- Posted by HBACNMAdmin24
- On March 23, 2020
- 0 Comments
This page is meant to be a consistently updated virtual community space with HBA of CNM members regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on the Central New Mexico area’s residential construction industry. As we know, this situation changes day-by-day, hour-by-hour. We will remain up-to-date for you, our members.
To our members : we are in this together, we will overcome this!
We want you to know we are here for you – please contact us at anytime and we will be available via email or phone – Mailbox@HBACNM.com 505.344.3294.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Resource
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
“To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health.”
OSHA has prepared a resource on preparing a workplace for COVID-19, you can find this resource by clicking here.
Permitting and Inspections
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in adjustments to municipal operations throughout our region. We know this could impact permit submittals, pre-app meetings and inspections among other core municipal functions.
HBA of CNM staff is closely monitoring how cities and utilities are responding in our 4-county service area. These responses may include modifying or canceling public or in-person meetings and adopting work-from-home policies for employees. We are urging all jurisdictions to find a way to continue core business functions and are recommending best practices to help with workarounds as necessary.
Local jurisdictions understand the importance of the housing industry to our economy and how residential construction can play a major role in cushioning the market impact. Fortunately, Albuquerque has already transitioned to electronic plan review and they are working to make the process more efficient and the city of Rio Rancho is working towards that end result as well. Field inspections are usually done visually and by one individual.
Also, most residential construction jobs feature small, cohesive crews working some distance apart. These crews move as units making exposure patterns similar to a large family sheltering in place.
Please note that this is an evolving situation. Offices and individuals that we rely on may contract or come in close contact with the COVID-19 virus. Like all businesses should, inspection and permitting offices are preparing contingencies for this as is the HBA of Central New Mexico by offering support for our members as well as the entire residential construction industry.
Supply Chain & Materials
For the time being, building material availability appears to not be a great concern. We have received word that some manufacturers and suppliers to expect a quick end to this crisis and are increasing prices. Realizing the uncertainty of the housing market during these difficult times, the HBA of Central New Mexico Executive Officer, John Garcia suggests we keep our vision of building our economy (back) by building homes and keeping New Mexicans working.
The whole force of the federal government is doing all it can to keep our economy moving forward. It is our hope as an industry that housing will be a major part of the solution to this and not a contributing factor to the problem. However, we need all aspects of our industry working in unison to that end. We are also working with our industry partners to offer expedited training and apprentice programs in construction with a focus on the eventual rebuilding of our community and our country.
Residential construction lending and servicing of existing construction loans including third-party inspections and draws are vital for many small home builders, remodelers and subcontractors. Funding delays have a profound and direct impact on business owners (often operating on very small margins), workers and their families.
The HBA of CNM is working with the the banking and lending community to urge banks to continue construction draws and related inspections in a timely manner. Each can be done within social distancing guidelines and are necessary to keep the housing industry viable. Interest rates are near zero and actions taken by the Federal government concerning financing, loans and grants are great for the building community moving forward.
National Association of Home Builders Resources
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has created a space for members to speak about their concerns due to COVID-19. Please visit their page to voice your concerns and help them understand how to effectively advocate the needs of the housing industry. You can find this web page by clicking here.
Latest Update on HBA of CNM Operations
As Your Trusted Resource the HBA of CNM office will remain open with abbreviated and alternating schedules with a staff member available to respond to your needs. Currently, our office will be open from 9:00am-11:00am and then again from 12:00noon-2:00pm. However, our staff is also always available via email during normal business hours. If you have a question or a concern, please email Mailbox@HBACNM.com and Bridgette will forward your email to the corresponding staff member.
Also, if you have specific questions you’d like to speak with our Executive Vice President, John Garcia, about please contact him on his cell phone 505.980.0985.
HBA of CNM COVID-19 Response-
HBA of CNM is carefully and thoughtfully addressing the current situation of COVID-19. We are following data and recommendations from many organizations including the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).
Committee and Council meetings at HBA of CNM have been rescheduled to be virtual meetings, being held by Zoom or phone, the respected groups for councils and committees will be contact separately.
Your health and the health of your loved ones and employees is our primary concern. If you have any active symptoms, we ask you to seek medical attention immediately.
While interacting with others, please refrain from close contact including handshaking, hugging or any other close contact. At the HBA of CNM we consider all of our members family, as this is a hard change for us we want you to know that we are doing our part to practice social distancing.