Energy Code

HB 803 by Rep. Gadberry creates an Energy Code Commission to review and amend the energy code. Stakeholders and their experts comprise the Energy Code Commission, including the Louisiana Home Builders Association.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 635 – Position: Support

Licensing

SCR 4 by Sen. Cathey repeals administrative licensing requirements for residential specialty classifications, including: pile driving, foundations, framing, roofing, and masonry/stucco.

Current Status: Passed, Effective May 17, 2022 – Position: Support

HB 602 by Rep. Davis revises and reorganizes provisions of the La. Revised Statutes relative to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.`

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 195 – Position: Monitor

HB 971 by Rep. Romero changes the definition of home improvement contracting to include projects above $7,500 and not greater than $50,000.

Current Status: Pending Senate Commerce Committee – Position: Monitor

Fines

HB 320 by Rep. Aimee Freeman authorizes the city of New Orleans to impose a daily penalty up to $2,000 for the violation of municipal building code ordinances and regulations.

Current Status: Failed in House Municipal Committee – Position: Oppose

Contracts

HB 703 by Rep. Miller permits rescission of repair contracts within 10 days of entering while the property was under declared disaster or emergency during the six month period following a natural disaster. Lien rights remain intact for all parties. Contractors shall be entitled to the cost of work performed and materials ordered or delivered prior to cancellation, along with reasonable overhead.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 632 – Position: Monitor/Amend

Sales Tax

HB 681 by Rep. Schexnayder creates the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission. HB 681 brings Louisiana in line with the other states, simplifying what is a burdensome compliance process for businesses.

Current Status: Pending Conference Committee – Position: Support

Plumbers

HB 300 by Rep. Devillier eliminates the restricted plumber license as options for licensure of plumbers. Current restricted license holders in good standing shall be issued a journeyman’s or masters plumbers’ license with a request to the board.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 460 – Position: Support

Landlord/Property Rights

HB 160 by Rep. Mandie Landry prohibits a lessor or owner from bringing an action for possession of a residential property on the basis of abandonment for 30 days following the declaration of a federally declared disaster if the federally declared disaster caused the residential premises to be abandoned.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – 442 – Position: Monitor/Amend

HB 257 by Rep. Mandie Landry allows for early termination in lease agreements for some with physical or mental conditions that require relocation.

Current Status: Failed in House Civil Law Committee – Position: Oppose

HB 1063 by Rep. Willard prohibits discriminatory housing practices pursuant to the La. Equal Housing Opportunity Act relative to applicants with criminal histories. HB 1063 creates new causes of action against landlords and property owners by providing an avenue for those alleging violations to sue landlords for actual damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.

Current Status: Failed in Senate Commerce Committee – Position: Oppose

SB 249 by Sen. Regina Barrow provides for a registration fee to be set by local ordinance, a civil fine for failing to register, and minimum operating standards for shared housing establishments. “Shared housing establishment” means a privately operated free-standing home, residence, or any other place where sleeping accommodations are provided for at least six unrelated adults.

Current Status: Returned to Calendar on Senate Floor – Position: Oppose

Employment

HB 622 by Rep. Beaullieu provides integrity of the unemployment insurance program and to prevent the continuous payment of suspicious or claims.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 571 – Position: Support

HB 1003 by Rep. Carpenter provides that benefits shall be payable to a covered individual who is employed and who has paid into the LA Family and Medical Leave Account Fund or to a covered individual who is part time-employed.

Current Status: Pending House Labor Committee

HB 412 by Rep. Goudeau provides for the verification of attendance at employment interviews for purposes of unemployment benefits.

Current Status: Pending Senate Floor – Position: Support

Underground/811

HB 581 by Rep. St Blanc modifies the Louisiana Underground Utilities and Facilities Damage Prevention Law to provide for unplanned utility outages, state holidays, emergency excavation notices and response times.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 52 – Position: Monitor

Insurance

SB 163 by Sen. Talbot creates a catastrophe claims disclosure, which includes explanations on actual versus replacement costs, methodologies used and potential lender notifications.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 80 – Position: Support

SB 198 by Sen. Talbot provides for mandatory adjuster communications when three or more adjusters are assigned an insurance claim resulting from a state of emergency or declared disaster.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 263 – Position: Support

HB 539 by Rep. Firment provides for property insurance policies and prohibited practices.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 734 – Position: Amend

HB 870 by Rep. Lacombe/Sen. Luneau provides for coverage for a temporary substitute motor vehicle.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Acts 93 and 77 – Position: Monitor

Workers’ Compensation

HB 306 by Rep. Green provides that the employer or the employer’s insurer shall not unreasonably refuse to approve a final good faith settlement agreed upon and tendered to the employer or his insurer by the employee and the third party defendant.

