Builders call Congress to pass Stimulus Bill

WASHINGTON - The National Association of Home Builders has initiated an all-out effort to get Congress to pass badly needed stimulus legislation that will help stabilize the economy and housing market and assist millions of current and potential home owners. A central component of this legislation is a temporary home buyer tax credit to stimulate home purchases by qualified first-time buyers.

With the goal of urging lawmakers to act before their July 4th recess, NAHB is waging its effort on several fronts, including a grassroots lobbying initiative among the association's 235,000 members and an ongoing national advertising campaign.

Among NAHB's more visible efforts are this week's placement of "An Open Letter to Congress" ad in The Washington Post and USA Today and two of the most widely read publications on Capitol Hill, Roll Call and Politico.

Under the headline "A Time for Leadership," NAHB President and West Virginia home builder Sandra Dunn writes that "The landmark housing stimulus legislation now before both the House and Senate would help end the downward housing spiral that is the biggest threat to the health of our economy. Housing is in the grips of the most crippling downturn since the Great Depression, consumer confidence has plunged, economic growth has slowed to a crawl and unemployment lines are growing longer. This is not the time for demagoguery or partisanship. It is the time for flexibility and compromise. It is the time for action."

Legislation currently being debated in Congress includes the all-important temporary home buyer tax credit, which would stimulate home buying and reduce excess supply in housing markets. NAHB Executive Vice President and CEO Jerry Howard calls this element "the best stimulative measure - it will get buyers off the fence, shore up home prices and halt the downward spiral in the housing market."

The legislation also includes several other provisions to help revive housing and the economy, including FHA modernization, reform of housing government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, expansion of the mortgage revenue bond program and enhancement of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to help spur production of much needed affordable rental housing.

To view the letter to Congress, visit: www.nahb.org/openletter.

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