February 2015
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Randy Noel Elected NAHB Third Vice-Chair!

In resounding fashion, Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans' (HBAGNO) native son, Randy Noel, from Laplace, Louisiana, became the first Louisiana builder in the 70+ year history of the NAHB to win election to NAHB's senior officer chairs.  

On January 22, 2015, in a greatly anticipated and highly-attended election in Las Vegas, Nevada, Randy convincingly defeated a very prominent fellow builder-developer candidate, with several hundred national directors voting.  Randy ran on a strong platform of more closely involving the nation's HBA grassroots members in the affairs of NAHB, and emphasized the role that advocacy must play to protect the housing industry from onerous government regulation, and for housing construction to continue to be recognized as one of the nation's most prominent economic drivers. 

Randy's candidacy received strong support from all regions of the country and, of course, from his friends and colleagues throughout Louisiana.  "The encouragement and support from HBA of Greater New Orleans and all of the members of the Louisiana Home Builders Association made the difference in this election.  I'm both honored and humbled to be the first Louisianan to serve as an NAHB chairman," Noel commented.  Upon his election as Third Vice Chairman, Randy will rotate through the chairs to be the National Association of Home Builders' Chairman in 2018 - a proud moment indeed for Randy, his family, and for home construction professionals in Louisiana and beyond.  

Congratulations, Randy. Louisiana is very proud of you!
February Calendar of Events
All Events held at HBA office unless otherwise noted 

3) Crawfish Boil Committee Meeting @ 9:30am
      Ferguson, 901 S. Labarre Road
3) Healthcare Info Session @ 4pm
4) Executive Committee Meeting  @ 4pm
5) Remodelers Council Meeting @ 12pm
      Floor & Decor Design Gallery, 2801 Magazine Street
6) Healthcare Info Session @ 8:30am
9) Home & Garden Show Board Meeting @ 4pm
10) HBA Board of Directors @ 4pm 
11) Lead: RRP Refresher Course (Full) @ 8:30am
17) Mardi Gras Day, Office Closed
18) Education Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm
18) NOEL Board Meeting @ 3pm
19) Parade of Homes Committee Meeting @ 1:30pm
24) 2015 Housing Forecast (GMM) @ 5:30-7:30pm
      NOMAR Office, 3645 N. I-10 Service Road, Metairie
26) Advanced Building Practices Council @ 12pm
Featured Events

HBA Education
Lead: RRP Refresher Course

Next Refresher Course Scheduled for April 9

Contact Philip Thomas to register for future courses. 

Who should attend: Lead-safe Certified Renovators whose certification expires no later than 90 days after this refresher class. Certifications are good for 5 years.

Description: EPA Lead Certified Renovator Refresher class and re-certification test.

Certification: Official certificates are issued through EnviroEd, a nationwide EPA accredited RRP training provider, to individuals who complete the course and pass the certification test. Firms must also apply for EPA certification (see below.)

Continuing Education Units: Eligible for 4 CEU's for La. Residential Contractors. Certificate of completion may qualify for other professional units.

Instructor: William Robinson, LSU AgCenter Building Science Educators & RRP Qualified Instructors

2015 Housing Forecast & February General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 
5:30 - 7:30pm 
2 Builder CE hours
2 LREC Credits (Pending Approval)
2 Appraiser Credits (Pending Approval)

Location: NOMAR Building
3645 N. I-10 Service Rd., Metairie, LA 70002 

$10 per person
Seating is Limited

Delgado Community College Takes 2nd Place at IBS
The NAHB Student Chapter at Delgado Student Chapter won second place inthe Two-Year College Category of the NAHB Residential Construction Management Competition (RCMC) held at the 2015 NHAB International Builders Show in Las Vegas in January. 

A word from P. Victor Mirzai, Delgado Community College: 

"This is the toughest national competition with over 50 NAHB Colleges and Universities in the nation participating every year. Many hours of preparation were spent beyond the class work doing a real Residential Design/Build project in the Las Vegas environment. (A complete set of Architectural/Structural/Mechanical/Electrical, Working Drawings, Construction Product Specifications research and cost estimates, Daily Building Construction Schedule and Bid along with an the oral 30 min. defense presentation in front of a panel 5 expert construction judges who already had reviewed the teams project before the presentation and were ready to ask questions.

Having won the outstanding National Educator Award, the Outstanding National Student Chapter Awards (6) times in the past 10 years since 2004, there was one last NAHB Award ( RCMC) that I was waiting for and it did happen at the 2015 International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The HBA/GNO, NAHB, IBS Show and Home and Garden Show events all have been great experiences for Delgado's Architectural/Design Construction Technology Students every year to get real life experiences out of the box and into the real world of practice.

