The National Association of Home Builders has pledged a major effort to reduce mounting costs of new housing and to develop standards at the local level to reduce the amount of energy consumed in new houses.
After its spring board meetings concluded yesterday, NANB president Robert Arquilla said that the high costs of building new homes will be tackled at an NAHB "cost-cutting" conference next week.
He said that the cost of the land and its development into lots for houses rose from 10 to 25 per cent of the total cost in recent years and that the "hard costs" of wood and wood products used in a house now account for 25 per cent of the price tag.
Arquilla charged at a press conference here that environmental and ecological restrictions are adding a substantial amount to land development costs and that the federal government needs to spend more on reforestation because lumber is a "renewable resource."
In terms of energy conservation, Arquilla said that the NAHB's objective will be to find out the amount of insulation necessary to generate energy cost savings.
NAHB's Research Foundation recently completed an "energy-efficient residence" in conjunction with builder David C. Smith in Mr. Airy, Md. The house includes a number of nergy-saving features that cost an estimated additional $3,000 in the $58,000-range rambler. Ralph Johnson, NAHB research chief, said that energy use in the house will be monitored for several years under a $260,000 Department of Housing and Urban Development grant.
In another area, the NAHB executive committee approved a resolution opposing the Senate bill to enlarge the board of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association from 15 to 19. Ten directors are elected by FNMA stockholders and five by the President to appoint nine members. The NAHB believes the bill would increase government control over the quasi-public corporation by diluting the power of shareholders to "control and influence corporate policies." The NaHB also opposed the proposed Consumer Protection Agency bill.