Durham County home builders raise alarm about labor shortages caused by Trump administration’s immigration policies

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The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange and Chatham Counties has raised the alarm that a severe labor shortage is putting pressure on housing prices and its members ability to deliver homes in a timely manner.

“We’ve had to lengthen our construction times,” the Durham Herald-Sun reported association president Gian Hasbrock as saying. His company CalAtlantic is building the Southpoint Trails subdivision in south Durham. “We have a building that needs plumbing done, but our plumbing contractor doesn’t have a enough people for a crew.”

“It would be foolish to not acknowledge that a definite proportion of these workers are without documentation,” Hasbrock said. “They are scared stiff, and their quality of life is undermined by that, just as you or I would be unhappy working in the shadows.”

The 600-member association has asked law makers for legislation “to foster a welcome environment for foreign-born skilled laborers,” observing that pne in four of the area’s construction workers are immigrants, it said.

“I don’t want to represent that we have the solutions,” Hasbrock said. “We are just raising our hands and asking to change the conversation around immigration.”