Tyler Area Builders Association meets, installs new officers


Families continue to flood into the state, Texas Association of Builders Executive Director Scott Norman said Thursday - and they all need houses.

Norman spoke to the Tyler Area Builders Association annual meeting and officer installation ceremony, and he focused on ways that state lawmakers can help builders meet the high demand.

With more than 1,000 Americans relocating to Texas each and every day, builders are working as fast as they can. But high demand - and government regulations and fees - are driving up home prices, he added.

“It is important to remember that with each increase of $1,000 in the median price of housing, 220,000 families are priced out of the market,” he said. He cited government regulations and fees as one reason home prices are high.

That’s why it’s vital that the industry, through its political action committee Home PAC, monitor as many as 1,500 of the more than 8,000 bills that will be filed this legislative session, he said.

The group will lobby to prevent city governments from using fees on the industry as “a golden goose they can use for revenue.”

Home PAC will also watch changes in building codes that could raise the price of homes, and they will also urge lawmakers not to deregulate the title insurance industry. Unlike most other states, Texas officials set title insurance rates.

TAB will also watch out for unintended consequences of legislation, Norman added. If property taxes are reformed, he said, “we want to make sure we don’t get gouged somewhere else.”

Norman presided over the installation of TABA’s new president, Erin Wright, Vice President John McKinney, Secretary/Treasurer Trey Hunt, Assistant Treasurer Steve Cooper, Associate Council Chairman Sam Oliphant, Immediate Past President Clyde Beaty and Executive Vice President Libby Simmons.

Wright is a general contractor who has built custom homes in the Hawkins area for 11 years. She has directed the TABA’s last two Parade of Homes events, and served as secretary and vice president of the organization before her election by the entire voting membership.

“I love the camaraderie with the other builders and members,” Ms. Wright said. “We operate like a family.”

Her new responsibilities include conducting board meetings and participating in the state and national levels of the organization to represent Tyler. She will also serve as vice-chair of the Young Professionals Council for the TAB next year.

The event was sponsored by Martin Marietta, Texas Bank, Citizens 1st Bank and Citizens National Bank. TABA represents the home building industry across Anderson, Cherokee, Freestone, Henderson, Navarro, Smith, Wood and Van Zandt counties.

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