Las Vegas Review-Journal Jan. 3, 2020 -- In December, the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association (SNHBA) held its installation luncheon, a yearly gathering where members of the local homebuilding industry celebrate the appointment of the organization’s new board, which will take the torch and continue to drive SNHBA’s dedication to meet the housing and community development needs of Southern Nevada. The event also serves to award outstanding members and supporters in this sector.
-- Brian Walsh of Howard Hughes Corp. was appointed as the new SNHBA board president.
-- Carlos Zuluagua of Pardee Homes has been named board president of HomeAid Southern Nevada (HASN), the association’s charitable arm focused on supporting and assisting with community outreach efforts that serve homeless men, women and children in the community.
“Since 2012, I’ve worked with hundreds of members of the industry and each year, we cycle new blood to adapt and take advantage of the best way we can propel our organization forward. Brian, Carlos and I have been talking and we are ready for 2020,” said Nat Hodgson, CEO, Southern Nevada Home Builders Association.
Nearly 500 attended the installation meeting to recollect successes of the homebuilding industry in 2019. Those successes include navigating through various issues in the 2019 state legislative year, which posed significant changes for the homebuilding and business community. The year also saw the association continuing to make advancements for women working in the building industry through its Professional Women in Building council, as well as foster workforce development programs to fortify the labor force as home development continues throughout Southern Nevada.
President Walsh espoused a focus on workforce development, land use and water preservation. Also serving on the board of directors at Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering at UNLV, Walsh said one of his leading goals in 2020 is to build upon attracting top talent into the industry.
“I want to inspire young people and help them realize what an amazing opportunity it is to work in this field,” Walsh said. “From hosting internships through many of our esteemed companies, to leading field visits to land development sites, we’ve been successful in getting smart, educated students introduced to our sector, to provide opportunity for those interested in an amazing career.”
The median price of new single-family homes in Las Vegas increased to $410,000, signaling strength in the market as the year comes to a close. To match affordability for buyers, Walsh touts a variety of incoming product among builders, ranging from duplexes, courtyard clusters and single-family detached homes with three-story options. In addition, staying water-conscious continues to be a significant concentration for Walsh.
“Engaging landscape architects for park design, adhering to turf limits with the Las Vegas Valley Water District, and generally doing things that don’t require irrigation are all part of development and planning. We’ve been lucky on rain recently, have seen a good snowpack, but it’s not something we want to become complacent about. Our future depends on it,” Walsh said.
Leading the industry’s philanthropic endeavors, HASN President and Pardee Homes’ Vice President of Construction Operations Carlos Zuluaga said he looks forward to working alongside Walsh, engaging contractors and homebuilders to provide aid to homeless populations through fundraising and shelter builds. In 2019, HASN, along with Pardee, remodeled and renovated space at Living Grace Homes, offering shelter and amenities for homeless, pregnant young women.
“People need to understand that a lot of our city’s homeless have fallen on hard times, or have experienced a tragically life-changing moment that can happen to anyone. Too often, we see entire families with infants experiencing homelessness. Anyone can pitch in for the cause,” Zuluaga said. “In my work with SNHBA and our various trade partners, the Nevada building industry is extremely sympathetic and generous to those who need a helping hand.”
HASN ranks high in in-kind donations and services received from builders at 91 percent, a significant leading number compared to other HomeAid affiliates across the country.
Next year, HASN will continue its successful workforce development program HomeAid WORKS, which offers those experiencing homelessness the chance to pursue careers in the homebuilding industry. Through HomeAid WORKS, participants receive training and mentorship from members of the homebuilding industry on basic carpentry, as well as OSHA 10 accreditation so they are immediately hirable upon graduation..
“Carlos will do a great job driving forward HomeAid’s continued impact,” Hodgson said. “Within the last five years, we’re proud of providing back nearly $4 million in value to this population. There’s still a lot more to accomplish.”