New Jersey Builders, Realtors Host Seminar on Housing Act Benefits
On Oct. 1, more than 125 home builders and Realtors® attended a New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) and New Jersey Association of Realtors® (NJAR) seminar on the home buying benefits contained in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).
Recognizing the importance of alerting their members to how the legislation can help home buyers and home owners, NJBA Executive Vice President Tim Touhey and Carol Ann Short, the association’s director of government affairs, worked with NJAR Executive Vice President Jarrod Grasso to initiate the event.
The meeting was held at the Wyndham Princeton Forrestal Hotel & Conference Center in Plainsboro, N.J.
“We are pleased to bring building and real estate professionals together to collaborate and discuss how the various components of the legislation, including the temporary tax credit for home buyers, will benefit New Jersey’s residents and its economy,” Touhey said.
The two organizations invited representatives from the local government, NAHB and the National Association of Realtors® to share their expertise on provisions of the landmark housing bill and other housing programs for New Jersey residents. They included:
- Joseph Doria, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, who discussed state efforts to increase homeownership through the programs and services of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA)
- Megan Booth, NAR’s senior policy representative, who gave an overview of the measure and how it affects the Federal Housing Administration, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
- Robert Dietz, NAHB’s director of tax issues, who spoke about how the legislation aims to bring first-time buyers back to the housing market through the temporary tax credit
- NAR tax counsel Linda Goold, who addressed the tax implications
- Gwyn Donohue, NAHB’s director of public relations, who shared resources to promote the tax credit in local communities
The NJBA created a flyer to promote the event, and reached out to its members through multiple communications efforts.
“We sent three different blast e-mails to our members, and included items in our weekly e-newsletter and in the ‘Events and Seminars’ section of our Web site,” said Amy Whilldin, NJBA’s director of communications.
She said that the member of record is often a builder or company president who might not automatically think of the benefits of having employees such as sales representatives attend the seminar, so that was highlighted in the communications.
“One builder member turned right around and registered seven of his sales office staff,” Whilldin said.
Local media were invited with an e-mailed advisory and follow-up telephone calls. Stories about the event ran on New Jersey News television, in the Courier-Post and Courier News/Home News Tribune, and on the New Jersey RealEstateRama Web site.
Attendees responded positively to the event.
“One thing I was hearing after the seminar again and again was how great an event it was and that we should collaborate with the Realtors® and other groups more often,” Whilldin said. “NJBA continues to identify ways in which to be of service to our members through education, communication and advocacy.”
Go to www.nahb.org/mythbuster or e-mail NAHB Public Affairs (800-368-5242 x8447) to learn more about HBA efforts and the resources available from NAHB to promote the tax credit.