• Government Affairs

  • Our Association Works Because Our Association Works

    Your continued membership in the HBA is vital to your overall business success in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. When you renew your membership, you know that your dues investment is making an impact at the local, state and national level.

     

    • The HBA won an impact fee battle against Farm Hill Utility who demanded developers pay a water tap fee of $2,000, per lot, up front. Meaning a 100-lot subdivision developer would have to pay $200,000 upfront to build a subdivision. Through a vigorous legal challenge, Farm Hill rescinded its policy.

     

    • The HBA supported Florida’s Great Northwest (FGNW) with a $15,000 donation – a three-year commitment at $5,000 a year. Florida’s Great Northwest is the regional economic development organization, that is working to make sure the eight disproportionately affected counties from the BP Oil Spill receive its fair share. We must ensure that the dollars are allocated to Northwest Florida and are used for economic development initiatives, as originally intended, to help diversify and grow Northwest Florida’s economy.

     

    • Worked to maintain a 500 feet notification of a land use change in Escambia County instead of the proposed 2,500 feet. This will enable land use changes in dense areas not to be burdened by expensive mailings.

     

    • Working to fix the Workers’ Compensation rate increase problem in Florida by lobbying the legislature on a Workers’ Comp bill that will reduce workers’ comp rates, decrease litigation, and provide additional benefits for injured workers.

     

    • Successfully fought to eliminate a $2,000 impact fee on new construction in Santa Rosa County.

     

    • Emerald Coast Utilities Authority implemented new lift station standards that increased costs from approximately $120,000 - $160,000 making it difficult for smaller developments to be constructed. After a series ofmeetings with ECUA, the ECUA Board voted to revert to its previous standards until the cost increases can be determined. ECUA Board members Lois Benson, Vicki Cambell, and Dale Perkins voted in favor. Larry Walker and Elvin McCovey voted against.

     

    • The HBA has prudently spent over $150,000 on legal and consulting fees to fight for issues that affect your business in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

     

    • Worked with the Florida Home Builders to obtain $167 million in funding for affordable housing under Sadowski Act (SHIP and Sail programs) for down payment assistance and multifamily construction.

     

    • The HBA recommends candidates to serve on the Escambia County Building Inspections Fund Committee to make certain that your building inspections fees are being spent in accordance with Florida law. This committee saved users $1,847,068 when it realized former county commissioners were raiding the inspections fund for other county projects.

     

    • The HBA was part of the process to re-write Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties Comprehensive Plans. With the HBA’s involvement, we now have land available for the foreseeable future for development.

     

    • Saved members thousands of dollars by supporting the adoption of the International Building Code, modified with Florida-specific amendments, as the basis for the Florida Building Code. This also kept mandatory fire sprinklers out of residential housing.

     

    • Worked to gain $250,000 in funding to support strategic “stings and sweeps” to combat unlicensed activity in the state.

     

    • We've lobbied local and state elected officials, and local planning boards for sensible growth policies that will give our members a chance to continue develop and build in the Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

     

    • Brought builders a five-year reduction in the statute of repose, taking builders off the hook for latent defects in their homes. Also for home builders, brought you “notice-and-right-to-cure,” protecting builders from surprise lawsuits by home buyers.

     

    • Held economic forums to give our members a better look at the future.

     

    • Worked to gain funding for the final phase of the study to preserve the safe and effective use of septic tanks in the Panhandle and Florida.

     

    • Worked for a sensible School Concurrency ordinance that will not penalize developers for building near schools.

     

    • Fought to keep user fees down in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties during the latest budget hearings.