Housing Can Be 'Key Engine of Job Growth'

October 6, 2011

The National Association of Home Builders is stressing the need for policymakers to remove anti-housing barriers that they say are preventing a housing market recovery. After all, NAHB says, housing can be the answer policymakers have been searching for in boosting jobs and economic recovery. 

The housing industry can be the “key engine of job growth” the country needs, says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.Nielsen says that constructing just 100 single-family homes can generate more than 300 jobs and $8.9 million in taxes and revenue for state, local, and federal governments.

Yet, Nielsen says the government keeps placing stringent policies that are preventing the housing market from recovering and that are dampening demand and reducing Americans ability to purchase a home, from the tightening of credit and possible stricter down payment qualifications to reducing the conforming loan limit on Oct. 1. 

One of the main hurdles home builders are facing is obtaining credit from banks so they can begin working on new homes. The tightening of credit has brought new-home construction practically to a standstill in many parts of the country. 

Since April 2006, more than 1.4 million residential construction jobs have been lost, according to NAHB. “Yet there is demand for housing in markets that are on the mend," says Nielsen. "Home builders have plenty of shovel-ready jobs set to go but they can't keep their doors open and create jobs in their communities if federal regulators continue to shut off the credit spigot."

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

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