How To Incentivize People To Become Builders And Build Affordable Housing
Where are all the home builders? There are not a lot of incentives from the city, state or federal level to become a licensed general contractor/builder. In fact, there are a lot of liabilities when you build a house and when you build for other people. With labor shortages in construction growing it makes it even harder to find talented and experienced builders.
Being a home builder requires a lot of skills in different areas of construction and project management, knowledge of city and state building codes, plus other skills. The builder has to be able to see the whole project, but also know all the details so the building is well built. There just are not a lot of people that have all that experience that are willing to become builders, unless you give them incentives.
We need to encourage people in Minneapolis to become licensed home builders if we are going to create more builders and more affordable homes to the market.
If I was in charge of the budget in Minneapolis I would set aside $1 million and I would give $10,000 tax credits or permit rebates to the first 100 Minneapolis residents that became a licensed builder and built an affordable house in Minneapolis. They would need to get licensed, go through a city approved builders training course, which would be a 3 month project on a Habitat for Humanity home. Within that course they would need to work off a Minneapolis approved home design, interview and hire contractors, create a budget and construction timeline, get insurance and submit plans to the city for building permit. If they did all that, built the house, passed all the inspections and they did it on budget and on schedule, then they would get a $10,000 permit credit.
Each year you could set aside $1 million for 100 new Minneapolis residences to get their license and go through the training course and build a home. This would encourage new builders to continue to come to the market and create homes and opportunities in the city.
The bottom line is the city of Minneapolis needs to encourage people to become licensed builders. If we don't then we will continue to have huge labor and affordable housing shortages. This shortage is also slowing down innovation in home building. We have the ability right now to make homes much better, lower the cost to build, and to lower pollution via sustainable housing. We need to incentivize people to become builders.