YOUNGSTOWN – The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of the Valley, like every organization, adapted to the pandemic in 2020 and is pleased to report that most of its members have been thriving, says Karen Caruso, executive officer.
After canceling most of its in-person networking events, the association turned its focus to educating area consumers and association members on doing business safely during the pandemic. “Through it all, we kept trying to find creative ways to promote members as they kept their business flourishing in this volatile market,” Caruso says.
An important area of focus was supply and demand, as lumber prices rose to all-time highs. In conjunction with the Ohio Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, the HBA lobbied at the state and national levels in an attempt to minimize these increases and support “conscientious legislation,” Caruso says.
“We have helped stop the bleeding and these prices will eventually come back down,” she says. “This price stabilization helps both the building industry and the consumer alike by keeping housing and remodeling as affordable as possible for residents young and old alike.”
That also helps seniors stay in their homes, a large focus for area builders and remodelers, she adds.
Caruso thanks the 2020 HBA president, Mark Ramunno, owner of Custom Homes by Mark Ramunno, for guiding the organization through the pandemic, and welcomes Steve Brewer of Foundation Building Materials as the 2021 HBA president.
Despite financial challenges, the association donated more than 100 children’s coats to St. Vincent DePaul Society and held a Toys for Tots collection. It also made $1,000 donations to the Salvation Army, Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.