I am very glad to have been able to bring these national recognitions not only to Delgado and its students, but also to the professional community in our city and the state of Louisiana who will be employing our Delgado graduates."

P. Victor Mirzai
Professor/Meritorious Commendation
Architectural/Design Construction Tech.
DCC Excellence in Teaching
NAHB Outstanding Educator
CSI Education Commendation
Faculty Advisor/Industry
Delgado Architecture Student Organization
Delgado Community College
Local Legislative Victory for Builders
HBAGNO Executive Vice President, Jon Luther, testified at a Gretna City Council meeting in January, urging the council to defer actions that would limit options and increase pricing for builders and homeowners in Gretna. 

Read the nola.com artcle here: 

The Gretna City Council deferred action Wednesday (Jan. 14) on a measure that would ban exterior vinyl siding on new construction and renovation projects. In a 4-1 vote, Councilman Joe Marino III, who sponsored the legislation, opposed the 60-day deferral.

But other councilmembers expressed concern about the financial impact on constituents and the need to study how other historic districts....

Jeff Parish Seal
A Word from Jefferson Parish
Submitted by Tiffany Scot Wilken, Director

Inspection and Code Enforcement


Your Jefferson Parish Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement continues its progress in maximizing the benefits of what the My Permit Now system has to offer. You may now visit our homepage at www.jeffparish.net, Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement, and access real-time reporting of building permits issued within unincorporated Jefferson Parish. The technology allows you to filter your search using various requirements including your date range and the type of permit.

It is you, the Homebuilders of Greater New Orleans, who asked Jefferson Parish to acquire this technology. As full implementation of My Permit Now proceeds, Jefferson Parish better serves our customers who now save time and money by handling their business from the convenience of their home, office or Smart Phone.

Elliot Eisenberg

Economic Forecast for 2015: Sunny Days with Occasional Cloudy Periods 

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is President of GraphsandLaughs, LLC and can be reached at [email protected]. His daily 70 word economics and policy blog can be seen at www.econ70.com. 


Looking at 2015, the domestic economic landscape finally looks solid if unspectacular.  Unemployment rates should keep falling, house prices are likely to rise by 5%, and despite poor global economic conditions, the American economy will strengthen.  Moreover, despite a deep partisan divide in Washington, the government will not close down nor will it fail to pay its bills.  In addition, the ongoing improvement in household balance sheets, the improving fiscal health of state and local governments, and the likely rise in capital expenditures by firms, albeit not very large, all but insures better economic growth.  The only serious domestic problems are weak wage growth and inflation that is a bit low. 


With this in mind, I expect full-year 2015 GDP to come in at no less than 2.85%, a healthy rise from the expected 2.4% GDP growth experienced in 2014, and the strongest since 2005.  As for new housing starts, they should rise by about 14%, with total starts coming in at 1.14 million.  For all of 2015, single-family starts should total 750,000 up from 640,000, while multifamily starts should hit 390,000, up from 350,000.  Housing sales should rise by about 5% and end the year at 5.6 million.  Housing inventories should rise by about 200,000 units, to 5.5 months of inventory up from 5.0 months now.        

Given the improving labor market, expect net new monthly job growth to average roughly 220,000/month, which while down from 240,000/month in 2014, is excellent given the shrinking size of the working age population.  As a result, the unemployment rate should steadily fall from 5.8% today to 5.2% by year end and possibly lower, depending upon the behavior of the labor force participation rate (LFPR).  If the LFPR rises, and that would be a good thing, unemployment may end at 5.3%, but if the LFPR falls, an unemployment rate of 5% would not be out of the question.     


Inflation will remain completely benign, with overall inflation possibly drifting lower, while core inflation (which excludes food and energy) shows modest upward drift.  The combination of anemic growth in Europe and Japan and declining oil, gas and commodity prices will keep the CPI essentially where it is now, slightly below 2%.  Add to this declining import prices due to the rising US dollar and slow wage growth,  and core personal consumption expenditure inflation, the Feds preferred inflation measure, will not exceed 1.7%, well below their 2% target.  This will give the Federal Reserve ample time to slowly raise the federal funds rate from where it is now, between 0% and 0.25%, to 1% by year end, with the first rate rise probably occurring in June.  The thing to keep in mind is that this rate rise, the first in a decade, is likely to be accompanied by some stock and bond market volatility.          


