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New Nationwide Codes Mandate a Major Blow to Housing Affordability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – RealEstateRama – Carl Harris, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from Wichita, Kan., today issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will insure mortgages for new homes only if they are built to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC):

“Without adequate review and consideration of how it will affect home buyers or renters, HUD and USDA have rammed through a rule that will do little to curb overall energy use in the U.S. but will exacerbate the housing affordability crisis. Studies have shown that building to the 2021 IECC can add up to $31,000 to the price of a new home and take up to 90 years for a home buyer to realize a payback on the added cost of the home. This unreasonable trade-off for a new home buyer will do little to offer meaningful energy savings for residential homes and apartments.

“The Biden administration has set a goal of building an additional 2 million homes and this new rule runs completely counter to that objective. HUD and USDA are meant to help the most vulnerable home buyers and renters – not price them out of the housing market. This senseless nationwide codes mandate will significantly raise housing costs – particularly in the price-sensitive entry-level market for starter homes and affordable rental properties – and limit access to mortgage financing while providing little benefit to new home buyers and renters.”

Elizabeth Thompson

(202) 266-8495

Stephanie Pagan

(202) 266-8254