The California Building Industry Association was established in 1943 as a federation of local and regional associations representing builders at the state level. For years, the group functioned solely as a lobbying organization. In 1952, the organization incorporated as the California Home Builders Council and, in 1968, changed its name to the California Builders Council.

In 1977, following an extensive review by outside consultants and an internal evaluation committee, the organization underwent a major reorganization. The federation became a full-service state level association and is managed by a Chief Executive Officer. The organization's name was changed in 1978 to the California Building Industry Association. There are now 10 regional affiliates.

Since the reorganization, CBIA has grown to include legislative, technical, communications, membership and educational departments. A political action committee and two subsidiary organizations have been established.

The California Homebuilding Foundation promotes and encourages the continuing education of individuals and organizations interested in the building industry. The foundation sponsors educational seminars and furnishes scholarships, grants and fellowships to college students majoring in building industry-related programs. CHF also funds research to benefit the building industry.

CBIA also annually sponsors PCBC, the largest regional building conference and trade show in the nation.

CBIA continues to represent the interests of builders and developers of housing and commercial projects. The Association has been instrumental in furthering state polices that:

  • Simplify or eliminate restrictive, costly building regulations and introduce more flexibility into land use decisions.
  • Balance the concern for the environment and energy conservation with the need for affordable housing.
  • Ensure that reasonable growth and development is both planned for and encouraged.
  • Improve the state's business climate.

In recent years, CBIA has attempted to steer state government away from more regulation of the building industry and toward supporting programs that advance housing as a social and economic necessity.