Feb. 29, 2024

TAMAQUA—As Pennsylvania faces a housing crisis, Rep. Jamie Barton (R-Berks/Schuylkill) and the House Republican Policy Committee, led by Chairman Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington), convened a hearing to discuss the imminent need for construction permitting reform. 

The hearing, “Removing Obstacles to Opportunity: Building Pennsylvania,” featured the following testifiers: Mike Tobash, principal, Tobash Financial Solutions; Jimmy Moore, manager and principal engineer, Lehigh Engineering; and developer Nick Boyle.

One of the greatest obstacles identified by the testifiers is that the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) is not enforced uniformly. Inconsistent interpretation and application of the UCC creates challenges for those working on projects in different municipalities throughout Pennsylvania. Additionally, the UCC presents extensive requirements that can raise expenses to the point of having to halt construction altogether. Although the UCC is in place to ensure buildings are safe, there appears to be no balance between safety and innovation. 

“The escalating cost of housing demands our attention, and it is crucial that we pursue permitting reform to streamline processes, cut unnecessary red tape and promote economic growth,” said Barton. “With more efficient processes, we can unleash the power of Pennsylvania builders and ensure that residents can achieve home ownership.”

“Permitting reform is not just as a housing solution, but a key driver for achieving excellence in government across all industries,” said Kail. “We’ve had bipartisan consensus that permitting is a problem. Gov. Josh Shapiro has noted that permitting is a problem. So, let’s get consensus on a solution so we can get back to building Pennsylvania.”

To watch the complete hearing, click the video box below.

Rep. Jamie Barton
124th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jake Gillespie
RepBarton.com / Facebook.com/RepBarton