January 18, 2013


It has been a real pleasure to serve as the Chair of the 50+ Housing Council Board of Trustees. I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their continued effort and support, and their work to insure that the offering of programs at IBS this year will be of the very highest quality and offer the most take-home value possible.

I also want to express my thanks to NAHB staff who have been invaluable in ensuring that all of the meetings and events over the past year occurred smoothly, and who were always ready to help when called upon. Both members and staff have made contributions that are very much appreciated, by me and other members. I think that one of the real highlights of the year for me was getting to work with and know better the wonderful group involved with the 50+ Housing Council.

If you have not already made your travel plans to be part of the IBS in Las Vegas from Jan. 21-24, you still have time. We will again have the 50+ Lifestyle Central — room North 257, Level 2 — at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which provides a forum for much of our programming as well as the opportunity to meet the people who are the leaders in our industry and who share our focus and interests. I know I will be there for much of the time, and I hope to get a chance to meet many of you. Tuesday, Jan. 22, is Universal Design Day, and the Lifestyle Central will be the place to hear about universal design. It will also be the staging area for people participating in a tour of universal design-related products shown by suppliers on the convention floor. The day ends with our reception at 4:00 p.m. — Please come by!

Wednesday, Jan. 23, is another full day of programs, including the 2:00 p.m. presentation of the 2013 Best of 50+ Housing Awards, which showcases some of the best our industry has to offer. That day also ends with a reception at 4:00 p.m. 

Thursday, Jan. 24, is our last day of programming, and concludes with a look into the future of 50+ communities. I promise you will leave that session with a renewed appreciation of how much our customers’ expectations are evolving. The entire program has focused on quality over quantity. We are all the beneficiaries of this focus.

The compromise we recently witnessed on Capitol Hill to deal with the impending Fiscal Cliff was great to witness. Working together is my preferred mode of action, and I believe it is very important that we let our elected officials from both parties know that we will reelect legislators who are prepared to work together to come up with solutions. My experience in working on the entitlements issue and working with our customers has shown me that it is rare that one side gets exactly what it wants when strong feelings exist on both sides. But by being better listeners and developing solutions which get the most important matters dealt with, we can all move forward. The end result of compromise is something we should be proud of. 

Housing looks to be getting back on its feet, and many of our buyers who have been waiting are now able to sell their homes and to consider new homes designed for their new lifestyle. This creates an expanding market for us, over and above the predictable demographic shift which has driven our expansion over the past few years. I believe it will be a challenge for us to keep up with the increasing demand, and it certainly looks as if it is time for us to get back to work to ensure that homes will exist to meet the dreams of our older customers. We have been through a very trying time. We have learned some lessons, and I hope will learn even more through participation in NAHB.

I wish you all a healthy and prosperous 2013.

W. Don Whyte, Chair
NABH 50+ Housing Council

National Association of Home Builders
1201 15th Street, Washington, DC 20005-2800

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