Supported By
May 2017
May 2017 Calendar of Events
All events held at the HBA office unless otherwise noted. 

4) Remodelers Council Luncheon @ 12pm

9-11) LHBA Board Meetings, Baton Rouge

15) Home & Garden Board of Directors Meeting @ 4pm

16) HBA Board of Directors Meeting @ 4pm

18) Sip & Socialize : Baby Cakes Game @ 7pm

23) Advanced Building Practices Council Meeting @ 11am

29) Memorial Day - Office Closed

31) Workforce Info Session @ 4pm
Come for food & drink, stay to learn about a program to provide a new crop of skilled trade labor.
National Remodeling Month
Let your friends and clients know that it's National Remodeling Month with these resources provided by NAHB!
Root, root, root for the HOME team!

Join us for a Housing Industry night at the ballpark!
Thursday, May 18      First pitch @ 7:00pm

$12 per person
Sit with our team and go home with Baby Cakes gear!

Thank you to our sponsors!

ABP & Education 
Common Framing Errors & How to Avoid Them

Advanced Building Practices Council Meeting 
& Education Seminar (1 CE)

Tuesday, May 23rd, 11am - 1pm

In this session, taught by an experienced APA field representative, participants will examine the most common wood-framing and sheathing errors found in today's construction market, their consequences, and practical solutions for avoiding them. Topics include:
* Buckled sheathing
* Squeaky floors
* Over-sized holes
* Connection dos and don'ts

11:00am - Noon : Presentation
Noon - 1:00pm : Lunch provided by RoyOMartin
Parade of Homes Project
High Storage Levels, Low Oil Prices
Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is President of GraphsandLaughs, LLC and can be reached at His daily 70 word economics and policy blog can be seen at

After almost reaching $55 per barrel (bbl), oil prices are again falling.  What makes this decline particularly baffling is that in late 2016, after seeing prices languish for two years, the Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) announced that it, along with non-OPEC members such as Russia, would collectively reduce production by 1.8 million bbl/day, or 2% of global supply, starting January 1 st .  Many observers thought that removing that much supply would stop inventory growth and put upward pressure on prices.  After the decision to curtail pumping was announced, oil prices, as expected, quickly jumped from about $43/bbl to close to $55/bbl.  Recently, however, oil prices have again started falling.  The question is why, and is this decline more likely to be temporary or permanent? 

The secret word for May 2017 is flowers. Call Lauren at the HBA office (504.837.2700) and tell her this word... or bring her these things. The first person to do so will win a $20 gift card to Martin Wine Cellar.

There are four main reasons why oil prices are again declining.  Firstly, the decision to cut global production set off a flurry of buying by hedge funds, which pushed up prices.  However, the rise in prices also encouraged American shale producers to ramp up drilling and production.  To wit, the number of oil rigs in operation has more than doubled in the past 12 months.  Since OPEC announced that production cuts were coming, US production has increased by almost 500,000 bbl/day.  Moreover, the number of wells that are drilled but uncompleted (DUCs) has risen from 1,250 to 1,750.  As oil prices recover, DUCs, which can be quickly completed, are likely to flood the market with yet more supply.  

Second, several OPEC nations, including Iran, Libya, and Nigeria, were, for any number of reasons, not asked to cut production and have instead all increased production dramatically.  Further complicating matters is that many of the nations that have been called upon to make cuts do not have a great history of compliance.  In addition, Canada and other non-OPEC nations that are in no way involved with OPEC are also increasing production.  

The third factor is that in the months leading up to January 1, 2017, when the above-mentioned production cuts were to commence, most OPEC nations sharply raised production levels and exports to maximize short-term revenues.  And, after weeks of transatlantic travel, this oil is now finally reaching US shores. 

