The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Housing and the economy won’t stay caught in their current “soft patch” much longer and are slowly headed for higher ground later this year and in 2012 and 2013, but conditions would be considerably brighter if leaders in Washington were adequately addressing what needs to be done to end the housing crisis, Kenneth Rosen, chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California at Berkeley, told an audience at PCBC on June 22 in San Francisco.
“The recovery is happening,” said Rosen. “It just isn’t as strong as we’d like and housing is the weak link.”
The gross domestic product is likely to grow a subpar 2.4% this year compared to 4.0% “if housing were running on all four cylinders,” he said, and growth is likely to hit 3.0% for 2012, still below the 4% to 5% range that is typical for the early stages of an upturn.
A source of nagging concern for consumers, the job market has a long way to go, he said, with only about 2 million private-sector jobs gained following a loss of 8.8 million during the recession.
Job creation, which slowed down this spring, should be back on track in the fall, he said, and monthly gains this year should average between 175,000 and 200,000, roughly twice the pace of 2010. That would move the unemployment rate down to 8.9% by the end of this year and 8.1% at the close of 2012. Read More
|Framing Lumber Composite||$ 266||$ 2|
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|Southern Pine Plywood Composite||$ 398||$ 0|
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The plan for Residence 3 — an award-winning, four-bedroom, single-family home — had been shelved for three years because of the housing recession, but it came back to life in the eco-savvy Rockrose at the Foothills community in Carlsbad, Calif., north of San Diego.
Responding to concerns from NAHB Remodelers, affiliated trade groups and other contractors in his home state and the rest of the country, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) is putting additional pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to make much-needed improvements to the Lead: Repair, Renovation and Painting rule.
During a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, July 12, Rehberg will offer an amendment to the Department of the Interior’s appropriations bill that would make it more difficult for the EPA to enforce the rule by restricting its funding until the agency approves a test kit that meets the “false positive” and “false negative” criteria stated in the regulation.
NAHB is asking its members to immediately urge members of the Appropriations Committee to support Rehberg’s amendment by calling or emailing their offices. The representatives can be reached through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. For emails, go to the congressmen's websites, which can be found by Googling their names.... Read More
NAHB has challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for violating fundamental procedural requirements and lacking a sound scientific basis and has asked the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to block its implementation.
The TMDL could lead to onerous restrictions on new development in the bay’s watershed, which is comprised of 64,000 square miles in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and the District of Columbia.
“There are irregularities in the process used in this rulemaking and in the science that underlies this rulemaking,” said Tom Ward, NAHB’s vice president for litigation and legal services.
“The EPA has exceeded its authority with certain aspects of the TMDLs in this rule,” Ward said.
“NAHB does not argue that the EPA cannot develop a TMDL,” he said. “Rather, NAHB joined this litigation after the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other groups joined the litigation in order to make sure our members are represented as the court works through the issues.”
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