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Residential Construction Wins Nod as ‘Essential’ Business

WASHINGTON, DC —The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has designated the construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business” – a decision termed “a critical win” for a residential construction sector struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The designation, announced this past weekend, will enable many home-building firms to keep their businesses open during the coronavirus emergency, “and help to stabilize the housing industry and its supply chain in the near term,” according to the National Association of Home Builders, which has been among 90 housing-related companies and organizations lobbying DHS officials for the designation.

The NAHB noted that there is currently no mandatory federal order that defines an “essential” business, and many states have their own rules. The new DHS guidance, which states can follow, will allow residential construction workers to remain on the job, the association said.

“The nation’s home builders thank DHS for designating the construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an Essential Infrastructure Business,” said Dean Mon, chairman of the Washington, DC-based NAHB. “Americans depend on a functioning residential construction sector to provide safe, affordable housing for our citizens, and this need is especially acute during this pandemic.”

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