The final factor is the shape of the curve of futures prices, which is closely related to inventory levels.  Inventory levels continue to rise and are now at a record 540 million barrels.  With inventories so large, near-term prices for oil are lower than long-term prices, a relatively infrequent situation known as a contango.  When the contango is sufficiently large, such that storage costs are less than the long-term price of oil minus the short-term price, which is currently the case, investors and speculators buy oil and store it.  In the process, the near-term price of oil is driven lower still.

To break this cycle, OPEC will have to convince markets that inventories will soon decline and thereby raise near-term prices.  The best way to do this would be to promise to extend the current production cuts that are set to expire on June 30 th and perhaps promise additional production cuts.  The only problem is that as prices rise in response those actions, American shale drillers will drill more wells and the cycle will continue.  
2nd Quarter at HBAGNO
Can you believe it's already the 2nd quarter of 2017? Our year has gotten off to a great start with 2 successful new happy hour Sip & Socialize events, a great GMM with Jefferson Parish Councilmember At-Large, Cynthia Lee-Sheng, multiple informative council meetings, a fun golf tournament, and yet another terrific New Orleans Home & Garden Show. 

In addition to the great events you see listed on the April calendar below, the rest of Q2 promises to have just as many networking and marketing opportunities for our members. The HBAGNO will be joining the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans for a night at the ballpark with the Baby Cakes in May! Plus, the Parade of Homes - with homes showcased from Kenner to Chalmette - is just around the corner in June!

Add these to the regular council and committee meetings, and there really is something for everyone. Keep an eye on your emails for all the news and upcoming events from the HBAGNO. 
April 2017 Calendar of Events
All Events held at HBA office unless otherwise noted 

11) 2017 Housing Forecast @ NOMAR Office, 3645 N. I-10 Service Road W, Metairie,  5:30 - 7:30

17) Home & Garden Show Board Meeting @ 4pm

18) HBA Board of Directors Meeting @ 4pm

19) General Membership Meeting @ Rocky n Carlo's, 613 W. St. Bernard Hwy, Chalmette,  11:30am - 1:00 pm     (REGISTRATION OPEN SOON)

21) Crawfish Boil @ SouthPort Music Hall, 200 Monticello Ave., New Orleans,  5:30 - 8:00 pm

26) Professional Women in Building Council Luncheon @ Heritage Grill, 111 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie, 11:15am - 1:00pm
June 3-4 & 10-11, 2017
Whether you're a builder or an advertiser, take advantage of one of HBA's biggest media opportunities!

Builder Deadline: April 5
Advertiser Deadline: April 7

2017 Housing Forecast
Presented in conjunction with the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors®, the 2017 Housing Forecast will explore the state of the current housing markets, new construction activity, top market influencers, interest rates, and more!

Register Now with NOMAR or Download Registration Form

Guest Speakers:

Richard Haase, President
Latter & Blum, Inc.

Dr. Wade Ragas, PhD, MAI, SRA
Real Property Associates, Inc.

Crawfish Boil

Immigration and its Economic Impacts
Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is President of GraphsandLaughs, LLC and can be reached at His daily 70 word economics and policy blog can be seen at

Recently, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas and Senator David Perdue from Georgia introduced legislation aiming to reduce legal immigration to slightly more than 500,000/year from the current rate of one million/year.  The explanation given by both senators was that reducing the number of immigrants would shrink the pool of labor, thus raising wages, and hopefully encouraging some of the many Americans who have quit the labor force to return.  While sounding plausible, the data does not support this position.  Moreover, reduced immigration will bring the US perilously close to a situation it has never seen: near-zero population growth.

Per an exhaustive study carried out by the US National Academy of Sciences, immigration does not drive down wages.  Rather, immigration was found to have a "very small" and short-term effect on native-born workers lacking a high school degree.  Another study that looked at non-European immigration into Denmark between 1991 and 2008 found that immigrants didn't reduce wages, and instead freed natives to do more agreeable work.  And when only high-tech immigration is analyzed, at worst, studies find that wages of American computer workers and scientists are depressed by up to 10%, but the overall economy is better off by boosting innovation and reducing prices for consumers.         

