Study: Impact of Hirst Decision Will Have Far-Reaching Implications on State's Economy

On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the so-called “Hirst” case. The implications of this decision have the potential of eliminating all or nearly all new household or exempt wells in rural Washington.

During the 2017 legislative sessions, press conferences of all four corners (both caucuses in both houses) and the Governor’s office repeatedly told the press there would be a Hirst fix, yet it didn’t get done. BIAW commissioned HR2 Research and Analytics to examine the economic impacts resulting from the Court's decision. The results from the study reveal a significant impact to rural communities and residents as well as other parts of Washington state:

  • $6.9 billion lost in economic activity each year in Washington, predominantly in rural communities
  • $452.3 million in lost employee wages due to the impacts of Hirst, annually
  • Nearly 9,300 lost jobs (FTEs) in rural Washington, annually
  • $392.7 million in lost taxes to state and local governments, annually
  • $4.59 billion in losses to the construction industry, annually
  • $37 billion in lost property values in areas impacted by Hirst
  • $346 million in property taxes shifted to other properties in Washington due to the decision

The HR2 report indicates that the Hirst decision will have exponential and far-reaching impacts in Washington state, with large effects and costs to rural communities.

To read the entire report click here.

For a summary handout on the economic impact study of the Hirst decision click here.

Join us for the 9th Annual Tribute Awards November 16

$95 | November 16 | 6-8:00 p.m.

What are The Tribute Awards?

BIAW's New Home Council wants to recognize those front-line players who through innovations, creativity and just plain hard work, have carved out success in the past year, day-in and day-out. These sales, construction and marketing teams have shown their stuff. You know who they are. Your teammates who never give up. The agent who inspires their team to new heights. Sales professionals who help customers make one of life's most important decisions. Let's recognize those who bring "game" with fresh ideas, brimming energy, and contagious enthusiasm. From star rookies to lifetime professionals who continue to learn and grow, Tribute celebrates these outstanding achievers every year.

Bring your whole team. Share some libations, a great meal and lots of high fives.

Register for the Awards Gala Dinner here

2017 keynote and class speaker Ryan Taft.

Tribute Event to Offer Class

$40 | November 16 | 1-4:00 p.m.

In addition, to the awards event, we have scheduled a class with nationally-recognized speaker Ryan Taft just before the Tribute Awards. His class, "Don't Get Prepared. Stay Prepared: Staying Sharp in a Hot Market" is designed to give you a competitive edge. Guests will learn more about communication and buyer psychology in this three-hour training experience than they might in a semester of classes at your local college!

Register for the Class here

Rural WA in Peril: Permanent Hirst Fix Needed

BIAW is dismayed by the state Legislature’s failure to pass a permanent fix to the Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. With no stable or long-lasting solution in place, those impacted by the Hirst decision face an unpredictable financial future and no answers about when, where and how they can build in rural areas in the future without reliable access to household wells. A permanent fix would have given small builders, local governments, and property owners long-term certainty.

Not solving this problem harms at-risk communities in need of economic growth and development. In the year of construction, each new home constructed accounts for nearly 3 full time jobs and 1.4 annually reoccurring full time jobs. “It’s really sad the house Democrats and Governor haven’t accounted for these private sector job losses for the communities in our state that need it the most,” said BIAW Executive Vice President Art Castle.

BIAW President Ted Clifton added: “The state needs a realistic and actionable approach to help small business builders, families, and rural towns and counties plan effectively so they can invest time and resources wisely and responsibly. Homebuilders need lawmakers to pass a reliable, permanent fix to the Hirst court decision.”

Read the full Hirst press release here.

BIAW Announces 2017 Scholarship Award Winners

BIAW is proud to announce the 2017 Scholarship Award recipients. The winners hailed from across the state and their continued education and future careers will be an asset to the home building industry. In addition to scholarships for students pursuing a degree in home building industry-related fields, BIAW dedicated $10,000 for scholarships designated for technical/vocational and trade students. Read more...

2017 Spike Party

Spike party attendees place their bets at the roulette table during the eveving festivities.

2017 Spike Party: The Roaring Twenties at the 'Port

If you happened to miss it, BIAW’s annual Spike Party held June 29 was the talk of the summer board meeting. The evening event’s theme, the Roaring Twenties at the 'Port brought out gangsters, flappers and everything inbetween. Spikes were honored for their recruiting skills and unwavering support of the building industry. A good time was had by all.

Check out 2017 Spike Party photos from the event.

Check out the photo booth photos here.

2017 Cornhole Winners

2017 three-peat Cornhole tournament champions J.D. Thueringer and Tod Sakai.

BIAW's Third Annual Cornhole Tournament

BIAW members and guests participated in BIAW's third annual Cornhole Tournament during the BIAW Summer board meeting. Players tried their best to toss corn-filled bags into a 6-inch hole cut into a wooden board. Cold drinks and tasty snacks kept the participants and spectators alike engaged and competitive.

Check out 2017 Cornhole Tournament photos from the event.

2017 EIR Winners

EIR winners in attendance at the annual EIR reception proudly display their awards.

