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Congressmen ask Biden to tackle rising lumber costs

Rising materials costs and supply shortages threaten economic recovery, housing starts.

March 18, 2021 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Representatives Jim Costa (D-California) and Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to intervene to curb rising lumber costs.

The congressmen’s letter asserts that rising building materials costs and supply shortages could harm the economic recovery and exacerbate an already constrained housing market. “Unfortunately, this unprecedented price increase on new homeowners, as well as home builders, will persist until new sawmills come online and current mills re-open and operate at full capacity,” the letter says.

The National Association of Home Builders also supports administrative action. Lumber costs have tripled since April 2020, NAHB says, increasing the cost of construction on a typical single-family home by $24,000.

NAHB has asked the Commerce Department to investigate the issue. The organization has noted the low levels of lumber production and sawmill output despite the high demand for product. NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke has urged Biden and Congress to encourage domestic lumber producers to ramp up production and end tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments.

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