On June 6th, more than 700 builders went to Capitol Hill to call on Congress to make home ownership, and all the related industries a national priority, to create jobs and ensure that the countries real estate market continues its current trend of growth.
“Though we are seeing some hopeful signs of recovery in many markets throughout the nation, our industry still faces stiff headwinds,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder fromGainesville,Fla.
Persistently tight lending standards for home builders and home buyers, uncertainty regarding the future of the housing finance system, ongoing threats to vital housing tax incentives, and overly burdensome regulations are hampering a housing recovery and keeping countless home building firms from constructing viable projects and hiring new workers, he added.
“In this pivotal election year, it is imperative to ensure that presidential and congressional candidates on both sides of the political aisle understand the importance of housing and homeownership,” said Rutenberg. “Today, builders from across the land reiterated this message to their legislators and reminded them that there can be no economic recovery without a housing recovery.”
Some of the issues that were addressed include:
Support legislation to restore the flow of credit for new housing production. NAHB is urging the House Financial Services Committee to consider H.R. 1755, the Home Construction Lending Regulatory Improvement Act. Sponsored by Reps. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) and Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the measure currently has 96 co-sponsors and would remove barriers to lending while preserving the regulators’ ability to assure the safety and the soundness of the financial institutions they oversee. NAHB is seeking cosponsors for similar legislation in the Senate, S. 2078, the Home Building Lending Improvement Act, sponsored by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
Pass comprehensive legislation to reform housing government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks that provides a federal backstop to ensure a reliable and adequate flow of affordable housing credit in all economic and financial conditions.
Preserve current housing tax incentives, including the mortgage interest deduction and Low Income Housing Tax Credit, as the debate on tax reform moves ahead.