COVID-19 BUILDING INDUSTRY UPDATES
NEW OSHA GUIDANCE: COVID-19 ILLNESSES NOT RECORDABLE FOR CONSTRUCTION
On April 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its guidance on whether employers are required to record cases of COVID-19 in their Form 300 Logs for reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA’s memo is in direct response to significant concerns raised by NAHB and construction industry partners in a letter to OSHA regarding its position on the recordability of COVID-19 cases.

OSHA states that in areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Read more
CITY OF HOUSTON PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS GO ONLINE
Last week on April 16, the City of Houston Planning Commission began meeting online. The Commission meets every other Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Planning Commission meeting agendas are posted on the Plat Tracker page .
 
The meetings will take place using the Microsoft TEAMs platform.  Click here to go to the Planning Commission’s webpage to get further instructions.
 
For those wishing to speak on an agenda item, you can either sign up online, submit comments via email or you can call the Planning Department and a staff member will take your comments. Please submit comments or sign up to speak at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. All comments are made part of the public meeting record.
SBA ANNOUNCES PPP AND EIDL LOAN PROGRAMS ARE OUT OF MONEY
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced it has run out of funding to process any more small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) that were created under the CARES Act. These loan programs are designed to help small businesses that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NAHB has sent a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress urging lawmakers to act immediately to ensure sufficient resources and funding are available in the SBA’s PPP and EIDL program to meet the considerable needs of the nation’s small businesses, including those in the residential construction sector.

Additionally, NAHB is calling on Congress to make improvements that will help small businesses, non-profits and many housing-related firms to access this critically important program. As it stands now, the PPP excludes a large percentage of home builders and prohibits land developers and multifamily property owners from participating in the loan program. Read more
GOVERNOR ABBOTT ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY STEPS TO RE-OPEN TEXAS
On Friday, April 17, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the initial steps and framework to begin the process of reopening the state and our economy.
 
Last week, the governor established the Strike Force to Open Texas, which will advise and make recommendations on safely and strategically reopening Texas. The Strike Force will be led by a medical team of nationally respected doctors who will work alongside a Special Advisory Council of private and public leaders. The council consists of 39 business leaders, including Perry Homes CEO and owner Kathy Britton, representing the state's regions and industries.
GHBA'S CASEY MORGAN TO PARTICIPATE IN "REOPEN HOUSTON SAFELY PLAN"
Also, last week at the local level, the Greater Houston Partnership announced they are developing a Reopen Houston Safely plan. The Partnership is engaging industry working groups in a series of discussions to better understand how organizations, like the GHBA, recommend addressing this process.

Casey Morgan, GHBA CEO, has been asked to participate in the working groups in order to represent GHBA. 

The Partnership’s goal is to have the plan produced by May 1. Throughout the next two weeks, the working groups will be communicating with the City of Houston and Harris County to update them on what has been discussed and the final plan will be submitted to both entities.
 
The GHBA will continue to keep members posted on all developments.
WEBINAR: THE CARES ACT AND PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM GUIDANCE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
On April 21 at 1:30 p.m. , the association will host a live webinar with GHBA General Counsel Ian Faria. He will discuss the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and SBA guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program, all specific to the residential construction industry.

Submit your questions in advance to Casey Morgan . We'll also have a live Q&A session following the presentation.

This is a can't-miss session for builders, remodelers and associates alike! Register now
SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING GHBA WEBINARS
April 28 at 10:00 am GHBA will host a live webinar with NAHB Chief Economist Rob Dietz. He'll share a national overview of COVID-19’s impact to the residential construction industry. More details to come! Register here

May 5 at 1:30 p.m. Dr. James Gaines, Chief Economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, will discuss COVID-19’s impact on the local residential construction industry in the short-term and long-term. Registration coming soon.
For more visit ghba.org/covid19