News & Opinion posts below are in rough chronological order (most recent at the top).
Whether an item is news or opinion, everyone can quibble.  We think it's all relevant to our vision and mission to
"Build CT's Economy, Communities and Better Lives, Using Effective Advocacy and New Knowledge to Solve our Member's Problems."

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Deal gives Democrats edge in evenly split CT Senate - CT Mirror; CT News Junkie story

CT Lawmakers Get a Glimpse of Budget Problems They Will Face ; Appropriations House Chair, Walker (D), says, Devastating cuts cannot solve CT's budget woes; and S&P warns CT: Surging debt costs could lower bond rating - CT Mirror

Malloy: Next budget will be very lean, without major tax hikes - The CT Mirror; Q&A: Wyman talks budget, her role in equally divided state senate

CT Senate leaders blame Democratic losses on PACs, not policies - Republican leader responds, "hogwash"; House leader also blames losses on independent money, while union official blames unpopularity of Governor Malloy; Malloy attributes Dem losses to being outworked by Republican candidates - see story

GOP ties Democrats in state senate, and closes gap in state House - 18Rs to 18Ds in Senate, likely 72Rs to 79Ds in House; NY Times results for CT; see also CT News Junkie; CT Sec of State Election Results

NCCI files significant rate reduction for workers compensation insurance, effective 1-1-17
- reduction already approved by insurance regulators

Gov. Malloy Announces $55 Million in Funding to Advance Development of Affordable Housing Across the State - 590 existing units to be renovated along with common area upgrades, while only 120 new units to be created, for a total average subsidy of $77,465/unit.  Only a portion of the 710 total units considered "affordable" in 13 total projects.

CT budget closes in deficit again; little reserves left for this year - The CT Mirror

White House highlights regulatory barriers to affordable housing - releases Tool Kit for local governments.

Connecticut's economy gets double dose of bad news in August - New Haven Register

Gov. Malloy's budget chief sends memo to all state agencies - asks for options to reduce budgets by 10%.

Control of the CT Senate at stake in battleground districts - CT Mirror; Seats in CT House also in play.

General Assembly's Office of Legislative Research (OLR) Summaries of new laws - see topic area summaries of Public Acts affecting Building Codes, Housing, Business & Jobs, many other topics.

National Lieutenant Governors Stand Up for Housing - led by CT Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, "Housing affordability and availability are ..."

Federal fines jumped Aug. 1 - Percentage increases huge for violating OSHA (78%), endangered species (98%) and stormwater permit (40%) regulations.

Crumbling Concrete Foundations - see HBRACT testimony, news reports

Study faults state's business climate - over-regulation cited.

Notice of Intent to Adopt the 2016 State Building Code - new Code effective Oct. 1, 2016.

State legislature adopts new budget - Senate approves along party lines, 21 Ds to 15 Rs; House nearly so, 74 Ds for to 62 Rs plus 8 Ds against.

Nonpartisan analysts: Tentative CT budget wipes away lots of red ink - CT Mirror

Two CT companies to stop selling products after allegations of crumbling foundations - WFSB Eyewitness News

CT budget details trickle out as partisan debate heats up - CT Mirror

Connecticut's Home Building Industry Recovers Slowly - Hartford Courant

Winners of 6th Annual Zero Energy Challenge Announced - Energize CT

Millenials, Boomers Test Builders' Marketing Skills - HBJ

Governor Malloy Announces $78 Million in New Housing Investments Across CT - press release

Call Before You Dig - New E-Ticketing System - excavators should register prior to Jan 22 to become familiar with new e-ticketing process.  811 call times will be longer if not registered.

Ranking of Most Innovative States - Massachusetts is #1, Connecticut #5

Construction Sector a Leader for Job Growth over the Next Decade - NAHB Eye on Housing

Where Have All the Home Builders Gone ... in MA? - same story could be told in CT

Cost of renting, home ownership closer in most states - Census Bureau's 2014 five-year annual Community Services survey.

Another view of new data - Census Shows Fewer Families, Different Jobs, Changing Connecticut (Hartford Courant).

Housing In CT 2015  - Partnership for Strong Communities releases report on the latest measures of affordability.

How Many Subcontractors Does it Take to Build the Average Home? - answer may surprise you.

Two New CT Supreme Court Opinions Issued in July - HBRACT participated as a friend-of-the-court in both.

Three CT metro areas rank among nation's top 20 for people moving out - Bloomberg Business

CT Ranked #1 in People Moving Out of State

Budget woes strain alliance between Governor and fellow democrats -the News/Times.

