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Trying to spur Congress into action on housing stimulus legislation before its July 4 recess, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has placed “An Open Letter to Congress” ad in The Washington Post and USA Today, as well as 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, “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.”
Acentral component of this legislation is a temporary home buyer tax credit to stimulate home purchases by qualified first-time buyers, which the NAHB believes would help reduce excess supply in housing markets.
“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,” the letter continues. “This is not the time for demagoguery or partisanship. It is the time for flexibility and compromise. It is the time for action.”
NAHB executive vp and CEO Jerry Howard called the temporary home buyer tax credit “the best stimulative measure -- it will get buyers off the fence, shore up home prices and halt the downward spiral in the housing market.”
This legislation also includes several other provisions to help revive housing and the economy, including the following: 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.