The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
From the launch of a new NAHB economic index that measures metropolitan areas that have shown improvement during the last six month to comments on President Obama’s jobs bill and letters to the editor and commentary from leadership at several home builders associations, actions taken by NAHB and its members to mitigate the credit crunch and address the housing downturn during the past two weeks have resulted in favorable coverage in regional and national media.
The following are media highlights:
- In response to President Obama’s Sept. 8 address to the nation to spur job growth, NAHB President Bob Nielsen issued the following statement to the media commending the President for tackling critical employment issues, but asking him to recognize that housing has a central role to play in restoring the nation’s workforce:
“Housing has traditionally led the nation out of past recessions and needs to be playing a far bigger role than it has so far in today’s lackluster recovery. That won’t happen until federal regulators move to end the credit freeze for new home production, banks allow qualified home buyers access to affordable home loans and policymakers acknowledge there is a clear need to support homeownership and get housing moving again to spur growth, create jobs and restore consumer confidence,” Nielsen said.
- NAHB on Sept. 7 launched its inaugural NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) on improving markets across the country. The news was reported on the business cable channel CNBC and in several regional newspapers and business and trade publications including Builder, Bloomberg, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Fayetteville Observer, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Hardwood Floors, Fine Home Building, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, Building Online, Professional Door Dealer and Housing Zone.
- The Times Record News in Waco, Texas, published a story on Sept. 8 based on a recent study by NAHB on how high regulatory costs are an obstacle to the housing recovery. The article said that “the hefty price home buyers are paying for government regulations represents just one more obstacle that home builders need to overcome in restoring the marketplace to normal conditions.”
- Doug Miller, president of the Indiana Builders Association had a letter to the editor published in the Shelbyville News on Sept. 4. The letter cited NAHB’s recent national polling on housing, which showed that most Americans believe that owning a home is still very much a part of the American Dream and that 73% of the voters who responded to the poll believe that it is appropriate for the government to provide tax incentives to encourage homeownership.
- David Ellis, executive vice president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, placed an op-ed in the Sept. 11 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution entitled “Homeownership Is Still a Top Priority.” The column cited the results of NAHB’s recent national poll on housing, which showed that 95% of the poll’s respondents said they are happy with their decision to buy a home and that nearly three-quarters of those who do not own a home said it is a goal of theirs to eventually buy one. "The bottom line is, even after years of economic turmoil and an unprecedented and prolonged downturn in the housing market, homeownership is still a central goal for most Americans," said Greater Atlanta HBA President Mike Smith in the column.
- NAHB CEO Jerry Howard met with Wall Street Journal reporter Robbie Whelan in New York on Sept. 14 to discuss key housing issues, including President Obama’s jobs plan and the need for Congress to add a robust housing component to help the housing sector act as a catalyst for job creation.
- On Sept. 15, Howard spoke to Politico about the Administration’s housing policies.
- NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe was cited in a Sept. 6 article, “It’s Construction, Stupid! It’s Home Building, Stupid!” by Jerry Chautin of the Huffington Post, that urged President Obama to focus on fixing housing in order to jump-start the economy. "Without access to credit, the residential construction industry will lose more small businesses and experience more job losses, with these impacts being widely spread across the nation," Crowe said. "When you consider the enormity of the total number of jobs attached to housing, a sector that accounts for 15% of our nation's GDP, now is hardly the time to step back from our nation's long-standing commitment to homeownership."
- Before President Obama addressed the nation with his jobs creation plan, 2000 NAHB President and Maryland home builder Bob Mitchell spoke to NPR.org about what builders wanted to hear in Obama’s speech.
- Crowe was cited in a Sept. 7 story in Politico on ways to repair the housing market. “Government can do some good, but time and an improving economy will be the primary solution,” he said, while noting that the downturn has prevented the formation of about 2 million new households over the past four years. If people who are staying with their roommates or parents are able to get jobs and live independently, this will absorb excess inventory and reduce the number of foreclosures, he said.
- Crowe also conducted an interview with the National Journal, a Washington Beltway news magazine, about a project it is putting together to provide an economic report card for each of the 50 states. Crowe discussed the types of housing indicators to include.
- NAHB tax economist Rob Dietz on Sept. 6 conducted an interview with KGO Radio in San Francisco on the mortgage interest deduction.
- The Quad-City Times published a story on a study released by NAHB and the Quad Cities Home Builders Association and Remodelers Council that indicated that home building not only pays for itself, but that its economic effect adds new income and jobs to the local economy and generates revenue for local government. The story cited NAHB economist Elliot Eisenberg, who said that every 280 single-family homes built in Rock Island and Scott counties in 2011 will generate a cumulative $37.8 million in revenue compared with only $22.7 million in costs over the next 15 years.