Judge the HBA of Columbia Tour of Homes

Do you enjoy checking out the new homes in other markets?  Do you just like judging a Parade of Homes from time to time?
The Greater Columbia Home Builders Association needs judges for the Tour of Homes, bill as the Largest Open House of New Homes; 21 builders have entered more than 40 homes.  Judging will take place Wednesday, September 12, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided on the day of judging.
If you are interested in participating as a judge, please contact Heather McDonald at the HBA of Columbia at 803-779-0635.

Understanding High Performance Homes class offered for real estate agents and appraisers

New building codes, voluntary building standards and changes in technology are making new homes more efficient and healthier than homes from 20, 10 and even five years ago. Consumers are hearing about high performance homes and they are asking questions that real estate agents will need to be able to answer. These homes include features, products and building techniques that must be accounted for by appraisers or the true value of the home will be underestimated.

The Green Building Council of Greater Columbia saw a need for real estate agents and appraisers to learn more about this new type of home building and developed a class to fill the need. “Understanding High Performance Homes” has been designed to help these groups understand what makes high performance homes work, how they stack up to traditionally built homes, and how they are scientifically tested, verified and, in some cases, certified in a third-party program.

The class has been approved by the SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Real Estate Appraisers Board and will count toward Continuing Education credit needs for each profession. The class will be offered three times before the end of June in cities around the state. Sponsored by the SC Energy Office.

June 21 – Greenville, SC

  • Hosted by the HBA of Greenville and Greenville Technical College 

June 26 – Lexington, SC

  • Hosted by the HBA of Greater Columbia and SCE&G 

June 28 – Charleston, SC

  • Hosted by the Charleston Trident HBA and Berkeley Electric Cooperative 

 Learn more and register to take the class at www.columbiabuilders.com or call (803) 256-6238. Class fee is $75/student in Lexington and $85/student in Greenville and Charleston. Approved for 7 CEUs for real estate agents and appraisers.

Setting the Record Straight About Housing

By Earl McLeod

As the debate over tax reform and the regulatory structure of the housing finance system intensifies, misconceptions about housing and finance are proliferating. Following is the truth about some of the most widespread inaccuracies. 

Misconception: Only the wealthy benefit from the mortgage interest deduction. 
This pervasive fiction is a commonly cited reason for justifying elimination of the mortgage interest deduction. 
Income tax deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes primarily benefit middle-class taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000. And among first-time home buyers, 68 percent of households earn less than $80,000. First-time home buyers benefit most from the mortgage interest deduction because more of their mortgage payment is applied to interest. 
Misconception: In the wake of the recession and housing market downturn, Americans have become disenchanted with homeownership and it is no longer a part of the American Dream. 
Not so, according to a March 2011 study by the Pew Research Center. Among the more than 2,100 people surveyed, 81 percent agreed that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make. That sentiment even held true among those who said their homes lost value during the recession; 82 percent of that group indicated that homeownership is the best long-term investment a person can make. 
Misconception: Eliminating government sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would have no effect on rental housing. 
Investing in new and existing rental housing requires access to affordable financing. In the wake of the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), have become the primary sources of financing for rental properties of all types. In considering whether the government should continue to guarantee mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or some other mechanism, policymakers should keep in mind their importance as a stable, long-term source of financing for rental as well as owner-occupied housing, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 
Misconception: Homeownership advocates say everyone should own a home.
Homeownership isn’t for everyone, but everyone should be able to choose a home that meets their needs, whether they rent or buy. And government policies, such as the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage standard, should not limit homeownership opportunities unnecessarily.

Earl McLeod is Executive Director of the Greater Columbia Home Builders Association and a member of the South Carolina Home Builders Housing Hall of Fame.

Home Builders Institute and HBA of Greenville Hold Community Open House For Local Mentoring Program

When: June 15, 2011, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

What: Open house to raise awareness of the HBI C-CORE mentoring program and allow youth from Greenville and the upstate areas to meet with adults who are looking for an opportunity to coach a young person toward a successful future.

Where: Home Builders Association of Greenville, 5 Creekside Park Court. Greenville, SC 29615

HBI C-CORE still has a need to engage more home building industry professionals from any facet of the industry to make an impact on young people’s lives through this mentoring program. C-CORE is looking for adults to serve as mentors and help identify community service projects the young people can participate in with their mentors.

Youth from Greenville and the upstate who are enrolled in Job Corps; other workforce, training and employment programs; high schools; career and technical education schools; and juvenile justice and other community-based programs. Adults from Greenville and the upstate areas who are involved with the home builders associations, local business and housing-related organizations or members of the community.

Mallory Lanham, Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia, (803) 256-6238, Mallory@columbiabuilders.com

About C-CORE Mentoring
HBI C-CORE is a new career-focused, industry-sponsored mentoring program that matches youth ages 16-18 interested in home building with adults in the home building community ranging from carpenters and contractors to real estate agents and appraisers. The national program, funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, will match 5,000 youth with more than 1,600 industry mentors recruited from home builders associations, local business, housing-related organizations and their local communities.

About Home Builders Institute
Home Builders Institute (HBI) is the 501(c)3 affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that provides training, mentoring, curriculum development and job placement services in support of the housing industry. As the workforce development arm of NAHB, HBI has prepared youth and adults for residential construction careers for more than 40 years. Visit www.hbi.org for more information.