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Vancouver, WA – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) estimates that 35,605 Clark County families will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate comes from the newest version of a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The study states that for each $1,000 increase in the cost of median-priced newly built homes in Clark County, 985 prospective buyers will be pushed out of the market, up from 781 prospective buyers in 2020.

“This study illustrates how even a relatively small increase in housing prices can dramatically impact housing affordability and accessibility for our neighbors,” said BIA’s Executive Director Avaly Scarpelli. “Unfortunately, with lumber prices on the rise again and the recent implementation of the Washington State Energy Code, housing affordability will continue to worsen in 2021.”

Between mid-April and mid-September 2020, the cost of framing lumber climbed more than 170%. According to NAHB analysis, this resulted in an increase of more than $16,148 in the price of a new single-family home. Lumber price increases will result in an additional 15,905 buyers being priced-out of homeownership, up from our estimate of 12,612 in 2020.

If the estimates provided by the Building Industry Association of Washington are correct, the price of a newly constructed home will rise as much as $20,000 due to the implementation of a stricter Energy Code, effectively pricing-out another 19,700 families.

When considering the increase in lumber prices and the cost of energy code compliance, a total of 35,605 buyers will be priced-out of purchasing a home in 2021.

This estimate does not take into consideration the other variables that can increase home prices: additional regulatory barriers, labor shortages, and the looming rise of interest rates as soon as 2022. All of these factors work together to prevent families from achieving their dreams of homeownership.

“Our elected leaders need to recognize and take accountability for the consequences of their policy decisions. We cannot complain about a housing affordability crisis and then pass policies negating any efforts made to make housing more attainable. The homebuilding industry agrees with the notion of increasing energy efficiency and working towards more sustainable structures. However, when the families in our county and state cannot afford to have a roof over their heads, it’s time for our elected officials to consider postponing expensive mandates,” added Scarpelli.

Vancouver, WA – The Building Futures Foundation (the 501c3 charitable arm of the Building Industry Association of Clark County) is seeking applicants for scholarships and tool grants. The deadline to apply is July 1.

Scholarship applicants should be Clark County residents pursuing education for a career within or directly related to the building industry. Scholarships are awarded to support those attending a college, university, and/or a trade/technical school. Tool grants are awarded to first-year and second-year electrical apprentices.

Both applications should include two letters of recommendation and information regarding career pathway, financial need, academic performance, and extracurricular activities. Full details on how to apply for the scholarship and tool grant can be found online at http://biaofclarkcounty.org/get-involved/building-futures-foundation/.

Additionally, the Building Industry Association of Washington is offering scholarships and grants. The deadline to apply is May 14. For complete information, visit https://www.biaw.com/program/education/.

 The Building Futures Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational foundation, which raises money via donations and event contributions, to award scholarships and tool grants to local students pursuing a career in the building industry.

The Building Industry Association (BIA) of Clark County is a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of all businesses involved with real estate, land development, homebuilding, and construction.

Vancouver, WA – The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) is excited to announce member Chuck Neibert of Affinity Homes LLC has won national recognition from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as a top recruiter for the home building industry.

As part of a NAHB’s national membership recruitment effort, builders compete against other builders from associations across the country for an experience of a lifetime. Because the BIA has more than 500 members, we are recognized as a large association. As such, Chuck has won the grand prize in the large association category for recruiting the most members in the country.

As a thank you for Chuck’s hard work in building the power of the association through member recruitment, he will receive an all-inclusive trip to the Signature Kitchen Suite Experience and Design Center (an exclusive, 23,000-square-foot facility showcasing the intersection between technology and culinary passion) in Napa Valley, California, courtesy of the official NAHB membership sponsor, Signature Kitchen Suite.

2021 BIA Board President, Dave Myllymaki said, “Chuck has been instrumental in assisting our Membership Director in growing the membership of the BIA by attracting new members from Clark, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties. We cannot thank him enough for the dozens of members he’s recruited to ensure that the construction community is aware of the many benefits offered by the BIA: cost-saving programs, business development tools, and advocacy at the local, state, and national levels of government.”

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Public Health announced a new community testing site, which is available at no cost to the public. The health department also provided an update today on COVID-19 cases as the state enters its first week of the governor’s new Healthy Washington re-opening plan. 

The Tower Mall COVID-19 Community Testing Site will open at 9 am Tuesday in the Tower Mall parking lot, 5403 E Mill Plain Blvd. The site offers free drive-thru and walk-up testing 9 am to 3:30 pm Tuesday – Saturday. The site will operate for several months.

Testing is available at no cost to everyone, regardless of income level, health insurance coverage or immigration status. 

Testing at the site is recommended for people ages 4 and older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Visitors are encouraged to pre-register for testing and sign-up for an arrival time at www.ClarkCountyCOVIDTesting.org, but on-site registration will also be available.

