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“Finally, permit me to state that in my many years of experience in business and association work, the year of 1957 shall be recorded as the most memorable and enjoyable year I have ever had.” – 1957 WBA President Joseph E. Shaffron

“The State association has grown up a lot in the last five years. We’ve taken a hold of our responsibilities both to our members and the public…. I hope to be able to continue to lead this trend to activism.” – 1970 WBA President Frank Fry

“I firmly believe that the future is in our hands. Through continual, heavy involvement in the political process and close communications with each other and allied organizations, we can and will make a difference.... I’m convinced that we have the strength, and the will, to solve our own problems and to chart our own course.” – 1984-85 WBA President Bryce Styza

“And, lastly, the ‘Good That I See’ is the future leadership of WBA. Moving forward we will have young minds, fresh ideas, and willing hearts to lead us into the next great era.” – 2015-16 WBA President Pam Jewell


Advocacy Wins

1957 WBA Legislative Committee forms Formal committee to affect legislative change at the state level sets the WBA on a path of growth and influence in the state
1963 WBA only group to support state laws regulating condominiums Provides better guidance for those purchasing a condominium
1972 Adoption of a "keyman" system Creates successful, organized system of legislative contacts to get WBA priorities in front of house and senate members
1975 First WBA "Legislative Day" Also known as Political Education Day, Lobby Day, or Advocacy Day at the Capitol, places WBA in the spotlight of the WI legislature
1980 Uniform 1- and 2-Family Building Code established Building practices now made statewide and uniform across Wisconsin
1981 "WBA Caravan Protests High Interest Rates" WBA President James Burkhard and President-Elect Neil Haselwander visit every local association throughout the state over three days, bringing message to members and news media about crippling interest rates--record high of 21.5% reached in 1980, dropped to 11% by 1983
1986 Governor Tommy Thompson elected - WBA first to endorse As a pro-housing governor (provided with critical early support by the WBA), assists organization with wins throughout the 80s and 90s
1992 Uniform Multi-Family Dwelling Code established Lowers design costs for multifamily buildings
1994 Wisconsin Act 127 - contractor certification bill passed Requires proof of financial responsibility and insurance requirements for contractors pulling single-family building permits
1997-1999 Ban on county-imposed transportation fees; establishment of DNR deadlines for consideration of permits Reduces fees on transfer of materials to reduce cost of housing; quicker action on permits streamlines development and construction process
2003 Home Safety Act - UDC inspections required of all new 1- and 2-family dwellings statewide Provides for inspections of homes in all ares of the state regardless of the population of the municipality
2005 Legislation to reduce impact fees Brings transparency and accountability to the process of enacting impact fees in WI - seen by the NAHB as the "Gold Star" standard
2006 Wisconsin Act 200 - Continuing Education Requirements for Contractors passed Ensures that WI families investing in the building of a new home are working with contractors up-to-speed on current building codes and practices
2010 Governor Scott Walker elected - WBA endorses Election of a pro-housing governor allows WBA to string together several successful legislative sessions - including frozen or reduced property tax rates since 2011
2011-2012 Elimination of land conversion fee; reformation of prevailing wage laws Saves families $780/acre; reduces development costs of new housing
2013-2014 Elimination of "Building Contractor Registration;" enacted six-year review for UDC; enacted Uniform Commercial Building Code; reformation of 1- and 2-family wall bracing code Eliminates meaningless fee; provides more predictability on code updates; wall bracing rules now easier to follow, reducing the cost of a home
2015-2016 Removal of fire sprinkler mandate by administrative rule; adoption of statewide standard for remodeling projects near bodies of water; federalization of WI lead paint rules Gives builder and consumer direct voice with their elected officials about costly regulations; remodeling jobs in areas near water now more likely to be approved; easier for remodelers to do business across state lines

Hall of Past Presidents

A photographic collection of all past WBA Presidents.

Badger Builder 70th Anniversary Edition

Includes address from 2017 WBA President David Belman, timeline of WBA history and advocacy wins, remarks from past presidents, an exclusive interview with 1975 President Herman Brandenburg, and rare photos!


A look back at the styles, technologies, and prices of the time through Badger Builder advertisements!

Other Resources: 

115 Years of the American Home - A beautiful, interactive timeline of changing home styles

U.S. Census Housing Tables 1940-2000 - Comparing multiple metrics by state, including home values, home ownership rates, crowding, and more

Wisconsin Historical Society - One-stop shop for Wisconsin's history

A President Reflects

"Besides the benefits to my business, I also think about what the WBA has done for our state during my time as a member.  This is an easy question to answer when you can simply look at our neighboring states—ones that do not share Wisconsin’s pro-business philosophies—and see how that’s turned out for them so far. While they are buried in rising taxes, budget deficits, and expensive code changes, we have been rolling back over-regulations and are currently at a historic low for unemployment.  The WBA has been instrumental in shaping that legislation to be pro-home building, and, as a result, Wisconsin families have more affordable housing options." - David Belman, 2017 WBA President 

WBA Leadership: Current senior leadership, committees, and councils.

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