They urged Congress to make housing and homeownership a national priority.
“Though we are seeing some hopeful signs of recovery in many markets throughout the nation, our industry still faces stiff headwinds,” said National Association of Home Builders chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Florida.
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.
The builders held more than 250 individual meetings with their representatives and senators, calling on their lawmakers to take targetted action such as supporting legislation to restore the flow of credit for new housing production. They also called for the passage of 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 flow of affordable housing credit.
Other actions on the wishlist include preserving current housing tax incentives, supporting legislation to make improvements to the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead paint rule, and reducing the reach of federal power under the Clean Water Act.
“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.”