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HBA of Tri-Cities

COVID-19 INFORMATION
Last update 4/3/2020

 

Important Message to All of Our Tri-City & Walla Walla Builders Who Have Homes Under Contract
 LNI electrical inspectors will do “final electrical” inspections on a case by case basis. The minimum requirement that LNI will consider is homes that have a “family ready to move in” with loan approval and rate locked. Closing should be occurring in April or very close to this month. You will need to share a copy with LNI to move forward when you call for the inspection.

The contract needs to be dated prior to March 27th per the Real Estate and Mortgage Guidance – Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25), issued on March 27.

Excerpt:

“There are thousands of real estate and mortgage transactions currently pending in Washington State. Most transactions are for residential properties, with people already in transition out of/into new residences. Significant legal liability and displacement (if not homelessness), could occur if these transactions do not close.”


Speculative homes as an example WILL NOT be inspected at this time, they would have to wait until the “Stay Order” is lifted to be transacted upon.

All other inspections for electrical are considered non-essential at this time and only the type mentioned above will happen.

 

Important Jobsite Protocols for Builders in
Tri-Cities & Walla Walla

 
If you are unsure of what is allowed to secure your home from “spoilage” regarding the Governors Construction Guidance – Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25) from March 25th. Here are some general guidelines that are mostly accepted in and around Tri Cities. I would always recommend you contact the building official in the jurisdiction you are building to confirm before proceeding with any work.
 
The Governors Guidance Reads:
 
“In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.”
 
“However, an exception to the order allows for construction in the following limited circumstances:”
 
c)” To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential businesses and residential structures.”
 
It is generally accepted that if you have a foundation that was poured prior to March 25th and has yet to be backfilled, you should go only to the point of having it backfilled for safety reasons along with filling all open ditches. Once this is complete you must STOP until the “Stay” is lifted. In addition, you must still keep your lot from blowing dust to meet clean air rules.
 
If you have a jobsite where you have installed floor joists and they were inspected prior to March 25th, it is generally acceptable to continue up to the point of sheer, roof and siding. Once you have windows, exterior doors and garage doors installed your structure is deemed securable and safe from spoilage. You must now “Lock it and Leave it” until the stay is lifted.
 
Please note:

  • Continuing with plumbing both interior or exterior, framing, installing insulation, electrical, sheetrock or any other interior work are not permissible under the “Stay Home” order.
  • Fines for violating the Order: Gross Misdemeanor with a maximum fine up to $5000, up to 364 days in jail and you could have your license revoked.

 
All COVID-19 safety measures must be used by all employees including:

  • Jobsites must be CLEAR of all personnel for inspections to occur. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Employees shall not ride together in the same vehicle, this doesn’t allow for 6’ social distancing.
  • Be prepared with the essentials (gloves, respirators, masks and safety glasses.) Be ready to expand the use of respirators to include tasks that would violate the 6’ social distancing rule and ratchet up jobsite disinfecting standards. Post COVID-19 hand sanitizing procedures.

Best Practices Guidelines for Your Jobsites
 The pictures below are from Hayden Homes whom has given me permission to share this with you.
 


Every jobsite they have clearly explains WHY they are justified in working with reference to the Governors March 25th memo. Each site also shares WHAT they plan on doing to prevent “spoilage” and securing their site.

These materials include:       

  1. Governors Memo from March 25th
  2. Letter from their attorney
  3. Official protocol, which clearly states, what they are doing (Sample Form for Homes with Installed Floor Joists Prior to March 25 or Sample Form for Securing Foundations Inspected Prior to March 25)
  4. Letter from their President (Sample form for your company's use)

 
Each builder will have to determine how far they would like to go with their jobsite sign postings. Best practice would be to post your materials in a visible place (on a front window of the home or a free standing sign near the sidewalk). Be sure to include #1 (the Governor's order), #3 (what your crews intend to complete) and #4 (letter from your company stating intentions and reasoning).
 
If you have questions you can call Jeff Losey at 509-735-2745 or email to jeff@hbatc.com.


 

Washington's Method to Determine if Your Remodel Project is Essential

In the wake of Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Proclamation, we wanted to make sure remodelers are aware of a process in place whereby businesses can request to be included as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” Unfortunately, a subsequent policy statement announced by the Governor last week largely halts construction activities until at least May 4. We know this has been devastating for members and have been advocating for reconsideration of this policy when the proper safety precautions are met.

In the meantime, though, businesses can request that they be included as essential. We have learned of at least one example of a remodeler member who was midway through a home remodeling project and successfully gained authorization from the state to complete the project so their client could have a fully functioning kitchen and bathroom. The City of Seattle is directing all builders apply for authorization before they will consider inspections and asking them to be specific, to the point of adding the project's address, in their request. We assume our local jurisdictions will follow suit.

This is by no means a guarantee that other, similar projects will receive such an exemption. It’s our understanding that each request is considered on a case-by-case basis. Further, even if a project does receive an essential designation from the state, it does not guarantee a city will do their inspections as jurisdictions are often changing their policies from day to day. 

We wanted to bring this to your attention today to make sure you have access to the request form in case you would like to submit such a request on your company’s behalf.

View the Essential Business Inquiries Form to initiate this process.

 

 

NAHB Offers Assistance to Those Applying for SBA Loans

The stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27 provides funding for small business loans to help deal with payroll issues. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and expanded 7(a) loan program provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 response.

If you are having trouble getting through to or getting your questions answered by the SBA, please submit this form and NAHB staff will follow up and provide additional guidance as needed. NAHB has also created a SBA loan FAQ page to help answer common questions.
 

 

HBA Special Statement Regarding COVID-19

The HBA understands that this is a difficult and potentially scary time for our members. We are working diligently to provide you with relevant information as soon as it becomes available. The HBA is working closely with BIAW (Building Industry Association of Washington) to provide member companies with resources to help them navigate this changing landscape. We have converted the homepage of our website (HBATC.com) into a COVID-19 information center and will be updating it with useful information whenever possible. BIAW has also set up a COVID-19 resource page (BIAW.com/COVID19) that we encourage our members to visit.

The HBA will be emailing our members more often than normal during this crisis. We want to make sure that those who need these resources and information receive it. Please feel free to forward these emails to those inside your company who are interested. If you have trouble receiving these emails, we will also be posting all information included in these email on our website and encourage you to visit daily.

We are here for our members and ready to help! Calls to 509.735.2745 will be answered during normal business hours (8am-4pm, Monday-Friday). Staff are answering their individual emails remotely. Don't know who to email? No problem, email
info@hbatc.com and we will get you connected with the correct staff member.

The HBA wants to help. Please use us as a resource during this difficult time - we will get through this together!

 

ADDITIONAL COVID-19 INFORMATION:

BIAW's Important COVID-19 Resources for Employers

Governor's Official Guidance on Construction Being Non-Essential

Governor's Official Order Regarding Construction

Governor's Official Memo Regarding Real Estate and Mortgage

Employement Security Department COVID-19 Resource Page

Employment Security Department COVID-19 Scenarios and Benefits Available

NAHB Help with SBA Loan Applications

NAHB FAQ About SBA Loans

Stimulus Resources for NAHB Members

Tri-Cities Mayors Letter to Governor

Walla Walla Commisioners Letter to Governor

Governor's Order Extending Stay Home, Stay Safe

Governor's Order Delaying Implementation of New Codes

HBA Call to Action

HBA's Letter to Governor

 

 

  

   
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