The Housing Chronicles Blog: Strife at the NAHB, Part II

Friday, March 6, 2009

Strife at the NAHB, Part II

Earlier in the week, I had posted an item about ongoing conflict with the NAHB. After some thought, I removed some of the snarkier comments comparing my experience with the builder's trade group to my time in high school (which I enjoyed and was reasonably popular), but I found some comments to Boyce Thompson's recent blog post about this issue too good not to share. Thompson is the Editorial Director for Builder magazine and other related titles:

"NAHB should be helping everyone in the industry: large, medium and small. The fact is NAHB is a paper tiger with lots of people running around showing their importance by having many ribbons on their name tags. They cannot spend time on anything as they must go to the next meeting and be seen. It's much ado about nothing and certainly not helping the industry or gaining support from Congress or any Administration I can recall..and I'm pretty old."


"I'm speaking from the opposite end of the spectrum - as a small, custom home builder completing on average 12 homes a year. The Big Boy's don't need my help or my dollar of PAC support. I'm of the opinion that the NAHB is supposed to be here to help the little guys like us have a voice that's heard."


"NAHB has a toxic reputation in DC and has failed as a lobbying organization with a large PAC. All one need do is look at the stimulus bill and the lack of help for the builders. This is a huge industry which led us into the recession and will need to lead us out. Still, Congress and the Administration found more reasons to support banking, insurance, automobiles, etc.

Some years ago, the leadership of NAHB was trying to arrange a meeting with VP Gore, two years after the first Clinton/Gore administration was in office. I arranged to set up the meeting through an intermediary, DC Democrat who would charge $50K. However, the NAHB Exec said this was too much money for NAHB to spend. So, no meeting and no influence.

The intemediary said the builders were one of the most poorly regarded groups in DC, second only to the NRA. Since then, I have never given one cent to the NAHB PAC as it's a waste, and the large builders have figured that out as should the smaller builders."

Wow! True or not true?

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