We thought it would be a good idea to get TAREI, CREIA and ASHI together at the same table. And that’s how it all started” says Danny Maynard, past president of ASHI and founder of the National Coalition of Home Inspection Associations (NCHIA). Ten years later, 16 state associations, both large and small, have agreements with or have expressed interest in joining the Coalition. NCHIA’s mission statement is “To meet the needs of its members and to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.” And, “To be a unified voice to legislators and government at a national level”
Representatives from the state associations are meeting again this January to hear news about federal government activities related to the real estate industry and home inspection profession from ASHI’s lobbyist Randall Pence. Recent news includes changes to the appearance and delivery of HUD’s “For your protection get a home inspection” form — changes that reflect recommendations from ASHI that were made on behalf of the profession and the homebuying public. Pence will also report on ASHI’s recent appearance at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ home purchasing conference. Representatives from the state organization will have an opportunity to voice their opinions about federal government activities and bring their ideas to Pence’s attention.
As more states become regulated, the number of state associations also grows. To join NCHIA, a state organization reviews and agrees to a letter of understanding that shares the mission and goals of the coalition. These associations must be member-driven and non-profit. Larger associations like CREIA and TAREI, which have more resources than many of the smaller associations, see value in this coalition and take an active role in its success.
“ASHI’s current role in NCHIA is two-fold” says Maynard. “First, we simply act as facilitators for an annual meeting and for periodic communications. Secondly, we want to share some of ASHI’s resources with the member associations.” One resource is ASHI’s paid lobbyist. Last year at the annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, ASHI offered NCHIA members use of its valuable online tool, the Legislative Action Center. When a state organization and ASHI share an opinion on home inspection-related state or federal legislation, the members of both organizations can use the Center to directly communicate with their local legislators; in other words, effectively work together in a grass-roots initiative.
As the Coalition grows, so does the future of NCHIA and its potential influence. A recent survey of member organizations confirmed that they are satisfied with the current structure and activity level. The January meeting will allow attendees to once again explore their mutual concerns and consider activities that would benefit inspectors in all the member states.
“Many great things have started with establishing a dialogue,” says Maynard. “We find that when we all sit down together, we have much more in common than we thought and that NCHIA membership can enhance the value of all member organizations”