Our History

The Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA) was formed in January 1928 as one of the nation’s first two associations devoted to serving the interests and needs of home builders. Originally named the Detroit Builders Association, the organization was instrumental in the formation of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 1940. In that year, representatives from several local home builders associations including Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington D.C. came together to organize NAHB. The first president of NAHB was Detroit Builders Association past president Harry Durbin. Then, in 1948, the Detroit Builders Association helped found the Michigan Association of Home Builders (now named Home Builders Association of Michigan) with Harry Durbin serving as the state association’s first president.

A few of the Association’s notable early accomplishments include:

  • Assisted in establishment of the Federal Housing Administration
  • Successful court battle allowing the use of drywall in residential construction instead of plaster
  • Recovery of $6 million to builders who had been forced to pay excessive, illegal sewer connection fees
  • Founded the Apartment Association of Michigan in 1969 to represent multifamily rental property owners

During its 96-year history, the organization has been led by eight Executive Officers with current CEO Forrest M. Wall, CAE, serving since March 1, 2022.

Today, HBA provides impactful benefits and services, highlighted by the following events:

  • Three consumer home shows each year
  • The Parade of Homes builder marketing program
  • The annual Great Lakes Design & Construction Expo
  • A Mid-Year Economic Forecast
  • An annual Awards Recognition & Holiday Celebration event

The Association also administers the HBA Charitable & Educational Foundation, which is a 501 (c) (3) charity supporting groups that are working to strengthen the ability of families to purchase homes while also improving neighborhoods throughout southeastern Michigan. In 2021, the HBA Skilled Trades Scholarship Fund was established within the Foundation. This fund was formed to support young people who will become the next generation of construction workers in southeastern Michigan.