CLPHA has submitted a comment letter to HUD on the impacts of the Build America, Buy America Act (“BABA”). While CLPHA is supportive of efforts to strengthen domestic supply chains, BABA ultimately undermines PHAs’ ability to provide safe, decent, affordable quality housing to serve vulnerable populations. CLPHA sought feedback from its members to develop the points made in the letter.
CLPHA strongly urges that HUD find that public housing capital-funded projects are not subject to BABA’s requirements. If public housing is subjected to BABA’s requirements, PHAs would experience increased construction costs and delayed timelines to construct affordable housing units, disruption of day-to-day PHA operations like property maintenance, and impeded ability to provide reasonable accommodations and accessible units.
CLPHA recommended that HUD:
- delay the implementation of BABA’s requirements for at least one year;
- grandfather existing/in-progress projects into compliance;
- provide PHAs with a safe harbor;
- clearly define American-made manufactured products and construction materials;
- create a Buy American certification process; and
- clearly define the requirements by which waivers will be granted.
CLPHA also makes numerous recommendations for categories of products and situations that should have waiver categories and exemptions from BABA.
BABA will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for PHAs. We encourage PHAs to submit comments on how BABA will impact their operations and project pipeline.
Comments are due by Friday, July 15, 2022 to Regulations.gov. CLPHA will continue to monitor BABA and will provide members with updates as they become available. If you have any questions, please contact Malcolm Guy, CLPHA’s Policy and Research Analyst.