NCHBA leadership visited Washington, DC in June 2021 to deliver a message about lumber prices to NC members of Congress. Pictured (L-R) Past President Mark Martin, President-Elect President Brandon Bryant, 2021 President Michael Enscore, 2022 President Wes Carroll, and Past President Buddy Hughes.
NCHBA leadership visited Washington, DC in June 2021 to deliver a message about lumber prices to NC members of Congress. Pictured (L-R) Past President Mark Martin, President-Elect President Brandon Bryant, 2021 President Michael Enscore, 2022 President Wes Carroll, and Past President Buddy Hughes.
Michael Enscore’s term as 2021 NCHBA President started without the pageantry of a typical presidential installation. Instead of greeting a crowd composed of members, friends, and family gathered to celebrate, Enscore appeared virtually via video conference software.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic changed the way NCHBA did a lot of things in 2020, including the installation of the 2021 officers and president. Enscore, in his characteristically calm demeanor, was unfazed and focused. He would rather trade the spotlight for getting straight to work anyway.

That get-it-done attitude helped Enscore lead NCHBA through challenges in 2021 – chiefly, how to safely return to in-person events. Those events are critical to an engaged membership and ultimately the success of any trade organization.

Through the multiple ups and downs of COVID-19 case numbers, Enscore took an active role in leading NCHBA to multiple victories in 2021. Those include:

• The return of multiple in-person events, including the Builders Classic Golf Tournament, 21st Century Building Expo and Conference, the STARS Awards gala, and our 4th Quarter Meeting, Installation Dinner and NC Housing Hall of Fame Awards. All of these events saw an uptick in participation from 2019 (the last time they were held in person).

• NCHBA enjoyed another very productive legislative session in 2021. We enacted one of our most ambitious legislative agendas ever and stopped all unfavorable bills. One of our top legislative priorities and perhaps the one with most interest to our builder members was the enactment of HB 489 (Building Code and Development Regulatory Reform). This legislation is the latest in the long line of successful building code regulatory reform bills which have provided major reforms and substantial cost savings to the construction industry in general and the residential construction industry specifically.Among this act’s several key provisions, it creates uniform standards for locally-delegated sedimentation control programs including setting a maximum $100 fee cap per lot; raises the threshold in subdivisions served by only a single-access road from 30 to 100 houses before local fire officials can require the installation of residential sprinklers.

• Demonstrating agility and resourcefulness, the NCHBA legislative team amended SB 308 (Various Building Code Amendments) to add two provisions to address a couple of significant issues which members called to our attention late in the legislative session. First, NCHBA added a provision which clarifies an existing statute to remove a potential ambiguity by making it clear that the North Carolina Building Code Council (BCC) decides what provisions from the National Electrical Code (NEC) are to be adopted in our state. Second, NCHBA added another provision which provides flexibility within the NC Fire Code to account for unavoidable existing site constraints impacting the separation distance between fire apparatus access roads within residential subdivisions

• Another key legislative victory was the passage of HB 273 (Modify Builders Inventory Tax Exclusion), which adds townhouses to the law exempting from local property tax the increase in value of real property held for sale by a builder to the extent the increase is attributable to subdivision of land, other improvements to the land or the erection of a single-family or duplex residence.

• Other legislative victories included HB 344 (System Development Fees Update) which adds clarifying language modeled after existing national standards that are used in calculating the system development fee. The bill places tighter parameters around these calculations in order to ensure that the future capacity fee charged to builders is calculated in a consistent and lawful method. Also, HB 854 (Land Use Clarifications), enacted several important clarifications in NCHBA’s historic land-use legislation which was enacted in 2019 and 2020 as well as other land-use issues.

• The North Carolina Builder Institute (NCBI) held a total of 114 classes in 2021, both as live virtual classes and in-person classes. Among those classes were more than 30 offered at the 21st Century Building Expo & Conference in September. Class registrations at 21CBEC in 2021 were up 125% over 2019. Moreover, NCBI increased its overall market share of CE students in NC. Of the approximately 25,000 general contractors who need CE for license renewal, NCBI captured 24% of the market – an increase from 19% in 2020.

• During 2021, NCHBA’s membership remained essentially level at around 14,250 member firms, preserving NCHBA’s position as the largest state association in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) federation. Both personally and through his leadership team and other members, NCHBA continued its strong record of involvement in the activities of the National Association of Home Builders as would be expected of an association which comprises almost 10% of the membership of NAHB.

• Our charitable activities received a major boost with the announcement of $5 million to build two trucks for the BE PRO BE PROUD program. The purpose of these project is to education middle and high school students of the opportunities in the various trades.

• Under Michael’s leadership, the association started work on a new three-year NCHBA strategic plan — 2021-2023. Further, we continued to strengthen the role and accountability of our regional vice presidents as a vital link between NCHBA and our local membership; and we maintained NCHBA’s strong financial footing by recording a solid 2019 operating revenue profit which thereby increased NCHBA’s net assets to a new record level.

Enscore’s dedication and commitment to the association in 2021 has truly been extraordinary. NCHBA will long be the beneficiary of Michael hard work, inspiration and, most importantly, his leadership!

Finally, NCHBA owes a debt of gratitude to Michael’s family for their support during his presidential year. All of us join together to thank Michael for all he has done to benefit this great association and industry!