The National Institute of Building Sciences has suggested that a number of federal housing regulations be scrapped to cut costs and delays in the home-building industry.
Among those the institute would eliminate are Housing and Urban Development for HUD-insured housing, building energy performance standards, and requirements for accessibility for handicapped persons. It recommended instead a reliance on voluntary standards and called for specific limits on the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Product Safety Commission to keep them from developing building requirements.
The institute is a private, nonprofit organization created by Congress to advise federal, state and local goverments and the private sector on housing policy and regulations. Its recommendations were made in response to the Reagan administration's request for proposal on regulatory changes to aid the housing industry.
It said that current nationally recognized model codes, in conjunction with state and local codes, are sufficient to regulate the health and safety aspects of new federally insured housing. Free-market forces could "establish acceptable performance levels for livability and marketability of such housing," the institute said, adding that HUD could propose a specific program and schedule to accomplish the goal.
Additionally, the institute suggested that HUD release its pending 1980 minimum property standards for one- and two-family dwellings because those regulations "represent a reduction and simplification of requirements."
The group also proposed reducing requirements for environmental impact statements for major HUD actions, so that state and local government assessments would be accepted in place of a separate federal study.
A 150-member task force set up by NIBS studied the impact of federal regulations on housing and land development. Future recommendations are expected to go beyond the impact of regulations on housing. NIBS, based in Washington, has members in the private and public sectors of construction. Chairman Joseph Newman is senior vice president of Tishman Realty and Construction Co., Inc.