More than 800 builders from across the nation marched on Capitol Hill today for the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Legislative Conference to call on Congress to make housing and homeownership a national priority and to support policies that will keep the housing recovery moving forward.
“Today, builders from coast-to-coast are sending a loud and clear message to members of Congress that a strong housing market is critical to spur job growth and create a vibrant, dynamic economy,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas.
In more than 250 individual meetings with their representatives and senators, builders asked lawmakers to make progress on several key housing issues, including:
- Creating a national flood insurance program that is predictable and affordable.
- Reducing regulations that harm small business.
- Protecting middle class tax breaks that promote homeownership.
- Improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to help meet the nation’s acute need for affordable rental home options.
- Reforming the nation’s housing finance system by transitioning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a private-sector-oriented system, with the federal government acting as a backstop in times of crisis.
- Promoting sensible and cost-effective energy codes.
- Securing a supply of softwood lumber sufficient to meet demand.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, spoke to builders before they met with their lawmakers and said that this year there is “a real opportunity to do something about tax reform.”
Roskam added that House Republicans are working on a tax reform blueprint that would generate economic growth, simplify the tax code, stop erosion of the U.S. tax base so that it is no longer more attractive for U.S. corporations to go overseas, and provide permanency to the tax code to deliver certainty to the business community.
This marks the first year since 2013 that NAHB has held its annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. During the past three years, as part of a nationwide effort to “bring housing home,” builders across the country met with their federal lawmakers in their home districts.