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As we hold committee and board meetings, attend functions and read industry literature, a clear challenge emerges for our members: the mounting regulatory burden that is challenging our capacity to build affordable market-rate housing.
While regulatory impact may seem obscure to some, the burden really matters. Regulations now account for nearly 25% of the price of a new home. A mere 10 years ago, that burden was substantially less. We know that every $1,000 increase in the price of a home results in 2,000 fewer Twin Cities residents and fewer 4,000 Greater Minnesota residents able to purchase that home.
There are several approaches BATC is deploying to address this regulatory albatross. One key is to get people elected both at the state legislature and in local government who understand our economics and will support housing. To that end, BATC was deeply engaged in the elections this November through its Housing First program with outstanding results.
All 16 of our endorsees were elected (they are all housing champions); and 15 of the 18 candidates for which BATC provided independent expenditure support won. Four of the 15 ran for local office – mayor and city council. We are now meeting with these champions to advance our agenda, which includes lessening the regulatory burden. The leadership of all four caucuses at the Capitol are well aware of BATC’s role in this election and it greatly strengthens our position. We have elevated BATC and home building in a dramatic way and we stand a chance to make headway this legislative session.
We’re particularly excited to be working with the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® jointly on legislation. Together, we’ve developed a home ownership package that we believe will inspire action at the legislature and powerful support from our members. Our lobbying teams have already met with legislative leadership to share the initiative.
Success in advancing a policy agenda in the modern age requires more than effective electoral efforts and powerful lobbying. In the rapid communication of today’s world, it’s equally important to influence the public and influencers through issue advocacy. BATC will be using its Housing First Network in collaboration with a massive effort from the REALTORS to share the story of the importance of home ownership.
Finally, successful public affairs efforts require an active grassroots network. Our legislative initiative and issue advocacy are bold and aggressive and we’ll be calling on our Home Builders Advocate Network (HBAN) to help us advance the cause. Please mark your calendar for February 23 for Housing Day at the Capitol, which we’re holding with the REALTORS. We’re anticipating record numbers of builders, associates and REALTORS.