Turbulence hits in all kinds of ways. It appears on the high seas, in the winds of a hurricane and surely in the buffeting of an economy or an industry.
Home builders have faced economic turbulence on and off for centuries, but citizens still need homes no matter the economy. Recently we are facing regional economic shortfalls, in my mind caused by poor planning, insufficient political leadership and short sighted regulations. This is not a seasonal dip but perhaps a cultural shift and economic trend line to monitor. There are big cultural problems distorting capitalism and relegating human housing needs to that of second tier concern.
Fixing big problems will take big thinking answers. At Metro, we represent diverse businesses and political interests. Where we are united is in our support for housing advocacy. The “system” has broken to have our North Jersey building interests so hamstrung as to yield low housing starts, a lack of remodeling investment, and a dissipation of the labor pool into other industries. The solution individually is to restructure for today’s needs. The answer for our industry is to take a top down assessment of the industry and governmental actions and offer some bold strokes to change the way our regulated society operates. The structure of permitting, the thinking about land use, and the allocation of resources have failed the public in the ability to access decent housing at affordable prices.
We can do better. We will be working our 2017 Metro agenda to stoke the thinking of members and provide a forum and launch pad for initiatives that might lead to a brighter day for housing interests.
Is anybody up for a little rebellion? Your insights and thoughts are welcomed.
/s/Philip A. Calinda, Jr.