Remaining States Begin Reopening to Construction

Department of Homeland Security designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business.

by Emily Blackburn

The few remaining states that have halted residential construction activity due the COVID-19 pandemic — Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and Vermont — are taking steps to allow home building and remodeling to resume.

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response - NAHBIn a win for NAHB and the residential construction sector, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business.” Although this designation was not binding for individual states, most states followed the federal guidelines.

To keep workers safe on the job site, NAHB and other members of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition put together a Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction that outlines the steps every employer and employee should take to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. It describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken on the job site, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick. The plan served as the basis for materials provided for the COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down held April 16.

While it was clearly demonstrated that residential construction could continue in a safe manner as long as workers were cautious and altered their normal behavior to comply with these new safety guidelines, five states refused to designate home building as an essential business. NAHB and the state home builders associations remained in contact with the five governors and state officials and now that is changing.

Click here to read the latest update.

Access NAHB’s updated map showing where construction can continue and all of the safety resources to help employers and workers remain safe on the job site.

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