Tim Williams Champion for Affordable Housing
by Bettie Sleeth, HBAG Regulatory
Affairs Consultant

Since joining the Gainesville-Hall County HBA in 1991, Tim Williams has embraced the mission of the Home Builders to serve the housing industry and provide opportunities for all consumers to have safe, decent and affordable housing.

Tim became actively involved in his local association, serving in many capacities, including President. He began attending state and then national meetings and saw the value, services and resources that come with being a part of a 3-tiered federation (local, state, and national).

He became actively involved in the Regulatory and Government Affairs Committees and took on increased leadership positions, serving as President of HBAG in 2005. Tim also serves as a representative to the HBAG BPAC and with Build-Pac, which disburses money to candidates and committees –both Republican and Democrat –and works hand-in-hand with HBAG and NAHB’s advocacy team to be the voice of housing and support pro-business issues at the state and national levels. Tim can be counted on to participate at the “Hill Visits” whether here in Georgia or in Washington, D. C. He has developed strong relationships with many of our state and federal elected officials.

Tim Williams has demonstrated a special knowledge of construction codes. He has the ability to weigh and balance the need for safety and improved technology against unjustified costs. In 2004, Tim Williams was appointed to represent the home building industry on the State Code Advisory Code (SCAC), a 21-member panel at the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The SCAC is established in Georgia law to the make recommendations to the Board of Community Affairs for all new editions and/or amendments to the state’s mandatory or permissive construction codes. In 2012-2013, Tim chaired the SCAC, the first industry representative to do so. Prior to that time, all chairmen had been government representatives.

As a member of the SCAC, Tim has participated in the national code hearings at the International Code Council (ICC). When mandatory fire sprinklers finally made into the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), Tim actively assisted HBAG legislative team in enacting HB1196, which prohibits mandatory fire sprinklers in one-and two-family dwellings.

Tim’s knowledge has garnered much respect both within and outside of the home building community, and his character benefited Georgia builders and consumers when Georgia was mandated to move to the new and controversial Energy Code –the 2009 IECC. Tim’s ability to make some positive amendments and to explain the code issues and to assist in educating builders and consumers has been extremely helpful in promoting energy efficiency. Tim has been a strong proponent of staying with the current Energy Code until a compliance study conducted by SEEA is complete.

Tim strives to improve the pro-fessionalism of the industry and is a strong proponent of educational opportunities for builders and subcontractors in all areas that impact the industry.

His insight and knowledge was crucial to the development of the Easy Living and now the ALL-A Liveable Lifestyle Home program. This voluntary certification program to provide more accessible homes to Georgians of all abilities at reasonable costs has become a prototype for other states.

Recently, Tim again spearheaded a great victory for HBAG and affordable housing. His recent efforts to exempt one and two-family from the very onerous and expensive provisions of the 2012 Wildland Urban Interface Code (WUI) through the review process at DCA clearly demonstrated that this code was not appropriate to mitigate the types of wildfires we have in Georgia. The SCAC agreed with Tim. A motion not to adopt the proposed 2012 IWUIC with Georgia amendments was passed unanimously. If Tim had not pointed out the many issues with the cost of construction and unfeasible requirements for site development in this code, the average Georgian may not have been able to build a home in or near forested areas.

HBAG is so grateful for all the work Tim has done on behalf of residential construction. Tim has earned the respect of his peers, colleagues, regulators, and legislators. Tim has been recognized for his outstanding service –receiving several Presidential awards, Builder of the Year in 2006 and Tim was selected for the Hall of Fame in 2012.

HBAG applauds Tim Williams as a champion of home building and a strong voice to provide safe, decent and affordable houses for all Georgians. o