Current Status: Failed in House Labor Committee – Position: Oppose

Appraisers

SB 367 by Sen. Henry creates a Licensed Residential Appraiser (LRA) license classification and formalizes adoption of Practical Application of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA) program criteria for Louisiana.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 547 – Position: Support

Building Codes

HB 292 by Rep. Geymann excludes the adoption of provisions that require marked lumber to bear the grade mark from a grading agency.

Current Status: Pending House Commerce Committee

HB 293 by Rep. Hilferty requires existing one- or two-family dwellings to have a carbon monoxide detector containing a long-life, sealed battery. HB 293 also requires professionals who install generators in one- or two-family dwellings shall include with installation of a home generator, at minimum, an operable carbon monoxide detector with a long-life, sealed battery.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 458 – Position: Monitor

HB 571 by Rep. Gadberry authorizes a suspension of the time period for when a new code may be adopted as the State Uniform Construction Code, but limits the length and number of extensions that may be granted by the council.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 160 – Position: Monitor

HB 619 by Rep. Selders provides immunity for public entities for failure to obtain permits.

Current Status: Pending Civil Law and Procedure – Position: Monitor

HB 598 by Rep. Selders establishes inspection procedures for reconnecting utilities to residential structures.

Current Status: Signed by the Governor – Act 705 – Position: Monitor

UPDATE: The 3 month moratorium is in effect until August.

Parish Council Passes Revised Moratorium

Tonight, the St. Tammany Parish Council passed a revised version of a zoning density moratorium that Parish President Mike Cooper originally proposed this year.

With a unanimous vote of 14-0, the Council approved a temporary moratorium on rezoning of residential property for higher-density developments. The measure restricts the rezoning of property to allow more than four housing units per acre of land, or to zone such parcels as Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) or Traditional Neighborhood Development Districts (TNDs) for at least three months.

To be clear, the moratorium does not restrict building permits and allows building under the property’s current zoning classification.

“Although what was passed was less restrictive than what I originally requested, I am happy with this ordinance and will sign it into law,” Cooper said after Thursday’s vote. “Some Council members were unhappy last month that I had not consulted them before the original ordinance was introduced, but in the end our system of government worked and a satisfactory compromise was reached.”

Cooper’s original proposal would’ve provided a six-month moratorium on rezoning to allow residential development of more than one home per acre. It was amended at the April Council meeting to its current form.

Cooper requested the moratorium while the Parish completes studies on drainage, traffic, wetlands and other issues related to growth, all of which will be completed by 2024.

“As I have said from the beginning of my administration, a balanced pause on high-density rezoning is desperately needed to properly plan for the future of our Parish. My administration will continue to fight for what is right for our citizens and the future of our Parish.”

MAY UPDATE

The vote on the AMENDED version of the proposed parish-wide moratorium is expected THIS Thursday, May 5th at the St. Tammany Parish Council meeting on Koop Dr. We need as many members as possible to SHOW UP for the Home Building Industry!

The amended version is the result of many speakers and presentations at the March and April Council meetings, and one- on- one meetings with several council members to explain how the original moratorium would critically hurt our industry. Many of you have attended the monthly meetings to represent our industry, which is essential to advocacy.

Original version:

Ord. Cal. No. 6903 – Ordinance to impose a six (6) month moratorium on receipt of submissions by the Parish Zoning Commission, the Parish Planning Commission, or Parish Administration for rezoning or subdivision/resubdivision of property which would result in an increase in the allowable density of a residentially-zoned parcel greater than A2, to no greater density than one (1) unit per acre. (Parishwide) (Davis/Cooper)

Amended version:

Ord. Cal. No. 6903BB – Ordinance to impose a three (3) month moratorium on receipt of submissions by the Parish Zoning Commission for the rezoning of property which would result in an increase in the allowable density of a residentially-zoned parcel greater than A-4 (four [4] units per acre), a Planned Unit Development Overlay (“PUD”), or a Traditional Neighborhood Development District (“TND”). (Parishwide) (Davis/Lorino) (Introduced 03/03/2022) (Amended 04/07/2022)

Please stand with us Thursday evening. If there are unexpected changes, we will be prepared. If there are no changes, we will support the amended version. Either way, we need you to SHOW UP for the Home Building Industry!

