May 18, 2021

A Special Message to HBA Members: Tackling the Lumber Crisis

One of the most important benefits of an HBA membership is unquestionably the advocacy work of our Members and HBA staff who support them.. Thanks to their tenacity, in addition to funding from the HBA’s Political Action Committee, when obstacles are put in place that affect our ability to build in Travis county, and our six surrounding counties, they are there representing you and the whole of the home building industry.

Currently, the HBA is diligently working on an issue that directly affects us all – developers and builders, as well as the many vendors who supply goods and services crucial to a successful build. This issue is affecting every step in the home building process, housing inventory, and the availability of affordable homes. As you may have guessed, the topic is the rising cost of lumber.

We want you to know that the HBA is laser focused on this issue. Recently, a team of representatives including 10+ owners and presidents of large volume homebuilders across Texas; Dallas, Houston, and Temple HBA leaders; as well as reps from TAB and NAHB, held meetings with five high profile legislators including two U.S. Senators and three Congressmen – Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, Representative John Carter, Representative Chip Roy, and Representative Lloyd Doggett, with the goal of raising awareness about the cost of lumber and its impact on housing affordability here and across the country.

During these virtual meetings we emphasized the 400% increase of lumber cost from the lumber mills, in hopes of creating a buzz with the media, applying pressure on lumber mills to increase production, helping increase the domestic supply of timber harvested on public lands, and entering into a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada. We have encouraged our elected officials to call for a “lumber summit” and invite builders, suppliers, and lumber mills to the table to discuss what can be done about the rising lumber prices.

We have high hopes that these conversations can and will affect real change within the industry. The HBA will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds, and share any updates as they happen. Please know the HBA is working for you today and every day. Thank you for your membership and your support.

Sincerely,
Chad Durham
2021 HBA Board Chair
Division President, David Weekley Homes

Participants on the calls included – 

  • Over 10 owners and presidents of large volume homebuilders across Texas
  • Austin HBA President 
  • Austin HBA VP of Government Relations
  • Austin HBA CEO
  • Dallas HBA President
  • Dallas HBA CEO
  • Houston HBA President
  • Temple Area HBA Government Relations
  • San Antonio HBA President
  • Texas Association of Builder’s CEO
  • TAB President
  • TAB General Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs
  • NAHB Senior Economist
  • NAHB VP of Government Relations