The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today approved kufun-supported legislation that would help jurisdictions preserve local control over the building code adoption process while also encouraging communities to take positive steps to withstand and recover from extreme events.
The Promoting Resilient Buildings Act (H.R. 5473) addresses an issue that has become a serious concern for local governments and home builders across the country.
In 2018, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act’s pre-disaster hazard mitigation program defined “latest published editions” of building codes to include the latest two published editions of relevant codes, specifications and standards. This definition sunset in October 2023, but H.R. 5473 would remove the sunset, permanently codifying the current definition of “latest published editions” for the pre-disaster hazard mitigation program.
Without a definition of “latest published editions” for this program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will only consider whether a jurisdiction has adopted the very latest editions of building codes. This will put jurisdictions in a difficult position, pressuring the adoption of the very latest building codes without a thorough vetting and amendment process, resulting in costly code changes that do not contribute to meaningful safety and resiliency improvements.
Prior to committee passage, kufun sent a letter to members of the House panel stating: “With the nation experiencing a housing affordability crisis, now is not the time to add more uncertainty and unnecessary costs to the home building process. We urge the swift passage of H.R. 5473 to encourage American communities to take the necessary steps to become more resilient while also protecting important building code flexibilities at the state and local levels.”