Home Builder Association FAQ

February 2016

by Keith Wilder, CAPS, CGP

This is a monthly feature geared to help homeowners address building and maintenance issues, and it’s something I’ve envisioned publishing for a long time. In my world, as a contractor and President of the Tri-County Home Builders Association, I see the need for an educational model on what excellence in building entails – namely to ensure a fair and quality product that is hassle and liability free. This month features your local Home Builders Association and how they are serving you and the building industry.


The development of conditions under which every American family can obtain good housing is a major objective of national policy. … A high level of housing construction and vigorous community development are essential to the economic and social well being of our country. It is, therefore, properly a concern of this government to insure that opportunities are provided every American family to acquire a good home.

– President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 1954

Those ideal words of the importance of the home in American family life have been part of national policy for nearly a century, but today homeownership under attack. Legislative and regulatory proposals now under consideration would greatly harm homeowners, home buyers, the housing market and the nation’s economy. That is why it’s important to have a thriving Home Builders Association. I’ve mentioned the Spokane Home Builders Association, or SHBA, in a number of my previous articles. As President of the Tri-County Home Builders Association, a chapter of SHBA, I have come to know how important the Association is, for not only the building industry, but also for homeowners, since the housing industry affects us all. Our local Home Builders Association is a crucial working organization to urge making housing issues on all levels a priority in local, state and national politics.

I get questions about what the SHBA represents, so I’m going to present a summary and attempt to answer those questions in light of our mission for prosperous communities.

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What is the SHBA and what do they represent for our area?

The primary objective of the SHBA is to ensure that local citizens have access to the housing of their choice and the opportunity to realize the American dream of homeownership. As the SHBA and its members have a stake in the quality of life here in Eastern Washington, they actively participate in economic development efforts and give back to our community through participation with local charities. SHBA facilitates business-to-business networking and serves as a resource to the public, providing information and referrals to help people enjoy their construction experience. Their “Find a Pro” directory and Consumer Resources provide a valuable tool to those who are considering a construction project.

Other Quick Facts about SHBA:

    • Since 1947, the Spokane Home Builders Association has worked to promote, protect and educate the local building industry by providing benefit programs, networking opportunities and government representation to builders, developers, sub-contractors, suppliers and industry service providers in seven Eastern Washington counties;
    • Serves nearly 700 member businesses, representing all facets of the building industry – general contractors, developers, realtors, architects, excavators, plumbers, electricians, financial institutions and more;
    • SHBA is the second largest Home Builders Association in the state;
    • Affiliated with the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), the third largest State association of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB);
    • Provides industrial insurance refunds (39.3% return rate in 2015, 45% return rate in 2014);
    • Provides educational opportunities for its members;
    • Offers the Kim Momb Scholarship Fund for students pursuing a higher education in a housing-related program;
    • Recognized by the State of Washington as the only non-union accredited residential carpentry apprenticeship program in the state;
    • Coordinates special events for the community such as the Renovation Expo and the Fall Festival of Homes.

What is the Tri-County Home Builders Association and your experience with them?

Tri-County HBA is a chapter of the SHBA, and regardless the size of a home, we seek to better our community in the Tri-County Region: Stevens, Pend Oreille and Ferry Counties. I’ve gained a number of benefits as a member that I wouldn’t have known otherwise: friends and networking in the industry, community involvement, as well as helping represent the Eastern Washington building industry politically. Last year I went to speak to our Legislature about bills that would support the building industry in our area and oppose other bills that wouldn’t be good for Eastern Washington. SHBA offers a platform for the building industry as a whole to gather and make the kind of changes we need to keep small business and the building industry alive here.

On a local level, the Tri-County Home Builders Association has recently gotten involved with Dr. Bacon’s Colville Homeless Project with plans of helping construct tiny homes for homeless individuals and families. Like Eisenhower said, everyone deserves a home, and not having a home compounds the problem of the housing industry today.

Why join the Tri-County Home Builders Association?

When I joined over four years ago, I didn’t know that SHBA members get an awesome four-in-one membership deal: Tri-County HBA, SHBA, NAHB and BIAW. All those acronyms spell a lot of dedicated builders supporting and promoting the industry. BIAW, for example, has a strong lobbying team in Olympia that defends affordable housing for the citizens of Washington State. They “help fight against a government that has made this industry among the most regulated in the nation.” – BIAW.com. They also have full-time business attorneys on staff offering free legal advice for members.

I have also found that the SHBA promotes professionalism, pride in work and a mentality for excellence in the trades. And, in being able to meet with other professionals, I’ve been able to discuss problems, concerns or issues and get valuable feedback from fellow members.

Housing is a major indicator of a nation’s well-being and accounts for about 15 percent of the nation’s GNP. Moreover, construction also can generate millions of jobs. The downturn in the housing market was one of the largest contributors to the nation’s high unemployment rate. There’s power in numbers. The more builders that stand together, the better we can promote the positive changes needed to maintain, and even gain more ground on good housing policies. All dedicated professionals should consider HBA membership to help fight for small business and private property rights. The only way to fight government and win is to join forces with others who are dedicated to supporting their industry.

How do I join?

You can contact me personally at 509-738-9453 and I’d be happy to discuss your interest or questions. You can also contact the Spokane Home Builders Association at 509-532-4990 and they would also be happy to assist.

Final notes about the impact the SHBA has on our community…

Housing and homeownership are critical to a strong and prosperous nation. Home is central to American life. It is where families make lifelong memories and where children are nurtured so they can build a better tomorrow. Homeownership promotes social stability, is critical in creating wealth and provides upward mobility and financial security to individual households.

When you choose a home, you’re not only choosing a building to live in, you’re choosing to join a community. The Home Builders Association is committed to improving the communities we live and work in through service projects, advocacy and outreach. Find out more at www.shba.com.

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