*Arrive between 4:30-5:00 to get into the Council Chambers. Meeting starts at 6pm.

APRIL UPDATE

St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper recently proposed an ordinance to restrict applications for rezoning of properties to densities greater than one unit per acre. This ordinance was amended at the April Council meeting.

Several NHBA members spoke in opposition at the April STP Council meeting. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXCbAovINBw&list=PLH9u5rn0HS1cqn0AxKdDXYjsMMnKKm42V&index=4&t=18247s

MARCH UPDATE

As you may know, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper recently proposed an ordinance to restrict applications for rezoning of properties to densities greater than one unit per acre. President Cooper continues to say the proposed moratorium is not a moratorium on building and development. However, there is already a lot shortage and once the available lots are gone, the residential construction industry will not survive if restricted to one unit per acre. Building and development will stop, regardless of the intent of this ordinance.

Several NHBA members spoke in opposition at the March STP Council meeting. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH9u5rn0HS1cqn0AxKdDXYjsMMnKKm42V.

While many councilmembers expressed their disapproval of the way the ordinance was announced, the introduction was approved.

What can you do?

  • Email ([email protected]) all the St. Tammany Councilmembers requesting them to vote NO on the proposed parish-wide moratorium.
  • Attend the Parish Council meeting Thursday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Presented at the March 2022 St. Tammany Parish Council meeting:

The Home Builders Association has been a responsible community partner for over 50 years. Since the creation of building codes in 1972, we have been a responsible partner. In a 1974 Tammany Farmer article titled, “Homebuilders to Promote Parish Wide Building Codes”, Mandeville Mayor Cordes commented, “I believe this group can be a tremendous organization for the good of St. Tammany Parish.”

The HBA was at the table for the creation of “New Directions 2025”– the Strategic Plan for Economic Development under President Kevin Davis. We were the 4th largest employer when President Brister declared “St. Tammany Parish — open for business, poised for growth, embracing opportunity.”
Home builders did not recklessly build without regard to growth or drainage. As community partners, they paid impact fees EVEN before they were required. Builders and developers worked with parish leaders in 2005 when St. Tammany was the first parish in Louisiana to begin collecting mandatory impact fees to help offset the effects of rapid growth. HBA met with the parish administration before the Development Fee Ordinance was introduced in 2018. There was a desire to work with our members and solve problems together.

This moratorium will hurt our industry, the subcontractors, suppliers, bankers, plumbers, and electricians, – NOT just the builders. Lots are too scarce, supply costs are too high, and homes are already too expensive to require one home per acre.

History proves we can be part of the solution without shutting us down.

Letter to the St. Tammany Parish Council:

On behalf of the Northshore Home Builders Association’s 700+ members, we wish to communicate to you that we publicly oppose the proposed ordinance to restrict applications for rezoning of properties to densities greater than one unit per acre.

There are several reasons that this moratorium is not a good idea for St. Tammany Parish:
1. A parish wide moratorium is unnecessary because rural areas of St. Tammany would benefit from growth and development. Councilmembers already have the authority to pass individual moratoriums in their own districts based on needs and challenges in their area.
2. Housing affordability, a key quality of life indicator, will become a significant challenge in terms of recruiting and retaining workforce. The average home on the market currently is listed for $553,000 which is not realistically attainable for the average household in St. Tammany, including those who work in the four largest industries: hospitality, healthcare, retail and construction.
3. Jobs will be lost. Businesses will suffer. In a study by the Southeastern Business Research Center using 2018 data, 1,431 single family homes built in St. Tammany translated to 4,580 jobs that year. With more houses built in 2019, 2020 and 2021, we know that the impact is even greater with more jobs at stake than ever.
4. Mandatory impact fees are already collected from builders and developers to help offset the effects of rapid growth, specifically for road and drainage projects.
5. Once the existing low inventory of available lots are gone, the residential construction industry will not survive if the minimum lot size is one acre.
There are serious issues to be examined herein. We need a plan to address traffic and drainage, not the wide-sweeping and harmful actions that are proposed before you.
In St. Tammany Parish, construction is the fourth largest industry in terms of jobs, employing 8,199 workers as of Q1 2022. The construction industry alone contributes more than $770 million to our local economy. This is what is at stake for the community with a vote on this moratorium.

The NHBA and its members urge you to vote no on the proposed moratorium.