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Monday COVID-19 update: 

  • 523 new cases over the weekend (avg 174 cases/day)
  • 14,876 cases to date
  • 4 new deaths (3 confirmed, 1 suspect)
  • 154 total deaths to date (141 confirmed, 13 suspect)
  • 1,076 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 78 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 5 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Here is additional information about the four new deaths:

  • Confirmed: Man in his 70s with underlying conditions
  • Confirmed: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 
  • Confirmed: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 
  • Suspect: Man 80+ years old with underlying conditions 

A confirmed death means COVID is listed as cause of death or contributing factor on the death certificate and the case has a positive COVID test. A suspect death means COVID is not listed as a contributing factor on the death certificate (but wasn’t ruled out as cause of death) and the person died after testing positive for COVID within 28 days.

You may learn more at the COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Hindu prayer will open meetings of both Washougal City Council and Clark County Council in Washington on January 11 and 19 respectively, containing verses from world’s oldest extant scripture. 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures remotely before both Clark County Council and Washougal City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages. 

Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use; besides lines fromUpanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.  

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”; which he will then interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge county councilors and city councilmembers and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind. 

Zed, a global Hindu and interfaith leader, has been bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award. Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. He has been panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and produces a weekly multi-faith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over nine years. 

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA. 

Clark County, WA — As parents and students of the Class of 2021 in Clark County and throughout the region navigate a school year without in-class instruction and the normal activities that come with a senior year one Vancouver parent sprang into action and created a fun and innovative Facebook group called “Adopt a 2021 Senior Clark County, Wa”

“Essentially, this is a way to provide seniors with something special so they can have some positive memories,” said Dionna Hickox, of Vancouver. “It’s a way to make it special. It’s not an ideal year for them. It stinks they are missing out on their senior year, and a friend in the mid-West asked if our county has this adopt-a-senior program. They can be adopted and supported. My son (a senior at Skyview) just received two cards in the mail.” 

How does it work?

A parent, guardian, or even a senior will make a post on this Facebook group on what they’re like, what they want in the future. The original post will say “not adopted” and if a member of the group wants to adopt the child, and if you’re comfortable with the person you can give them your address to send cards or words of encouragement. Then once the senior is adopted, they will have a sponsor, and the post will change to “adopted.”

“I’m finding that people are getting adopted quickly, they’re finding a match to support,” said Hickox.

What are people doing?

“I just started it last week,” she said. “My son got a gas card, and a Subway gift card with words of encouragement. We’re in the infancy stage so it’s early to tell what will really happen.”

It’s a public group. The parent or student is the gatekeeper and they will be able to make decisions on who they communicate with. 

“I find a lot of Camas people enjoying the group, but there’s a lot of support at Skyview, as well,” she said. “We are encouraging the students to get the word out. I have another friend whose daughter attends Fort Vancouver, so we’re trying to expand.”

To participate, go to Facebook and search for ‘Adopt a Senior — Clark County, Wa’ to join. 

Senior
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Senior
Maddox Hickox, a Skyview senior.

Vancouver, WA  –The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports that the City of Vancouver is experiencing a boom in permit activity. In November, 41 Single Family Residence (SFR) permits were issued – compared to the 15 SFR permits issued in November 2019 – representing an increase of 173 percent in permits issued.

After examining the data, the BIA anticipates 2020’s permit activity in the City of Vancouver will surpass 2019’s by more than 50 percent. This is likely due to the pent-up demand for housing as a consequence of low inventory and lifestyle changes related to the pandemic, as well as historically low interest rates.

“Home is more important than ever,” said Andrea Smith, of the BIA of Clark County. ”It used to be that homes were a landing zone for family dinners, relaxation, and sleep. Now houses are doubling as offices and playgrounds. Due to housing’s essential nature, the BIA of Clark County and Building Industry Association of Washington fought to get the industry back to work from the statewide work stoppage in March, during the first round of government mandated COVID closures. Because of these advocacy efforts, the industry was able to get back to work five weeks earlier than other industries.“ 

“Contractors have proven that the industry can build and remodel safely and we will continue to do so effectively,” said Dave Myllymaki, the BIA’s President and Owner of ReNew Creations.

Permit
www.clarkcountyrelocations.com

PORTLAND, OR — The bi-state Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is accepting applications from community members interested in serving on one of two new advisory groups: the Community Advisory Group and the Equity Advisory Group. Along with the Executive Steering Group, these advisory groups will play a critical role in helping the program define a replacement bridge solution.

Optional information sessions will be facilitated in English at the following times and dates, with interpretation provided on specific dates. All of the information sessions can be accessed at the following link: go.participate.online/CAGInfoSession

Online applications in English, Spanish, Somali, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Russian will be available at the following links from Dec. 1-18:

The Executive Steering Group encourages individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply to serve on either advisory group. Representation from those who experience transportation barriers firsthand, regularly use the Interstate Bridge, or will be potentially affected by the program is desired, as are community members who are passionate about social equity and transportation equity issues. 

