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Builders Commend White House Focus on Helping Home Owners, Seek Additional Steps to Spur Housing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 25, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) commends President Obama for offering proposals in last night’s State of the Union address to help families stay in their homes and stanch foreclosures, and is urging policymakers to take additional actions to mend the housing market and boost the economy.

“President Obama’s refinancing plan offers an opportunity for continued exploration of ways to aid struggling home owners and tackle the foreclosure crisis,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “We look forward to working with the White House and Congress to tackle this issue and continue to make progress on foreclosures that are hampering the housing market.”

In order to create jobs and further stabilize housing and the economy, Nielsen added that the Administration, Congress and federal regulators need to reopen the lines of credit for builders ready to embark upon viable projects in markets where new housing stock is needed and to ease overly restrictive mortgage lending requirements for qualified home buyers.

The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index shows that scores of metro areas across the nation are beginning to see signs of recovery, but in order to meet this emerging housing demand, builders need access to credit to break ground on sound projects and generate new jobs and sorely needed tax revenues in these communities.

“President Obama was absolutely right when he said that ‘there has never been a better time to build,’ and the nation’s home builders are eager to do their part to contribute to economic growth and job creation,” said Nielsen, who noted that housing normally accounts for more than 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Building 100 single-family homes creates more than 300 full-time jobs and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenues that help fund local schools, police and firefighters in markets across the land.

Sixty percent of voters say that resolving the foreclosure mess is essential to get the economy back on track and there is broad support for government policies that encourage homeownership, according to a new nationwide survey on housing commissioned by NAHB from the Republican and Democratic polling firms of Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners.

More than seven in 10 voters representing all political parties believe that tax incentives to promote homeownership are reasonable and appropriate and nearly six in 10 voters say the federal government should make it a high priority to restore the nation’s housing market.

Even more telling, the majority of voters believe neither party is doing a good job on housing.

“In this election year, voters will be looking closely at President Obama, the GOP presidential contenders and congressional candidates from both political parties to determine how they plan to put housing and the economy back on track,” said Nielsen. “How the candidates respond will decide not only their political fate but the economic prospects of most Americans.”