Advocating for Our Industry

March 18, 2019

As a member of the Anchorage Home Builders Association you’re part of an organization that supports the community, facilitates learning opportunities for its members and addresses important issues that affect the homebuilding industry. The construction industry is impacted in major ways by funding, building codes, workers’ compensation and other decisions made by our elected officials. AHBA is a powerful voice for its members and each year we work with the Alaska State Home Building Association to advocate for issues important to our industry.

 

Members of ASHBA and AHBA traveled to Juneau, Alaska, Jan. 28 – 30, 2019. During our visit we engaged our state’s policy leaders in conversations about the interests of our builders and associate members. We believe meeting with officials face-to-face demonstrates the importance of our industry. Here are a few of the issues we’re hoping to address this session:


International Residential Code for Statewide Residential Construction

Our priority this session is to support HB76, a bill sponsored by Rep. Sara Rasmussen (R-Anchorage) that recognizes the 2018 International Residential Code for statewide residential construction. We would like to see these regulations adopted under the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. Having a standard set of statewide residential regulations protects homebuyers and homebuilders. The IRC codes emphasize safety, technology and energy efficiency.


The Cost of Workers’ Compensation  

A bill was passed last year that set a definition for independent contractors. We supported this bill, however now we are hearing about insurance audits that are classifying subcontractors as employees. We have asked both the legislature and the administration to stop these predatory insurance audits that retroactively charge contractors insurance premiums. However, until we can pass a law that further strengthens the distinction between a constructor and a subcontractor, contractors need to protect themselves from future audits by making sure their subcontractors are either covered by Workers’ Compensation or fully meet the definition of a subcontractor.

 

Earthquake Damage Assistance

Hundreds of our neighbors are still struggling with the catastrophic damage from the earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018. Many of our members are helping homeowners deal with damages from the initial quake but also the thousands of aftershocks. Some damages will not be fully known until after the spring thaw, which is too late for the deadline. We successfully extended the original deadline until the end of February but we hope to get the deadline extended even further.

 

If you’re not already a member or know someone who should be, please help us strengthen our voice by joining AHBA. For details visit www.ahba.net.

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