Additional information about the advisory groups and application process can be found on the Interstate Bridge Replacement program page. For more information, or to request a printed application, please call 360-905-1560 or send an email to [email protected]

About the advisory groups

The advisory groups are part of a comprehensive effort to actively engage with the public, elected officials, stakeholders, and partnering agencies from both states to build consensus through an open and public process. The first meetings for both groups will occur in early 2021.

The Community Advisory Group will develop recommendations to shape program work that reflects the community’s needs, issues and priorities. The Equity Advisory Group will make recommendations regarding processes, policies, and decisions on program work that has the potential to affect historically underrepresented and/or underserved communities. 

Each group will consist of approximately 30 members, acting as individual community members or as representatives of organizations. Approximately eight at-large members for the Community Advisory Group and approximately 10 at-large members for the Equity Advisory Group will be selected through the application process. The remainder of the representatives in both groups will be appointed by a selection committee in coordination with agency partners.

Interstate
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Vancouver, WA – The City of Vancouver will be keeping preventative measures in place to protect the rights of voters to cast their ballots and to protect the community from potential political violence and damage surrounding the Nov. 3, 2020, election.

Since the recent death of Kevin Peterson, Jr. following an officer-involved shooting involving deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, people have been gathering to demonstrate and express their concerns, as is their First Amendment right. Following a weekend of large gatherings in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Police Department is continuing to conduct enhanced patrols around authorized ballot boxes within Vancouver through the Nov. 3 voting deadline to increase the safety of community members traveling to and from ballot drop locations, to deter potential voter intimidation and/or tampering with the ballot boxes, and to provide safety for the election officials collecting the ballots. Any incidents of voter intimidation or ballot box tampering should be reported by calling 3-1-1.

The Vancouver Police Department, along with other city resources, has been planning for this election week and will have an enhanced, visible presence in the community throughout election day and beyond. The police and fire departments are working together to monitor possible political unrest activity and are coordinating with regional agency partners to provide response support, if needed.

If demonstrations or civil unrest occur, the Vancouver Police Department will staff accordingly to respond with the goal of ensuring the ability of people to exercise their First Amendment rights while maintaining safety for all people and property in Vancouver.

Vancouver
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“An historical election is upon us during an already eventful year,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain, “If you choose to exercise your constitutional rights to assemble in public during this period of time, please do so in a safe and peaceful manner. Destruction and violence is not acceptable and serves no good purpose in a place we all call home.”

“This is a city and community where we respect and listen to one another and support our country’s democratic values and the sanctity of the voting box,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, “I encourage everyone to care for our entire community and show kindness and respect to one another regardless of differing views.”

“We recognize that many in our community feel frustration and grief in the midst of the pandemic and political and social justice unrest,” said City Manager Eric Holmes. “For the safety of our community and our employees, we ask that peaceful, non-violent expression be observed.”

Vancouver, WA –The Building Industry Association of Clark County (BIA) reports trends from a nearly 700 member-wide survey regarding the effects builders, remodelers, subcontractors, and suppliers are feeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the month-long shutdown, to the shortage of appliances, to the soaring prices of lumber adding more than $16,000 to the price of a new single-family home, the housing industry has faced some challenges caused by the pandemic. Specifically, BIA members reported that COVID-19 has had at least some noticeable, adverse effect on the following aspects of their businesses:

  • 93% of respondents reported delays in project timelines due to subcontractor availability and the shortage of building products and materials.
  • 83% of respondents reported shortages of supplies of building products and materials.
  • 80% of respondents reported an increased cost of supplies and building materials.
  • 73% of respondents reported that they faced some unwillingness of workers and subs to report to their construction sites.
  • 70% of respondents reported the length of time to obtain a plan review for a typical single-family home increased.

Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19, members are still reporting strong sales due to pent-up demand, low levels of inventory, and the stabilization of low interest rates. Additionally, 36% of surveyed remodelers have reported seeing more project inquiries with prospective clients mentioning COVID-19 and quarantine as a motivator for a home remodel.

BIA
www.annrivers.com

While this seems like positive news for the industry, members are citing concerns over the affordability of housing. Builders are still trying to recover from the loss of revenue related to holding costs on housing developments that were stalled during the work stoppage, inflation of the cost of building products/materials, and the added cost of more than $7,485 per company in adhering to COVID-19 specific safety protocol.

With more than 70% of BIA members classified as small businesses (less than 50 employees), these costs will be hard to absorb. The BIA anticipates that sales prices will continue to climb as the housing inventory in Clark County remains at an all-time low.  This means that housing will become less affordable, and more families in Clark County will be priced-out of a home purchase. This is worrisome as the BIA’s most recent estimate of 12,612 households are priced-out of homeownership.

The Building Industry Association (BIA) of Clark County is a nonprofit trade association representing the interests of all businesses involved with real estate, land development, homebuilding, and construction.