Yakima, WA— March 27, 2020 — This week has proven to be the most challenging of time for the country, state, and now — the building industry. On Wednesday evening, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a clarification on construction in which he significantly narrowed the original order which allowed for “housing construction.” His new order does allow for continued construction, under limited circumstances:
- Construction related to essential activities as described in the order;
- To further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing; or
- To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential businesses and residential structures.
To that end, it is permissible for workers who are building, construction superintendents, tradesmen, or tradeswomen, or other trades including, but not limited to, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, laborers, sheet metal, iron workers, masonry, pipe trades, fabricators, heavy equipment and crane operators, finishers, exterminators, pesticide applicators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC technicians, painting, moving and relocation services, forestry and arborists, and other service providers to provide services consistent with this guidance. All construction activity must meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures before proceeding.
(Gov. Inslee’s March 25, 2020 Memo: Construction Guidance – Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25)
Understanding that many difficult and rapid decisions have needed to be made, the Central Washington Home Builders Association continues to endorse that safety on all construction sites is, and will maintain, a priority. Contractors are required by local jurisdictions to have strict safety plans, various licenses and certifications that ensure safety not only for their crews, but for the safety and well-being of homeowners.
Residents and community members may continue to see construction still occurring, but must understand that CWHBA is not providing direct or legal interpretation of the order, enforcing or enquiring regarding specific job sites, and trusts that builders are moving in a direction that is safe and in compliance with the order. Construction work is a huge part of our community and our thriving economy, which has now been flipped upside down.
Everyone is welcome – consumer and member alike – to visit CWHBA.org for more information to stay informed. We are all doing the best we can, with the tools and resources available, but we all must be willing to extend a little grace.