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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Homebuilder X: By Any Means Necessary

by Tanta on 6/05/2007 08:21:00 AM

From Forbes, "Homebuilders Hit the Hill":

Washington, D.C. - On Wednesday, 1,300 home builders will call on Capitol Hill as part of a legislative conference organized by their trade group, the National Association of Home Builders. They'll do so against a grim industry backdrop.

"For the first summer in many summers, we're not helping to keep unemployment numbers down," says Jerry M. Howard, 51, the NAHB's chief executive. "For the first time in six years, we are a drag on the economy rather than a plus." . . .

"Our strategy is to remind policymakers of our importance in economic and societal terms," he says, "and to convince them to take no action that would exacerbate this downturn in the housing industry."

One area of potential exacerbation: immigration. The NAHB has come out strongly against the proposed immigration overhaul now being considered by the U.S. Senate, particularly its portions cracking down on employers that hire illegal workers, directly or through subcontractors. . . .

Naturally, maintaining government support for home finance is also an area of interest. Another talking point the NAHB reps will take with them to Capitol Hill Wednesday is to defend subprime lending . . . "If we only lent to people with prime credit ratings," counters Howard, "the homeownership rate in this country would be incredibly low."

I see. If we have to have illegal employment practices and predatory lending in order to achieve the American Dream, well, then, dream on . . .