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RESNET Joins Coalition to Advocate Congress and FEMA for Code Departments

May 4, 2020

RESNET has co-signed the two attached letters, which advocates that Congress and FEMA allocate resources to assist building and fire prevention departments in continuing their essential functions through virtual solutions.

The Department of Homeland Security has determined building officials to be essential to the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, according to a recent International Code Council (ICC) survey, six in ten building and fire prevention departments do not possess the capability to remotely carry out critical aspects of their work.

This hinders departments’ ability to provide essential functions. According to construction industry surveys, virtual capability needs have also led to significant delays–creating challenges for ongoing construction needed in the future that will help drive our economic recovery. Investing in these capabilities now not only addresses these challenges but would also produce lasting reductions in departmental operation costs and permitting timelines.

The first letter to congressional leadership urges that additional legislation to advance our coronavirus response provides resources to help code departments develop virtual capabilities (given a fourth legislative package is actively being developed).

The second FEMA and NSA letter largely mirrors the first but is directed to FEMA and the National Security Council. It urges that the Administration use existing authority to make funding available under the Disaster Relief Fund to assist departments in establishing virtual capabilities.

Joining RESNET in signing the letters is a broad coalition of state and local government, residential and commercial construction, building owners/manager, manufacturer, insurance, housing, energy efficiency, renewable energy, engineering, design, and resilience interests. These supporting organizations include the Leading Builders of America, NAHB, ICC, NAIMA, ACCA and U.S. Green Building Council.