Celebrating 50 Years of Service in Mississippi

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For more than 50 years, one organization has served builders in Mississippi. Through booms and busts, through war and peace: since 1961, the Home Builders Association of Mississippi has stood for families by promoting, advancing and protecting the housing industry.

Bonded Builders is proud to salute the HBA of Mississippi and the 2,500 builders and associates it represents. With 20 local associations working alongside, the best days lie ahead for Mississippi builders.

“We’re proud to have been representing the Mississippi housing industry for 50 years,“ says Marty Milstead, Executive Vice President of the HBA of Mississippi. “For us it’s been an opportunity to look at what we’ve accomplished over the years.”

Marty says the HBA’s primary goal has always been to be the builders’ voice in the Mississippi Legislature. The HBA recently celebrated a bill it spearheaded, allowing the decision over whether to require fire sprinklers in single family homes to remain a local one. Without the bill, a blanket requirement statewide would have mandated sprinklers regardless of whether the home buyer wanted them.

Studies have shown that smoke alarms are more than 99 percent effective at saving lives, and they cost a fraction of sprinklers. The choice should lie with the homebuyer, Marty says.

The HBA was also successful in making the state’s Building Code Council more efficient, having 11 members instead of 24; and ensuring that the 11 members are a range of professionals who are experienced in construction to make sure the building codes focus on safety and efficiency for a healthy building industry that serves Mississippians.

The HBA of Mississippi was founded in Biloxi in 1961 by three men: Francis Collins, Hugh Scott and Dave Sherman. The HBA’s mission, then as now, is “Building a Better Mississippi by promoting, advancing and protecting the housing industry.”

Marty says that in addition to being a voice in the legislature, the HBA also provides insurance coverage for its members (General Liability and Workers Comp), educational and networking opportunities and the “Best in Mississippi” awards, an annual competition to celebrate the best homes and commercial spaces built by Mississippi builders.

While the building industry in Mississippi has seen hard times in recent years, Marty says his members are hopeful about the future. He says Mississippi is growing and businesses are relocating there.

“There’s no magic formula for getting the building industry back on its feet,” Marty says. “We’re doing everything we can to create new jobs and get the economy going.”

Marty says one big bright spot is new manufacturing jobs.

Toyota is opening a new plant, which will come on line this fall. More than 2,000 workers will build 150,000 Corollas a year, marking one of the largest investments in manufacturing since the recession began in 2008.

Marty says he’s not surprised his state is seeing a lot of companies interested in relocating there.

“We have a great quality of life in Mississippi,” Marty says. “It’s still very affordable. We have a solid school system and it’s a great place to live and work.”

Bonded Builders Warranty Group is proud to be a partner of homebuilders in Mississippi. Builders can learn more about the Bonded Builders program for builders by contacting Stan Young in Northern Mississippi (zip codes that begin with 38xxx) or Steve Roth in Central or Southern Mississippi (zip codes that begin with 39xxx). You can reach Stan Young by calling (800) 749-0381, Ext. 3613, or emailing syoung@bondedbuilders.com. You can reach Steve Roth by calling (800) 749-0381, Ext. 3617, or emailing sroth@bondedbuilders.com.

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