The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
With the South Carolina GOP presidential primary just around the corner, more than 900 people rallied on the statehouse grounds in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 12 to focus attention on critical housing issues in the current campaign season.
NAHB and its local affiliates — the Home Builders Association of South Carolina and the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia — were joined by politicians, consumer advocates, the Urban League, the NAACP, Realtors, the local Chamber of Commerce and others at the “Rally for Homeownership” to voice concern over proposed tax, legislative and regulatory measures — such as eliminating the mortgage interest deduction — and mortgage lending proposals that threaten the American Dream of homeownership and the nation’s economic recovery.
Demonstrating support for homeownership across the political spectrum, the event was attended by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and former Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.).
“To have such a diverse group of organizers is indicative of the fact that homeownership crosses all partisan lines, all cultures and all communities,” said Clyburn. “Homeownership is about building the foundation on which to rest the American Dream.”
Gingrich and about 1,000 concerned citizens signed a petition to preserve national housing policies supporting homeownership.
“For most Americans, the ability to buy a home, to have their own property, to have a sense of belonging, is one of the greatest achievements of their life,” said Gingrich. “It gives them a place to root their children and their grandchildren, and have a better future.”
Survey Finds State Voters Value Homeownership
A new statewide poll commissioned by NAHB has found that voters in the Palmetto State believe that owning a home remains an integral part of the American Dream and that policymakers need to take active steps to protect homeownership.
(Results of that survey mirror those of a nationwide poll by NAHB covered in a related story in this issue of Nation’s Building News.)
“South Carolina’s voters are sending a clear message that the opportunity to own a home remains a cherished ideal and the government has an important role to play to keep homeownership affordable for hard-working American families,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
“That’s a message we hope candidates running at all levels of government this November will heed,” he said.
The polling found that 98% of South Carolina home owners are happy with their decision to purchase a home and 79% of all voters believe that despite the risk of ups and downs in the housing market, owning a home is one of the best long-term investments they can make.
Moreover, 65% of the respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who proposed eliminating the mortgage interest deduction and 73% believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to provide tax incentives to promote homeownership.
Among the other survey results:
- 99% of home owners said that it is important that they own their own home.
- Homeownership and a retirement savings program are considered by voters to be their best investments.
- Nearly three out of four voters who are not currently home owners — 73% — said it was a goal of theirs to buy a home.
- 64% believe it is appropriate and reasonable for the federal government to help home buyers afford a long-term or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
- 68% of voters would oppose eliminating or reducing tax deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction in exchange for a lower federal income tax rate if it meant that their final tax bill would be higher.