NAHB Is Your Business Partner
If you were one of the record 105,000 housing professionals who attended this year’s International Builders’ Show in Orlando, then you saw for yourself that nobody puts on a show like NAHB. From the largest assembly anywhere of cutting-edge building products and services to presentations by expert speakers on the issues that are shaping our industry, in four super-charged days NAHB’s annual exposition provides the resources and the ideas that can keep your business ahead of the competition.
NAHB is the best business partner you could have, not just at the start of the year but all year long. I am committed to providing our members with the tools they need to score success in an industry that is always fraught with challenges. We are fired up about prospects for housing in 2005 and we are ready to deliver. In the coming year, we’re going to continue to focus on what NAHB does best, and we’re going to do it better than ever.
One of our top priorities is improving the business environment in which we all operate. This means eliminating the regulatory barriers that frustrate our efforts to supply the housing that is sorely needed in our growing communities. And it means empowering our members with educational opportunities so that they will have the wide range of abilities needed to prosper in the home building business — to assess your marketplace, provide your prospective customers with what they want, run an effective operation, navigate the approval process, turn neighbors into supporters of your housing plans and much, much more.
We’re going to be more proactive in moving forward our legislative agenda in the 109th Congress. We’re going to tackle issues head-on. One of the top issues emerging in the Senate will be reforms for the housing industry’s government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. Following the recommendations of a specially appointed NAHB task force on this issue, our board of directors has just approved major policy on oversight reform, and we’re ready to lead the debate.
Another goal we will continue to pursue with full determination is increasing the supply of affordable workforce housing for teachers, police officers, fire fighters and other essential employees who have been priced out of living in the communities they serve. We brought this issue to national attention last year and identified resources and approaches that will begin to address the problem. We will pursue those initiatives this year, and we will also continue our support for proposals by the Bush Administration to create a homeownership tax credit and a zero-downpayment FHA mortgage to boost homeownership opportunities in this country.
In our commitment to make NAHB your true business partner, we will also be increasing our efforts this year on retaining current members and acquiring new ones. Membership is the lifeblood of this association. Our grassroots membership is the source of our strength, and in 2005 we plan to make the members of our federation even stronger through the expansion of NAHB’s educational programs and networking opportunities, including the 20 Clubs.
Finally, I want to let you know about the Home Builders Care/National Housing Endowment-Tsunami Shelter Fund. With an initial donation of $250,000 designated by the NAHB Board of Directors in Orlando, the fund will be directed to rebuilding efforts that provide temporary and permanent shelter for survivors. I have asked Bob Mitchell, a past president of NAHB, to lead this effort. We will be working with U.S. charitable organizations to demonstrate our concern, and I urge you to join in this effort through a tax-deductible donation. For more information in this issue of Nation's Building News on how you can do your part to address the shelter needs of nations devastated by the tsunami, click here
You can ask the President of the United States, leaders in the Congress, the chairman of the Federal Reserve or the top economists in the country, and they will all tell you that housing has been the driving force supporting our economy for the past several years. And you can ask the parents of your childrens’ friends at school, members of your church congregation, people standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, and they will tell you that there are few things more important for their families than housing. That is an awesome responsibility for a single industry, but one in which we can all take great professional pride.
I promise you that NAHB will continue to be your voice — the voice of housing in America. I look forward to serving you and our entire membership.