The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield has many functions, all of which are related to promoting the home-building industry. This includes educating the public; sponsoring events such as the home and remodeling shows and the Parade of Homes; and fighting unnecessary regulations that cause the industry’s (and consumers’) costs to increase.
The HBA also has standards that its 400 members from 10 counties are required to meet, according to Matt Bailey, president, and also owner of The Bailey Company in Springfield.
The membership is composed not only of builders, but remodelers and related suppliers. Bailey emphasized that the HBA’s biggest effort is in advocacy and fighting unnecessary regulations. He says the association has no problem with safetylife regulations, but when regulators veer into other areas such as energy efficiency, the builders take issue.
“We are not against energy efficiency,” he said, “I’m a certified green builder, and many others are, too. But when you require the homeowner to do something they don’t ask for, we oppose that.”
He said a lot of new codes in various areas require homeowners to do certain things, and they don’t have a say.
“We don’t want to force the homeowner to do something,” he said, “we want to give him or her a choice.”
Today’s homes are much more energy-efficient than the older homes, but some regulations for new homes are even more stringent when they are already more efficient than the older ones.
The HBA does a lot of advocacy at the government level in Springfield and Jefferson City and promotes what Bailey calls “pro-business” candidates. Bailey stressed that there are certain standards that HBA members must meet. For example, a member must have workmen’s compensation and general liability insurance.
“You would think most builders have this, but they don’t,” he said. “Consumers really need to ask the builder, ‘Are you truly insured?’ because anything could go wrong, and the consumer could be lose a lot of money.” He added that workmen’s compensation is required by law, but general liability is not.
Bailey said the HBA is big in education right now, sponsoring scholarships for builders to take educational classes to help them become “certified green,” “professional” or “certified graduate” builder. Members also volunteer for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity; Bailey said he recently worked on a house as part of the organization.