Commerce Secretary Pledges to Make Lumber a Priority

NAHB’s grassroots efforts urging the Biden administration and Congress to address the growing problem of rising lumber and material prices along with supply shortages is showing results.

Responding to a request by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) to make rising lumber prices and production issues a priority during a May 6 House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on President Biden’s 2022 budget request, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo responded, “I promise you I will.”

During the hearing, Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) noted that lumber prices have been quite volatile in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and cited NAHB data on how this has impacted home prices.

“Over the last year, lumber prices have been skyrocketing with oriented strand board jumping over 250% since March of 2020,” said Cline. “A sheet of OSB was around $8 in March of 2020 while today it is over $60 a sheet and climbing. The National Association of Home Builders says overall lumber prices have tripled and the increase translates into a nearly $36,000 increase in the price of the average single-family home.”

Cline went on to ask Raimondo if she could discuss what resources may be available or have been dedicated by the Commerce Department to look into the causes of skyrocketing lumber prices, what impact this is having on the economy and whether the secretary could commit to working with industry stakeholders and with Congress to identify the challenges and potential solutions to the crisis.

Click here to read Raimondo’s response.