New trade group looks to represent large home builders

December 15, 2009 08:45AM

A new home builders trade group, the Leading Builders of America, is threatening to deepen an emerging divide between big and small builders during the downturn and possibly, to poach members from the established industry lobbying force, the National Association of Home Builders. The LBA is still very new — its Web site is expected to launch next year — but it already counts as members many of the nation’s top public and private builders who have thus far remained NAHB members as well, according to a statement from the group. The LBA will be led by Ken Gear, former vice president for government relations at Pulte, and Clayton Traylor, former director of government and industry relations at Centex, which was acquired by Pulte earlier this year. Brent Anderson, a member of both groups and vice president of investor relations at Meritage Homes, said it will focus on big companies in a way that the NAHB, which he says is comprised of “a lot of smaller home builders,” does not. “Trying to get a consensus among everyone from little mom-and-pop builders to Pulte, that’s a gargantuan task,” Anderson said. [WSJ]