Revised forecast bleak: New federal data bursts CT’s economic bubble - the CT Mirror, 6-25-15.

Home Energy Solutions - perform an energy checkup on your home and make on-the-spot improvements (YouTube).

Building Code - Spring 2015 Career Development Schedule Announced - these are the classes paid for by the building code education fee added on to all building permit applications.

Energize Connecticut Videos Address How to Improve Water Heating at Your Home or Small Business.

Each $1,000 Increase in Price of a New Home Forces 206,000 Prospective Buyers Out of the Market Across the Nation - New NAHB study demonstrates the impact that fees, taxes and regulatory costs have on potential home buyers; The variables of median home prices, incomes and housing supply determine local/state impacts - study breaks down the impact by states.

Home Innovation Enters into Agreement with Appraisal Institute to Issue Green Appraisal Addendum for all NGBS Green Certified Homes (Home Innovation Research Labs).

LEED V4 is now held off to Halloween 2016!  Scary?  -  While not as well known, there are better alternatives, such as NGBS ICC-700.

Where are the Nation's Most Expensive Building Lots? - right here in New England ... by a lot.

CityLab Promotes Hartford as the Place to be for Young Professionals.

Forbes Highlights Connecticut's Challenges - drops CT to #36 in Business Friendly Places ranking - from CBIA.

Each $1,000 Increase in Price of a New Home Forces 206,000 Prospective Buyers Out of the Market Across the Nation - New NAHB study demonstrates the impact that fees, taxes and regulatory costs have on potential home buyers; The variables of median home prices, incomes and housing supply determine local/state impacts - study breaks down the impact by states.

Connecticut's Debt Rating Remains Negative - As reported in The Commercial Record, a major rating agency says, "the state's budget relies on one-time fixes and ... the state's economic recovery [is] 'slow and uneven.'"

See Who Is Donating to CT's Congressional Candidates - The CT Mirror

Best and Worst States for Small Business - CT earns a grade of "D" - Message: Make things simpler, lighten up on the rules and regulations, from zoning to licensing, that permeate our lives.

Public Sector Hiring Lowers Jobless Rate to $6.7% - CT Mirror - Ct added 1,700 jobs in June: 1,200 in the public sector, only 500 in the private sector.

CNBC - America's Top States for Business 2014 Ranking places Connecticut at number 46, down 1 slot from 45 last year. ... that's the wrong direction.

CT Dept. of Labor and Dept. of Economic and Community Development issue June edition of the "Economic Digest" - as reported by CT News Junkie, it doesn't contain the best of news.

CT's New Home Construction in 2013 Shy of Five Year High (The Courant)

Tax Foundation Ranks CT in Bottom 10 of all States

CNBC's ranking of 51 measures of business competitiveness has CT at 45 out of 50 in its "America's Top States for Business 2013" - see 50 state breakdown.

State agency regulations are online - result of Public Act 13-274

Connecticut Economic Outlook - "Connecticut’s economy is recovering slowly, very slowly, well behind national recovery. ..."


Union concessions still key focal point in a time of hard tradeoffs - CT Mirror

How the Mass. economy overtook Connecticut - Can Trump pull Connecticut out of its slump? Answer may be a new suburban oasis, but it depends on lower home prices.

CBIA unhappy with steady job loss in CT - everyone should be unhappy with CT's dismal job performance

2016-2017 Resolution for a Better Connecticut -HBRACT urges all state and local candidates to embrace this resolution.

Regulatory Hurdles in Connecticut - So many ways builders are beat down in CT and, then, we all lose...

Real estate is vital to the economy - USA Today opinion piece

A Millennial Tells Why He Left CT Twice -"It's the economy, stupid."

Where Has All the Money Gone? 25th Anniversary of CT's Income Tax - Yankee Institute of Public Policy

New England's Suburban Decline - "Housing is brutally expensive in Connecticut," Francese said. "Millennials just say, 'This is a joke ... I can never get paid enough to pay for the house.'"

Discussing the Human City - watch Joel Kotkin challenge the dominant planning mantra that pushes for dense urban cores and its war on the suburbs.

How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality - NY Times

For first time in 6 years, legislature overrides Governor Malloy's vetoes of bills - Governor's veto of SB 302, a bill HBRA strongly supported, was fortunately overturned and is a victory for small businesses - will help change the regulatory mindset of state agencies.

2016 Legislative Session - HBRA Testimony, Find Your Legislators & More

HBRA testifies on crumbling concrete issue - Our 2-prong solution is logical and will solve current and future issues.  J.J. Mottes blames builders' installers - argument debunked by HBRA (see news story to left).

