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Thanks to senators for housing industry recovery

     The housing industry has been through a rough five years. New home construction came to a standstill. Lack of steady work and reliable income became an unsettling reality for Minnesotans. The dream of home ownership was suddenly far out of reach for many Minnesota families.

     In the last year, the industry has been showing signs of recovery, and many families in our state can begin to dream of their ideal home again. For builders like me, this recovery brings more work and more stability for my family as well.

     In order to keep new homes affordable and continue the economic recovery, the members of the Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM) continue to fight to protect consumers against needless regulations. That’s why I, along with BAM and others in the housing industry, strongly oppose a new regulation being discussed by the state — a requirement that an indoor home sprinkler system must be included in every new 4,500 square foot home built in Minnesota. 

     This mandate would come at an estimated cost of $4,000 for a house on municipal water and $16,000 or higher for homes with private wells. Annual maintenance and inspections, accidents and malfunctions will add even more cost for your constituents, who must comply with the state mandate.

     Recently, the Minnesota Senate, including our Senator Kent Eken, passed a prohibition on home sprinkler mandates in the Omnibus Economic Development Bill. I thank Senator Eken for his leadership on this issue and urge Governor Dayton and the Minnesota House to follow suit.

     New homes in Minnesota are already the model for safety, but this requirement adds too much cost for not enough benefit. The added costs of this mandate will not only hurt middle-class families looking to purchase new homes; it will also threaten the recovery of an important segment of our economy. — Nick Green, President, Lake Region Builder’s Association, and committee members, Rick Michaelson and Bryan Schoenberger