The National Association of Home Builders has asked Reps. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Joey Arrington (R-Texas) to send a letter to President Biden on March 4 urging the president to respond to rising building materials prices and supply shortages, particularly, lumber, that are harming the housing market and threaten the economic recovery.
Using data provided by NAHB, the lawmakers stated that “shortages of lumber have nearly tripled the price of lumber since mid-April 2020, causing the price of a new single-family home to increase by more than $24,000.”
NAHB is urging the Commerce Department to investigate why lumber production—particularly sawmill output—remains at such low levels during a period of prolonged high demand.
On its NAHBNow blog, NAHB says Reps. Costa and Arrington acknowledged the group’s concerns and stressed the need to boost sawmill activity in their letter to Biden. “Unfortunately, this unprecedented price increase on new homeowners, as well as home builders, will persist until new sawmills come online and current mills re-open and operate at full capacity,” the letter stated. “To address this issue, we ask your Administration to facilitate a discussion with all stakeholders, including sawmills, home builders, loggers, and distributors, to ensure all needs are met in a timely manner.”
The two lawmakers also attached a letter sent last fall to President Trump that was signed by nearly 100 members of the 116th Congress seeking action on the lumber issue.