Christian Evans is determined to ensure homes stay affordable in Southern Indiana
By Lisa Hornung
The Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI) might seem like just another professional association for an industry. But the organization plays a vital role in the housing of all people in Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott and Washington counties, and its members work tirelessly behind the scenes. We recently spoke with the new CEO of the BDASI Christian Evans about his job, his background and his vision for the organization’s future.
Extol: What is the mission of BDASI?
Christian Evans: Since the 1950s, the (BDASI) has been committed to promoting the region’s homebuilding industry and educating both our members and consumers on the industry’s standards and practices. We have about 200 members, of which 80 are builders and 120 associate members. We are not a one size fits all organization; we tailor our membership around the needs of our specific members. Our work, providing networking and advocacy to our membership, is something we take great pride in.
Extol: What was your path to becoming CEO of BDASI?
Evans: I graduated from Western Governor’s University with a degree in business management. I began my post collegiate career on the political landscape by assisting with numerous State and Local campaigns. In 2019, I was hired to work in the office under Charlie Smith, longtime CEO of BDASI. Working under Charlie was a great learning experience and provided me with great insight into the industry. When Charlie took his position as the Sellersburg Town Manager, I took over as CEO.
Extol: What is your vision for BDASI? Evans: Working with local governments to develop plans and strategies to establish principles of smart growth is an important part of what I do. It’s more than just building homes. By serving on the Scottsburg City Council I am provided with an understanding of how government works at the municipal level so I can assist in bridging the gap between regulations and development. Providing education to both parties is essential in terms of “smart growth”.
Extol: Explain what you mean by smart growth. Evans: Every community is different – and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Southern Indiana presents a very diverse landscape. Smart growth is about what is needed in each community. Fitting the needs of all homebuyers. When governments raise fees on home builders, that cost is passed on to the buyers. Smart growth revolves around two simple principles, cutting down on over-regulation and understanding the needs and availability of the market. To highlight the effects of over regulations, a recent study showed that close to 25 percent of the cost of building a home is spent before construction begins, much of it on government fees. Our builders take pride in offering what their communities need, not every municipality or county needs half a million dollar single family homes, “smart growth’ is all about assessing the market and using our expertise to work with cities and towns in order to fill those voids.
Extol: What else do you want people to know about BDASI?
Evans: It’s times like this, that truly highlights what “home” means. We make sure we are doing our jobs by giving people the opportunity to live the American dream. I’m extremely devoted and aware of the issues we are facing as Americans in today’s society. Increasing debt, and continually rising living costs make it extremely difficult to live and own a home in the greatest country in the world. I can speak for our membership when I say that we take pride in making sure our neighbors aren’t overburdened and that OUR government is working for us, not against us.
Connect with Christian Evans and the Building Association of Southern Indiana (BDASI) by visiting southernindianabuilders.com or follow @BDASouthernIN on Facebook.