It's More than Just Smoke Alarms - HBRA responds to Nat'l Fire Sprinklers Assoc's despicable and hypocritical comments about home builders.

HBRA Fights Mandate to Install Fire Sprinklers in all new 1&2 Family Homes - On 7-18 vote, sprinkler mandate overwhelmingly defeated in committee.

It's More than Just Smoke Alarms - HBRA responds to Nat'l Fire Sprinklers Assoc's despicable and hypocritical comments about home builders

Bill closing deficit, cutting business taxes heads to Malloy - CT Mirror

HBRACT comments on CEQ's report, "Digging Connecticut" - see more info on storm water regulation here.

Sales tax exemption for weatherization products is repealed in legislature's special session - an unwelcome surprise. 
DRS Issued a Special Notice stating its interpretation of the new law - see SN 2015(11).

HBRA Files Comments with DEEP on its Municipal Stormwater Permit (aka MS4) - State's mandate on municipalities effectively breaches a settlement agreement the HBRA reached with DEEP just two years ago.

So Much for the Death of Sprawl: America's Exurbs are Booming - Joel Kotkin, in

HBRA Files Comments with DEEP on its Municipal Stormwater Permit (aka MS4) - State's mandate on municipalities effectively breaches a settlement agreement the HBRA reached with DEEP just two years ago.

HBRA Recommends Tax Changes to State Tax Panel - "Housing can lead the way to job growth and economic recovery."

Mandating Fire Sprinklers in all New Homes - the Significance of Perspective -  ... and why a mandate is a bad idea, Bill Ethier

HBRA Opposes Higher State Spending and More Taxes "We're headed in the wrong direction.  ...  We're not asking the state to do more with less.  We're demanding the state to do less with less."

HBRA's 2015 State Legislative Priorities  (as of 5-5-15; You won't believe the legislation we're opposing.)

Housing Affordability is Blue America's Greatest Failing

An Emerging Housing Crisis? - Bill Ethier

CT Housing Headed in Wrong Direction - Total housing permits and 1&2 family home permits in 2014 down from 2013 - official numbers released 5-4-2015.

Millenials Desire a Home in the Suburbs (NAHB)

Wrong Way Nation (NY Times) - It's not the South's and West's business-friendly pull that makes people leave the Northeast, it's the Northeast's over-regulation of housing that drives higher housing costs that forces people out.

Millenials Still Want to Own a Home - and more want to live in the suburbs than in urban settings; but since income growth is slow in this economy and student loan debt is a major burden, home ownership is a long-term goal.

Millenial Boomtowns: Where the Generation is Clustering (It's Not Downtown) - dispelling the myth of where young adults want to live.

State's Economic Growth Lackluster in 2013 - CBIA

Hopeful But Wary: Will Promising Signs For Home Construction Fizzle Once Again? -

HBRA Joins the CT20x17 Campaign - HBRA's CEO, Bill Ethier, to serve on CT20x17 Steering Committee.  Working to make Connecticut a top 20 state for business by 2017.  See CBIA's "Kick Start Our Economy" for a quick summary of the campaign, or go to the CT20x17 web site.

Measures of Consumer Confidence Mixed - Again (Eye on Housing blog)

Connecticut 48th worst for state and local tax burden - as reported by CBIA.

Keep 50+ Marketing on the Right Side of Fair Housing Laws (NAHB 50+ Housing online magazine)

The Economy Is Expected To Grow, As Long As Lawmakers ‘Don’t Mess It Up’ (CT News Junkie)

CT's Structural Jobless Problem - "The state's 7.6 percent unemployment rate is a deeply misleading statistic that hides 'profound structural weakness' in the economy ...." (  The lower rate is due to how unemployment is calculated, i.e., it does not count people who have given up looking for a job.  If everyone in CT who gave up since 2009 were still in the job market looking for work, the unemployment rate would be close to 11%.

Why It Takes So Long to Build a Bridge in America - "Regulatory review is supposed to serve a free society, not paralyze it." WSJ, Philip K. Howard.

How Long Does it Take to Build a House? - NAHB, Eye on Housing blog. National average from building permit to completion is 7 months, but longer in the Northeast. And, getting to the building permit stage (the last approval step a builder needs before home construction can begin) can take one to several years due to the many land use and other approval steps.

CT Housing Still Expensive, Still Scarce - CT News Junkie

Connecticut Needs a Better Value Proposition - by Douglas G. Fisher

How Did Rich Connecticut Morph Into One Of America's Worst Performing Economies? - by Jim Powell, Forbes.

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