Washington, D.C.—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ) designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing an essential infrastructure business.” The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) lauded the DHS’s decision, and said the designation will enable many home building firms to keep their businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic and help to stabilize the housing industry and its supply chain in the near term.
“Americans depend on a functioning residential construction sector to provide safe, affordable housing for our citizens, and this need is especially acute during this pandemic,” said Dean Mon, NAHB chairman. “Moreover, a healthy housing market is critical to maintain a sound economy. I commend DHS for heeding the urgent concerns of the housing community, and taking this decisive action to assure the men and women of the industry will be able to stay on the job and serve the needs of the American people at this critical time.”
On March 26, in an effort spearheaded by NAHB, 90 companies and organizations sent a joint letter to Jack Wolf, Secretary of Homeland Security, urging him to designate the construction of single- and multi-family housing as an essential infrastructure business. “As cities and states issue declarations and public health orders as a result of the crisis, it is essential that communities have access to our professionals to build and maintain essential services, including: building, plumbing, residential property management, rental housing operators, roofing, electrical, HVAC systems, waste/wastewater treatment plants and power generations,” the letter stated. “Home construction, including those industries listed above, should be designated as ‘essential’ because it is necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and economic security.”
More details about the construction workers who qualify as essential can be found in both the “Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services” and “Residential/Facilities and Services” sections of the guidance.