As a result of faster GDP growth in 2015, 10-year Treasuries will end the year at 2.7% and 30-year mortgage rates will probably hover around 4.5% as the yield curve flattens due to faster rising short-term rates.  But a combination of slightly easing credit market conditions and increasing consumer spending due to increased employment and rising wages will keep the economy and the housing market on track despite mildly rising interest rates.  Finally, I put the chances of a recession in 2015 at 5%.  So look forward to steady economic activity in 2015 and fear not rising interest rates.

From last month... 
Randy Noel for NAHB Third Vice-Chair 
For those who do not yet know, our local member and Past State & Local President, Randy Noel, is currently running for NAHB 3rd Vice-Chair. If he is elected by his peers at the Board of Directors meeting at the International Builders' Show this month, he will start on the ladder to eventually become the Chairman of NAHB.

To have one of our own in this position on the national level will mean great things for the state of Louisiana and our local. Staff and members statewide have put our full support behind Randy, because he is just the person we want representing us in Washington, DC. 

To find out more about Randy's campaign, check his website HERE. And don't forget to LIKE him on FACEBOOK
2015... New Year, New Look, New Offerings!
You've probably already noticed the new look of sticks & bricks. Pretty soon, you'll start to see all sorts of new member benefits and events here at the HBA. Here is a preview of some of the exciting new programs we'll be rolling out in 2015.  

Professional Women 
in Building Council
HBAGNO will be starting our own local chapter of NAHB's Professional Women in Building Council! This is an exciting new group - open to ALL members of the HBA - focusing on professional development. (NAHB must approve the local charter at IBS before the council is officially formed, so be on the lookout after IBS!)

Associates' Sales Training Breakfasts - FREE EVENTS
The NEW Associates Council is focusing on providing more services to members. These quarterly breakfasts are designed to leave you feeling motivated and equipped with a few extra sales tools. Breakfasts will be held at the HBA office in January, April, July, and October.

Speed Networking Events
The first of these events will be held on March 4, and will be open to a small group of first-come, first-served associate members. Look out for emails for details on these intimate events that give one-on-one time with local builders.

Monthly GMMs
Due to popular demand, we're going back to monthly General Membership Meetings in 2015. The feedback was that members were going too long without touching base with one another. We're already planning the programming for all of 2015 - please contact the HBA office if there is a specific topic you'd like covered!

Marketing Tools
Access to the Excel spreadsheet of all HBA members is not a new benefit, but we want to make sure that everyone is aware of it! Simply contact the HBA office to request it be sent to you. 
Jeff Parish Seal
A Word from Jefferson Parish
Submitted by Tiffany Scot Wilken, Director

Inspection and Code Enforcement

Law Changes in the mechanical trade arena . . . 

The Louisiana legislature has mandated changes to the International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings which will impact mechanical requirements and inspections effective January 1, 2015. Two tests in particular, a blower door test (optional) and duct blast test (required) are significant. The duct leakage test is required for all new houses and substantial renovations. Test reports from a properly certified company/individual will be accepted. Additionally, a Manual J, Manual S, and Manual D are required to be provided per the code upon request. Please contact the Jefferson Parish Mechanical Section for additional information concerning the new code changes at (504) 736-6921.
Louisiana Housing Corporation & HUD offering free Fair Housing Accessibility Training
Wednesday, January 21st 
Louisiana Housing Corporation, 2415 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge

Download the registration form HERE or go online to register at: fhafirst.eventbrite.com
NAHB Online Courses Logo
In This Issue:
Victory at IBS!!
Calendar of Events
Featured Events
Delgado Places 2nd Nationally
Local Legislative Victory
Jefferson Parish
Economic Forecast for 2015
From Last Month

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2015 Senior Officers of the Board

President, Roy Olsen
Vice President, Floyd Simeon
Treasurer, Mike LeCorgne
Secretary, Frank Morse
Immediate Past President, Brian Mills

2015 Board of Directors

Steve Albert
John Arms
Fernando Arriola
Lori Barker
Nick Castjohn
Ric Darling
Nicole Dupre
Charlie Fontenelle
Eddie Gandolfi
Phil Hoffman
Kevin Katner
Jo Ann Kostik
Michael Kraft
Peter Lanaux
Ben Laws
Bruce Layburn
Harold LeBlanc
Scott Morse
Helmut Mundt
Randy Noel
Lynda Nugent Smith
Rolf Parelius
Zach Tyson
Kirk Williamson
Steve Wobbema
Wes Wyman
Peter Young
HBA Staff Contacts

Jon Luther, Executive Vice President
Lauren Galliano, Director of Membership & Industry Relations   [email protected]g
Rita Bautista, Governmental Affairs Representative    [email protected]
Shane Gray, Accountant  [email protected]
Philip Thomas, Education Director & NOEL Program Director  [email protected]

Member Advantage2012  
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