2017 Excellence in Remodeling Awards Winners Revealed

BIAW is proud to announce the 2017 Excellence in Remodeling Award winners. The EIR award reception recognizes outstanding remodeling projects throughout the state. Read more...

Check out 2017 EIR photos from the event.

Senate Passes BIAW's Fix Hirst Bill

Senate Bill 5239 passed by a 28-21 vote on Tuesday, February 28, which is a first step in an effort to put in place a legislative fix to the Washington State Supreme Court's ruling known as the Hirst decision. The Senate bill is now on its way to the House for consideration. BIAW's advocacy team, members and staff urged senators to pass this bill as a legislative fix to the devasting decision.

"Very few can build because of this ruling. The impacts are already being felt," said BIAW President Ted Clifton. "Without a fix, I expect it will create more economic hardship for small business builders and families that own land and want to build their dream homes."

Learn more about the Hirst ruling and its impacts across the state at Fix Hirst!

BIAW Members Descend on Capitol

BIAW members staged a demonstration on the steps of the Temple of Justice in their continued effort to push for a fix to the Hirst court ruling that virtually eliminated water access to build new homes in rural communities and halted the construction of nearly all basic housing in those areas.

The Hirst decision is causing harm to small business, builders, families and rural towns and counties," said BIAW President Ted Clifton. "Without water, there are no homes that can be built in these areas. This isn't the direction Washington state should take to promote affordable housing and economic prosperity for all its residents."

Read the full press release and how BIAW is taking steps to FixHirst!

Find out how Fix Hirst! offers flexible solutions to fix the impacts the decision has on rural communities, builders, and families across the state.

BIAW To Host Leadership Conference

BIAW, in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders, will host the AREA 15 Leadership Conference. The two-day conference will offer training for local home builders associations' leadership and will cover a variety of topics and issues that impact local HBA leadership, staff, membership recruiting and retaining efforts.

All NAHB-affiliated state and local association staff and members are invited to attend.

To register for the event, download the leadership conference registration form.
Or use the convenient online registration form.

For further information or if you have questions regarding the leadership conference, please contact BIAW staff members Brenda Kwieciak or Karen Hall at (360) 352-7800.

View the complete conference refund policy here.

2017-18 R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment is Open!

The R.O.I.I.® Select team is excited to kickoff enrollment for the 2017-2018 plan year!

To find out if you qualify for R.O.I.I.® Select, download the 2017-18 application form.

For more information contact R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment Coordinator Jessica Bass at (360) 352-7800 ext 132, or

Local Association and Member Referral Map

BIAW is proud to offer an interactive map linking users with BIAW members and their local homebuilders association.

Users can click on a county which will link them to the corresponding local homebuilders association's website. At that point a search can be initiated to find members by service/product, type of company, etc.

BIAW Local Association and Member Referral Map

The Economic Impact of New Home Construction in Washington State

Recent research and data from BIAW, NAHB and the US Census Bureau provide an irrefutable case for the benefits of home building. New home construction is a leading revenue and job generator in the state of Washington and, if encouraged, could lead the state's economic recovery.

Economist Dr. Elliott Eisenberg shows us how and why in this entertaining, interesting video highlighting the economic impact of new home construction in Washington.

New Home Construction State's Third Largest Employer

The National Association of Home Builder's Housing Policy Department research estimates the first-year impact of 13,825 new single-family homes built in Washington State is nearly $3.1 billion in state and local revenues, $729 million in state and local taxes and 41,000 jobs.

For the full press release Click here

Check out the complete meeting agenda to plan your schedule.

Reserve your room with the The Davenport Hotel at (509) 455-8888 directly. Mention you're with BIAW to receive the $149 single/double or $164 triple room rate.

A block of rooms are being held until May 27, 2017.

Don't Miss BIAW's Annual Spike Party: The Roaring Twenties at the 'Port

Always the "event of the year" and member favorite, the BIAW Spike Party is scheduled for Thursday, June 29 during the Summer board meeting at The Davenport Hotel, Spokane. This is an invitation only event - and the only way to get inside is to recruit a new member! Contact Amanda Fields at BIAW at (360) 352-7800, ext. 114 for details.

A big thank you to our Sponsors: HBA of Tri-Cities, Traditional Designs, Inc., AAA KARTAK Glass & Closet, Inc., American Insurance Associates, Banner Bank, MBA of King and Snohomish Counties, Print NW, Sockeye Homes, The Bancorp Bank, and Strategy Insurance Brokers, LLC !

You can be a Spike Party sponsor, too. Find out you can help support the industry that supports you and your livelihood.


BIAW Now Accepting Education Program Scholarship Applications

BIAW is pleased to announce its 2017 Education Program Scholarship application is now available. In addition to funding for students pursuing a degree in home building industry-related fields, new this year is $10,000 for scholarships designated for technical/vocational and trade students. A fillable 2017 Scholarship Application is available for your convenience.

The deadline to submit a scholarship application to BIAW is May 5, 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Education Program Director Amanda Fields at 360-352-7800, ext.114.


Just how much do Washington state employees make?

Find out using the OFM database showing gross pay for workers at state of Washington agencies, colleges and universities.