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New home builders group seeks pro-business environment

Maryland’s two home builders associations have completed a merger in an attempt to give members a stronger voice in creating a more business-friendly environment in the state.

The Home Builders Association of Maryland and the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association officially formed the Maryland Building Industry Association after about five years of considering the proposal and the boards approving the merger last November.

“A lot of the land-use issues that we’ve faced in the past have been on the county level, and now we’re seeing they’re much more on the state and federal level. So, at this point we just felt like it would be advantageous to our industry to consolidate our efforts,” CEO Lori Graf said.

She said a stronger voice on issues such as zoning and environmental regulations are needed because the industry is still trying to recover from the 2008 recession.

“We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to take care of the environment and not be overbearing to small businesses,” Graf said.

Moving forward, the group – which has about 1,200 members – will primarily focus on finding ways to help home builders continue to recover from the recession. The group is also working with other groups such as the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, NAIOP Maryland and the Mortgage Bankers Association to advocate for policies that will create what she called a more pro-business environment.

“We’re competing against other states for business and consumers.  People can go to Pennsylvania, people can go to Virginia, people can go to Delaware. We want them to choose Maryland,” she said.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.