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NAHB - Lumber Update
Date: May 7, 2021 To: NAHB National Area Chairman State Representatives HBA Presidents Executive Officers
From: NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke
Re: LUMBER UPDATE - Commerce Secretary Pledges to Make Lumber a Priority and Other NAHB Initiatives
NAHB’s relentless grassroots efforts urging the Biden administration and Congress to address the growing problem of rising lumber and material prices along with supply shortages is showing results.
This is the association’s top priority and I want to let you know that during a congressional hearing on May 6, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo responded to a request by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to make rising lumber prices and production issues a priority by stating: “I promise you I will.”
Meanwhile, in a Senate hearing last week, Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) cited concerns to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai about the harm that lumber tariffs and the lack of supply chain regarding lumber are having on American home builders and home buyers.
“Softwood lumber will always be in my sights in the conversations with Canada,” said Kai, who added that she will seek to “engage our Canadian counterparts in some out of the box thinking on this issue.”
It’s no coincidence that in recent congressional hearings, lawmakers are asking top administration officials to take action on lumber. This renewed urgency in Congress and the administration about the lumber price crisis and the need to find solutions is directly attributable to the tireless efforts of our Federation.
And at yesterday’s House hearing. Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) specifically cited NAHB data on how “overall lumber prices have tripled and the increase translates into a nearly $36,000 increase in the price of the average single-family home.”
Cline went on to ask Raimondo if she could discuss what resources may be available or have been dedicated by the Commerce Department to look into the causes of skyrocketing lumber prices, what impact this is having on the economy and whether the secretary could commit to working with industry stakeholders and with Congress to identify the challenges and potential solutions to the crisis.
“I agree with you that the home building industry and the housing sector is a vital portion of our economy and they are struggling as you say,” said Raimondo. “And what I can commit to you is to follow up with you to work collaboratively with you … because I understand the problem and it affects the whole industry.”
And from coast to coast, members of our Federation stepped up this week to bring the lumber crisis to the forefront during Bringing Housing Home, NAHB’s 2021 in-district Legislative Conference. Members have held more than 140 meetings with their representatives and senators to discuss the lumber price crisis and its impact on home building and housing affordability, along with other key issues of concern to the housing community.
Finally, please see the attached report for a full view of our efforts and outreach. We view these positive developments as the beginning of the process. The road ahead will be long and challenging but I pledge that NAHB will leave no stone unturned in our effort to achieve a remedy to the lumber crisis that will ensure an adequate supply of lumber to the U.S. marketplace at a reasonable price.
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