Builders Urge Congress to Pursue Pro-Housing Policies

June 6th, 2013 by DWM Magazine

According to a recent release issued by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), members of NAHB told members of Congress that new-home production and remodeling contributes billions of dollars to the national economy each year, and having the correct policies in place can act as a mechanism to boost employment and economic growth.

“How lawmakers and regulators deal with tax reform, home energy codes and the availability of building materials will go a long way to ensure a robust, long-term recovery for housing and the economy,” says NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a homebuilder and developer from Charlotte, N.C., in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

NAHB says it advocates the goals of some members of Congress to reform the tax code and believes lawmakers should maintain existing-housing tax incentives.

“Any policy change that makes it harder to buy a home, or delays the purchase of a home until an older age, will have a significant long-term impact on household wealth accumulation and the makeup of the middle class as a whole,” says Judson.

“As most home owners benefit from the mortgage-interest deduction and most of that benefit flows to younger families, weakening the deduction and making homeownership less accessible is likely to diminish the financial success of future generations,” he adds.

NAHB says it is urging building code officials to reinstate energy-neutral equipment efficiency trade-offs in the performance path of the International Energy Conservation Code to allow builders to more cost-effectively construct energy-efficient homes.

Additionally, the rising cost of building materials—most notably for framing lumber, oriented strand board and gypsum—are decreasing affordability and preventing builders from meeting the growing demand for new homes, the association says.

“Any effort to ease escalating price pressures, help rebuild the supply chain and support a continuing housing recovery is effective economic policy,” says Judson.

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