First and foremost I want to thank everyone who attended the HBASC state convention helping to make it a great success, but especially our sponsors. Their support of the HBA allows us to invest in the core issues that directly affect our industry. A list of the sponsors and their contacts is included in the magazine. Please reach out and thank them.

We are all experiencing the benefits that come with the resurgence of our industry, but also the obstacles that are associated with growth. We, as an industry, face a barrage of anti-growth sentiment, rising regulatory barriers and costs, and shortages of lots, skilled workers, and materials. This sentiment could not be more evident than after the York County Council’s decision to implement an $18,158 impact fee for each new home and $12,020 per new apartment in the Fort Mill School District. This is the first of several planned impact fees that will be imposed throughout York County. As builders, we understand the substantial impact this fee will have on the local housing market and the economy. While their mantra has been, “growth should pay for growth” they ignore that growth has been a positive for their community and economic studies show that the growth more than pays for itself without an impact fee. The Post and Courier recently published an article regarding the growth in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant raised their impact fees from $1,860 per house to $6,161. The result since has been a reduction in growth by almost 90%. To those who blame all the ills on growth, this would look like a victory. Contrary to this belief the council was quoted as saying, “We might have to raise taxes,…the council needs to prepare for a shift away from reliance
on growth-related revenue.”

We need to combat the ever growing trend of regulatory taxes/fees that price our families and friends out of the housing market. How do teachers support an impact fee that equates to almost two-thirds of a starting teacher’s salary? I support our School Districts, but we need a new message and means to educate our elected officials. While we work on an affordable housing forum later this year we have also filed several lawsuits against these actions. We must work to address this and other issues that will affect our livelihood and homeownership in our state.

Your HBA will continue working to address each issue with new initiatives to be part of the solution. We have a strong advocacy team in place to support the growing government affairs and regulatory needs of our industry and we are employing the “Be Pro Be Proud S.C.” to ensure that we will continue to be part of the affordable housing solution.

I have stated before and will do so again. Our association has been, and will continue to be, a major contributor toward our state’s growth in the decades to come. Your involvement in the HBA secures your voice in the future of your livelihood. Our Association must continue to protect the future of homeownership through affordable housing; developing and maintaining a skilled workforce, and promoting a foundation for further economic development. We need the Home Builders Association to persevere in both legislative and regulatory affairs in the years to come. Anyone who has been in the industry knows that change is inevitable. Whether you and your company grow is your option, but to grow membership in the HBA is compulsory.