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Delaware Builder Meets with Fed Chairman and HUD Secretary to Keep Housing a Top National Priority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 21, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Long-time local builder and developer Kevin Kelly, president of Leon N. Weiner and Associates, met recently with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to discuss problems affecting the home building industry and policies that will help the housing market recover.

“A strong housing industry not only means more jobs for the local, state and national economies, but more money in our communities,” said Kelly. “Home building increases the property tax base, which generates revenue that supports local schools and communities. My message to HUD Secretary Donovan and Fed Chairman Bernanke is that there can be no long-term economic growth here in Delaware and across the nation until the housing market rebounds.”

In his meeting with Donovan last week in Washington, Kelly and other apartment industry leaders followed up on previous discussions regarding changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s multifamily mortgage insurance programs adopted in Sept. 2010. The updated rules resulted in excessively long processing times for loan applications for HUD programs that are used by for-profit developers for new construction and substantial rehabilitation of market rate and affordable rental housing.

Kelly, who is also the second vice chairman of the board of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), pointed out that on average, constructing 100 multifamily rental units generates 116 full-time jobs, $8.7 million in wage and business income and $3.4 million in taxes and revenue for state, local and federal governments.

“To create jobs and keep the fledgling economic expansion moving forward, HUD and other policymakers need to take steps that will keep housing affordable and ensure that responsible, creditworthy borrowers can obtain home loans. They also must ensure that builders have access to construction loans so that they can build new homes and apartments in Wilmington and other areas of the country where improving job opportunities are renewing demand for new housing.”

Last month in Orlando, Fla., Kelly was able to impart the same message when he and other leaders of NAHB met with Fed Chairman Bernanke prior to his address to the NAHB Board of Directors. Bernanke told the board members that the state of the housing market has been a key impediment to the economic recovery.

“Chairman Bernanke understands that the fate of the housing industry and the economy go hand-in-hand,” said Kelly. “It was heartening to hear that he agreed that Washington insiders must develop and implement policies that will get housing back on its feet.”