One of the major benefits of belonging to the Master Builders Association of Pierce County is its very active Government Affairs Program. Two full-time MBA staff work with the governments of Pierce County and the 23 cities within the county on land use, zoning, regulatory and other issues that affect homebuilding. Two standing member committees develop legislative policy for the association and provide an opportunity to meet regularly with staff from jurisdictions in Pierce County. MBA's Mission is to "promote the interests of the home building industry through membership involvement, legislative action, networking and education while maintaining the highest ethical standards."
The Government Affairs Program is geared to uphold this mission on a daily basis. The Legislative Strategy Committee (which meets monthly on the second Tuesday at 3:30 pm) provides members with information on upcoming permitting, land use, and development issues and is a forum for members to bring items of interest to the industry for consideration. MBA’s Forum Meeting regularly brings association members together with county and city Building Officials, Public Works Directors, Community Development Directors, and more to discuss code issues, permit review or inspection issues, or other items that affect homebuilding in the various jurisdictions in Pierce County. MBA also has a Legal Defense Fund which can provide financial support for challenges of government actions that may violate the Growth Management Act or land use law, or infringe on private property rights.
MBA members and staff meet regularly with the County Executive and key department heads as well as County Council members to keep homebuilding’s priorities at the forefront of legislative discussions. MBA leadership and government affairs advocates also work with city staff and elected leaders both proactively and reactively to ensure housing’s importance to the local economy is understood and reflected in development and construction rules.
Recent accomplishments of the Government Affairs program include:
- the development of reports in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders demonstrating the economic importance of housing (click here to view the reports),
- the prevention of fire sprinkler adoption by local governments,
- the extension of the life of permits due to the current economy,
- the freezing or reduction of impact fees,
- the adoption of affordable housing policies, regulations and incentives by Pierce County and Tacoma
- much more!