While somewhat counterintuitive, these studies demonstrate that rather than taking jobs performed by natives, immigrants create new employment opportunities, and along the way, can push the natives into higher paying jobs.  The mistaken belief that immigrants reduce employment opportunities for Americans is based on a false notion that there is a fixed amount of work to be done, and that job gains made by immigrants come at the expense of natives who are displaced. 

In addition, immigrants often bring skills that are in great demand.  For example, at present, there is a shortage of occupational and physical therapists, nurses, construction workers, engineers, metal workers, etc.  However, wages in these professions do not appear to be rising substantially faster than those in occupations where labor shortages are less severe.  This is because more construction and metal workers simply cannot be found, regardless of the wage offered.  Thus, employers have been forced to cut back on production because of a dearth of skilled labor.  This situation helps no one.    

Separately, ponder this: on average, the working-age population grew by 1.4% per year between the years 1965 and 2015, and economic growth averaged 3%.  Assuming current fertility and immigration rates, the working-age population will grow just 0.3%/year between now and 2037.  With only 500,000 immigrants per year, the working-age population will grow by just 0.1%/year.  And with no immigration, the working-age population shrinks by 0.1%/year.  Under these conditions, we will be lucky to see annual GDP growth of 1.5%/year, not to mention declining house prices.  House prices would be expected to fall in cities in counties with declining populations, as the number of buyers would progressively decline.

While many Americans fear that immigrants -- in particular illegal immigrants -- threaten their employment opportunities and wages, in almost all situations that is not the case.  Frequently, immigrants perform demanding physical work that Americans prefer not to do, and even when that is not so, immigrants often have skills that are in short supply.  Lastly, in an economy that is rapidly aging and slowly growing, immigration is the key to population growth. That growth will allow us to avoid a host of painful problems, including declining property values and rising tax burdens that we would be wise to avoid.
In This Issue:
Calendar of Events
May is National Remodeling Month
Editorial: High Storage, Low Oil Prices
From Last Month
Quick Links & Resources

Also Supported By:  





Terrebonne Insurance Agency, Inc.


Compass Capital Management




Buckwalter Insurance

Group, LLC


The Law Office of 

Kyle Sclafani


Office Depot


HomeBuilders Self 

Insurers Fund




Lumber Products, Inc.


Builders Risk Insurance


Klumb Forest Products


Job Postings
List your open jobs here!
No charge for HBA members
Quick Links & Resources

Community Jobs for Bid:

* Under Compliance, click on Employers' Workers' Compensation Coverage Verification

Did you know you can renew your membership online? 

Just login from the HBAGNO homepage to renew your membership.

NAHB Online Courses Logo
2017 Senior Officers of the Board

President, Mike LeCorgne  
Vice President, Frank Morse 
Treasurer, Michael Kraft 
Secretary, Rolf Parelius 
Immediate Past President, Floyd Simeon

2017 Board of Directors

Steve Albert 
John Arms 
Charlie Fontenelle 
David Gaspard
John Heald 
Phil Hoffman  
Kevin Katner 
Larry Kornman
Jo Ann Kostik 
Peter Lanaux
 Ben Laws 
Bruce Layburn 
Harold LeBlanc
Brian Mills
Scott Morse 
Helmut Mundt 
Randy Noel
Lynda Nugent Smith
Roy  Olse n
Wagner Rocha 
Kimberly Rooney
Dorothy Stanich
Devon Sweeney 
Zach Tyson 
Kirk Williamson  
Steve Wobbema 
Wes Wyman
HBA Staff Contacts

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

Did We Miss Something?
Please contact Lauren at the HBA office with any pertinent industry-related issues and/or professional achievements you'd like to share with your association members.

Feature Articles in upcoming issues of sticks & bricks or HBA's printed publication, the homebuilder quarterly(HQ), are FREE opportunities for HBA members to market themselves to 1,000+ industry professionals.

Click Here to Request Details and Submitter Deadlines