Advocacy

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The Home Builders Association of Greater Austin is your voice and advocate at City Council. We worke tirelessly to ensure that the regulatory environment in the greater Austin area encourages growth and development and doesn’t restrict it. Whether it’s working on an Ordinance, testifying at Council, or helping our members with a permit delay or issue—we are here to represent YOU!

  • Accessory Dwelling Units
  • Administrative Rules and Policy Changes
  • Code Adoptions and Updates
  • Density Bonus Programs
  • Electronic Permit and Plan Submittal
  • Fire Sprinklers
  • Impact Fees
  • Inspections and Review
    • Delays
    • Need for improved city employee training
  • Infill Tools
    • Small Lot Amnesty
  • Labor Laws
  • Lobbying
  • Masonry Requirements
  • Parkland Dedication
  • Permit Fees
  • Planned Unit Developments
  • Rough Proportionality
  • Smart Housing
  • Utilities
    • Georgetown Utility/Chisolm Trail Merger
    • Austin Energy Extension Fees
    • Austin Water Tap Plans
  • Visitability
  • Water
  • Zero Waste
  • Zoning
    • Inclusionary Zoning
    • Historic Preservation Districts
    • Zoning un-zoned land
  • Zucker Report Implementation
If you have a passion for Government Affairs and Public Policy then please consider joining us at our monthly Government Relations Committee(GRC) meet where we discuss the various issues in our 6 county area. Meetings are held on the 1st Thursday of every month at the HBA offices.
The only thing equally as important as our Government Affairs work, is the work of our Political Action Committee (PAC), HomePAC. The purpose of HomePAC is to elect and support candidates that understand our industry, and will be advocates for it, once they are elected.

Learn how you can get involved in HomePAC:

Get Involved Donate to HomePAC

 

2016 Policy Issue Victories:

  1. Leander Masonry Ordinance
    The HBA and several members successfully pushed back against proposed amendments that would’ve severely restricted the use of stucco as a building material. Thanks to our efforts, Leander City Council rejected the original proposal and directed staff to go back to the drawing board and use our feedback as the starting point.
  2. Austin Volume Builder Program
    For several years, the City of Austin’s Volume Builder Program had fallen to the wayside and was nearly non-existent. Working with several of our members, a revamped version of this program was developed and then tested in a small pilot program. After several weeks of testing and seeing drastic improvements in wait times and processing, we jointly rolled out the new program to our Volume Builders with the City of Austin.
  3. Bastrop Subdivision Regulations
    As development continues to push out east of I-35, the HBA was appointed to a Bastrop County Task force to re-write and update the County’s subdivision regulations which had not been updated in over 10 years. Using the technical expertise from our members, the HBA was a key voice in the update which will make future development in Bastrop easier, and more efficient.
  4. Travis PID Task Force
    The HBA was also appointed to a Travis County task force to examine additional labor requirements on Public Improvement Districts (PIDs). These new requirements are being pushed by the Workers Defense Project who’s Better Builder Program requirements add significant costs and barriers to development, while ignoring common industry practices and free-market enterprise. The task force ultimately voted to recommend (with the HBA and other industry orgs opposing) these new requirements on PID projects, but the HBA was successful at getting residential projects exempt.
  5. Preservation of Infill Building
    Throughout the year, the City of Austin made several attempts at restricting certain types of infill building by removing tools needed to build infill product. The HBA was successful in shutting down a proposed change to the Garage and FAR requirements and managed to get “no” votes at Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council. Later in the year, the HBA was also able to halt the addition of several new requirements for demolition permits and historic zoning.
  6. Electing the Right Candidates
    One of the most critical aspects to our advocacy successes is ensuring that candidates who understand our industry are elected to office. This year HomePAC spent over $45,000 to make sure that our voice is present in the elected offices throughout our area.

2015 Policy Issue Victories:

  1. Pushed back against the city’s Lobbying Ordinance and worked with other real estate development organizations to successfully alter the proposed resolution with over 7 amendments.(Austin)
  2. Worked to change an anti-growth/development Parkland Dedication Ordinance, to one that considers costs and the need to create more housing. Passed without amendments from Council.(Austin)
  3. Fought to preserve future growth through supporting two candidates, while managing the creation and mailing of 6 Direct Mail pieces and raising over $30,000 from the community for those campaigns. (San Marcos)
  4. Received recognition for development of the “Sensible Landscaping Guidelines”(Austin and LCRA)
  5. Continued to build and grow relationships with elected officials, resulting in over 60 in attendance at our elected officials night.
  6. Provided testimony at over dozen city Council Meetings and met with council and city staff at over 100 meetings.

 

  • Recent Advocacy News

    • HB 1449 passes Texas Senate

      TAB and HBA priority legislation HB 1449, which would prohibit cities from charging what’s known as a “linkage fee” passed the Texas Senate on May 18, 2017 with one clarifying amendment. Now that the bill has passed both houses, it will go back to the House for concurrence with the clarifying amendment and then Governor Read more »

    • HB 1449 (linkage fees) passes Texas House of Representatives

      TAB and HBA priority legislation HB 1449 which prohibits municipalities from requiring a “Linkage Fee (a fee on new development to pay for affordable housing), passed the Texas House 102-38. Special thanks to these members of our local delegation who worked with us on the bill and voted in favor of HB 1449: Rep. John Read more »

    • City of Austin approved 2015 IRC

      At the April 6, 2017 meeting, Austin City Council voted to adopt the 2015 IRC. The HBA had met previously with the building official and staff and made recommendations for consideration. The HBA supported the adoption of the 2015 IRC code. This will go into effect on all building permits submitted after July 5, 2017 Read more »

    • Leander ordinance changes

      At their April 6, 2017 meeting, the City of Leander finalized the Ordinance amendments which had been developed over dozens of meetings between the HBA and the City. To view a copy of both ordinances click here. In addition to the changes approved last night, Building Official Linda Alger has prepared this document with the Read more »

    • Building materials rise in February

      The cost of building homes is going up. The latest Producer Price Index release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices of softwood lumber, gypsum, ready-mix concrete and OSB all rose in February. The increases were led by gypsum products, with softwood lumber a close second. After falling in four of the past Read more »

    • HBA testifies on HB 1449 at the Texas Capitol

      On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the HBA, and several builders from across the state joined with our state association to testify in favor of HB 1449 before the Texas House Ways & Means Committee. HB 1449 would prohibit cities from being able to impose a “Linkage Fee” on new development. Predominately used in California and Read more »

    • HBA wins big at Leander City Council

      Last night the HBA presented new language that had been developed after a four-hour long meeting with staff and our members. This language was passed by City Council, as well as several additional recommendations to further clarify the language. Council also resurrected several areas of concern that the HBA had previously expressed and voted to Read more »

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