Building Communities: One Home at a Time
From the first Native Americans, to the early European settlers, to our admittance to the Union in 1848, and now in the
21st century, shelter has been a basic need for millions of families in Wisconsin. There is no debate that a home is a place that protects us from the elements, provides comfort, and gives us the confidence to move forward to satisfy our other needs and desires. After all, shelter is a basic human need, and if this need is not met, we cannot and will not be motivated to pursue other areas of our life.
It is no wonder the home building industry continues to be a significant economic force in Wisconsin. Since 1947, the Wisconsin Builders Association has played an important role to keep housing in Wisconsin affordable, healthy,
The Wisconsin Builders Association represents over 4,800 members from a wide range of industries. From home builders and remodelers, to mortgage bankers, interior designers, excavators, plumbers, concrete contractors, electricians, carpenters, drywallers, landscapers, painters, flooring installers, title companies, glaziers, and lumberyards – the association works to ensure that state and local regulations do not add undue costs and unnecessary burdens to the industry and the consumer.
Leading the Way on Housing
“We are the leading business and consumer protection and advocacy organization for the residential home building and remodeling industry in the state,” said Brad Boycks, WBA Vice President of Advocacy. “Surprisingly, other associations that focus on the remodeling industry do not have any staff presence at the state capitol advocating for their members and consumers.”
Recently, WBA stopped overreaching energy code changes that would have increased the cost of an average home by
$5,000. In addition, we worked with Governor Walker and the Legislature to first freeze and then reduce property taxes across the state. Reducing property taxes allows families to allocate more of their income to remodel their existing home or build their dream home which circulates money back into the local economy.
More Jobs=More People=More Homes
With the help of the WBA, Wisconsin continues to lead the way in the housing industry. As the economy improves and more jobs are created in Wisconsin, people are attracted to the state; and the need for quality housing increases. In 2013, 7,386 permits were issued for single family and duplex homes in Wisconsin, an increase of 20% over 2012. Increased home building and remodeling projects have a positive economic impact on other industries. Wisconsin manufacturers play a vital role in the housing industry as well, whether it’s glass from Spring Green or Menomonie, windows from Medford or Hawkins, siding from Tomahawk, plywood from Marion, finish trim from Marathon, or a bathtub from Kohler, homes all around the country are built and improved with goods from Wisconsin companies. Wisconsin is also home to early innovators in the component and manufactured housing industries
The Value of Membership
All members of the Wisconsin Builders Association are also members of one of our 23 local associations and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). These affiliations keep members in tune with state and nationwide trends as well as advocacy issues in Washington D.C. “The benefit of our structure is that a company that joins their local association also becomes a member of the state and national association. It is like having three memberships in one,” said Kirsten Lee Villegas, WBA State Executive Officer. “That local, state, and national tie adds tremendous value to members. Approximately 70% of builders and remodelers get back more in rebates than they pay in annual dues.”
Members also have access to valuable discount programs that can be used for business and personal purchases. Companies such as Lowe’s, General Motors, UPS, Avis, Office Depot and others offer significant member discounts. One of the most popular is the $500 General Motors rebate on the purchase of a new car or truck.
Another benefit is free access to the WBA legal code hotline. Members get professional answers from attorneys at Axley Law Firm, a law firm with the largest number of attorneys who regularly practice construction law in Wisconsin. The legal hotline answers member questions about contracts, lien laws, regulations, and other issues that impact their business. Members also receive exclusive access to a suite of professional construction contracts and forms that are well regarded by builders, subcontractors, and customers as the industry standard.
Building Financial Security
Home ownership builds stronger communities, provides a solid foundation for family and personal achievement, and improves the quality of life for millions of families. It is the single best long-term investment and a primary source of wealth and financial security. For generations, families have counted on their homes to help fund their children’s education and their own retirement. For 67 years, the Wisconsin Builders Association has been there ensuring that Wisconsin home owners can have a place and community they can take pride in and call home. We will continue to represent the housing industry and Wisconsin homeowners for generations to come.