April, 2019
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



InspectPAC: What It Is & What We Have Accomplished So Far

DAVE KOGAN

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) came into existence in 1976 as our founding members saw a need to create a Standard of Practice and a Code of Ethics for home inspectors to work and live by. To achieve the goal of continued excellence in the field of home inspection, ASHI also saw a need to have a voice within the national government on Capitol Hill. Filling this need was an important goal because regulation and licensing guidelines were on the horizon and would eventually be passed within state governments.



ASHI’s goal was to create a unified voice for all home inspectors on Capitol Hill, mainly in response to others attempting to direct how home inspectors should act, what they should and should not inspect, and what they are liable for during and after a home inspection. ASHI’s leaders and members questioned whether home inspectors should be governed by appraisers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers or the construction industry, and they determined that the answer was absolutely not.
 

For these reasons, ASHI launched InspectPAC. InspectPAC raises money to help elect and re-elect candidates to Congress who understand the home inspection profession and who are supportive of the profession.

InspectPAC’s initiatives are supported by your voluntary contributions. By lobbying the government to promote home inspection as federal policy, and by defending your revenues and business models to policymakers, ASHI seeks to support, protect and expand the businesses of all ASHI home inspectors. Your contributions to InspectPAC support these actions. 

The following is an overview of ASHI’s lobbying initiatives that affect your revenue, your business and your bottom line:

  • ASHI persuaded Congress to pass comprehensive legislation (drafted by ASHI) that requires the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to broadly incorporate home inspection into HUD’s housing counseling programs.
  • In response to ongoing encouragement from ASHI’s allies on Capitol Hill, HUD has proposed that all HUD housing counseling programs—including individual counselors—be certified to provide counseling to homebuyers on the availability and importance of obtaining an independent home inspection.
  • HUD is now proposing to amend its Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook to require that all FHA mortgage lenders prompt mortgage applicants at the first contact to consider obtaining a home inspection. All FHA lenders would need to provide “For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection” (www.hud.gov/sites/documents/92564-CN.PDF) to their potential clients at the first mortgage meeting.
  • ASHI is making plans to take these precedents to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to further brand home inspection as a form of consumer protection. ASHI’s allies on Capitol Hill are helping move these efforts forward. ASHI has already convinced the CFPB that homebuyers must be told that the appraisal is not a home inspection.
  • In response to a company that has threatened litigation against ASHI members who use infrared devices for inspections, ASHI has joined the leading anti-patent troll coalition in Washington, D.C. ASHI is doing its part to help pass legislation that will inhibit patent trolls from successfully threatening ASHI members.
  • Some in Washington, D.C., want to cut or eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction as part of a larger federal budget package. ASHI has asked its allies on Capitol Hill to protect the home mortgage interest deduction, as it is a crucial driver of revenue for ASHI members.
  • A tax deal that is being considered could raise taxes on smaller S corporations (like ASHI members) in exchange for reducing tax rates on large C corporations and multinational corporations. ASHI is strongly opposed to higher tax rates for S corporations and is telling its allies on Capitol Hill to oppose this concept.

For information about donating to InspectPAC, send an email with the subject line “InspectPAC Contribution” to Toni Fanizza, Director of Accounting, at tonif@ashi.org.