Housing crisis

Housing crisis compounded by record shortage of construction workers :: WRAL.com

— The crews cannot build new houses fast enough to alleviate the housing shortage in the Triangle. Along with supply chain issues and the rapid pace of people moving around the Triangle, staffing shortages compound the problem.

The construction industry is facing a record number of unfilled jobs. The new jobs report shows 449,000 open jobs across the country in April. That’s 120,000 more than a year ago.

David Price, president of the Home Builders Association of Raleigh, says there aren’t enough students in the building trades to replace an aging workforce.

“We’re currently in a deficit of about 40,000 to 50,000 units,” Price says.

He says the Triangle’s home construction workforce is stressed and struggling to keep up with the people moving here.

“You have workforce development issues, supply chain issues, and understaffed municipalities, so permits are slower to come out,” he says.

Price says the time it takes to build a new home is about double what it used to be. It may take 12-14 months now.

The association is working to recruit more students and instructors into the trades. The state is providing $5 million to launch the Be Pro, Be Proud campaign to help with these recruiting efforts.

Interactive trailers will be rolled out to middle and high schools across North Carolina to show students careers in the trades that don’t require a 4-year degree.

“There’s another path for a lot of people that will make them a lot of money and make a really good living,” Price says.

The Home Builders Association is also offering $10,000 in scholarships to Wake Technical Community College.

“We can’t find enough bodies,” says Delfino Rangel, an instructor at Wake Technical Community College. “That’s why I decided to start teaching again. We have to find a way to replace all of us.”

These efforts are part of why James Badue, a carpentry student at Wake Tech, is embarking on a new career. He and his classmates are working towards their Home Builders Institute certification. They will be able to deposit their tools here after three months of training and embark directly on a construction site.

“I have four daughters and a son, and I want to get a job where I can advance my career and do things that I know I will do for my family,” Badue says.

That’s why Badue and many students like him are building a foundation in construction – and hopefully building the future of Triangle housing.