KCMO Does Not Think Homes Are Expensive Enough?
Whether it’s been a volatile building material market or a rapidly rising interest rate environment, the home building industry in Kansas City has been forced to overcome a number of challenges in order to deliver new homes that people can afford to buy. The newest emerging cost burden comes in the form of a newly introduced, unamended 2021 energy code (IECC) proposed by some members of the Kansas City, Mo., City Council.
As an industry, we are all for energy efficient construction. It’s good for consumers and good for the environment. But we are also sensitive to rising costs, and proposals that will drastically raise costs without substantial consumer benefit are harmful to affordability. By our estimates, the proposed ordinance to replace the current energy code would add an additional $32,000 in upfront construction costs on the production of an average sized new home. It’s unfair and unnecessary for a city to put that kind of financial burden on its would-be new home buyers, especially in this housing market. The costs significantly outweigh the perceived environmental benefits.
As the Voice of the Housing Industry, it is our responsibility to speak up and fight for consumers. The more people that we can help on the path to home ownership, the stronger our society and economy will be. Let’s work to help the City Council see how harmful this would be to its citizens. KCMO does not need fewer new homes at higher prices.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Share This Infographic as much as possible with your neighbors and colleagues! Help us get the word out regarding the impact these code changes will have not only on the cost of building, but our families and neighbors’ ability to purchase a home. Pass out at community events, meetings with your colleagues, family functions, etc.
- Like/Share Our Social Posts. Share KCHBA’s post on Facebook and Twitter.
- Provide Written Comment for Public Testimony for the Neighborhood Planning & Development Committee
Click here for a draft comment letter to send to KCMO City Council members of the Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee.
Modify the provided letter as you wish and how it specifically impacts your business and submit to the City Clerk’s office for public testimony.
In the subject line of your email, please type: Public Comment on Ordinance 220364
- Provide Verbal Comment for Public Testimony. In addition to submitting public testimony via email, anyone who is able should attend and speak directly to the Neighborhood Planning & Development Committee.
- Talk About It! Below are talking points that you are more than welcome to use in preparing your verbal comments or as you are talking to industry stakeholders:
- KCMO is considering increasing the cost of housing by more than $30,000. The adoption of an all-new building code would significantly increase the cost of homes at a time when the cost not just of single-family homes but all types of dwellings, has already skyrocketed.
- If adopted, more than 30,000 families will no longer be able to afford a new home. For every $1,000 added to the cost of a home, 951 families in Kansas City, Mo., are priced out of the market to purchase that house.
- Homeowners will not save money on their utility bills. (The estimated energy savings from mandating these codes would be approximately $675 annually. When you factor in the increased price of the home, homeowners would actually pay an additional $447 annually above what they would be saving in energy efficiency.)
- In 2021, fewer than 1,000 new single-family homes were built in Kansas City, Mo., yet there are 164,000 existing single-family homes in the city. New home construction vastly outperforms existing inventory thanks to new innovations in methods and materials. Weatherizing and updating underperforming existing housing stock will be a much more impactful than focusing solely on new construction.
- This code will decrease housing affordability. The type of home envisioned by the 2021 IECC can already be built today, but it’s cost prohibitive for the average Kansas Citian. Currently, the average new home price in Kansas City, Mo., is $406,503. The amount of income needed to qualify for that mortgage is $103,323, yet the median income in Kansas City is just $56,179. Fewer new homes results in more people staying in existing homes, which adds additional pressure to that market, or they will rent in perpetuity, which will put upward pressure on rental rates.
Click here for details on the impact to consumers and cost estimate breakdown.