Monday Morning Briefing Letter - 03/08/2004 (Plain Text Version)
By Bobby Rayburn, NAHB President and
Momentum keeps building for a homeownership tax credit
that would cover up to 50% of the cost of building a new home or rehabilitating an existing property in distressed areas.
With 43 cosponsors now lined up for either or both of the two homeownership tax credit bills in the Senate (S. 198 and S. 875), Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) wrote a letter at the end of February to the remaining 57 members of the Senate to urge their support for the legislation. The "Dear Colleague" letter noted that President Bush strongly backs the proposal. NAHB also prepared a companion letter on behalf of the 40 groups represented by the Community Homeownership Credit Coalition (CHCC). In it, we voiced our strong support for the measure and urged the undecideds to join their 43 colleagues in the Senate and 250 colleagues in the House who favor the creation of this new single-family homeownership tax credit. NAHB also led a CHCC meeting with Senate Finance Committee staffers on Feb. 26. Contact Marty Morris for more at x8470.
The writing's on the wall: Wetland regulators, get your act together!
NAHB members will be glad to know that a new report from the congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) confirms what we've been saying all along that government regulators, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers, have been inconsistently applying federal wetlands law across their various districts. The report takes the EPA and Corps to task for inadequate staff guidance on how to apply wetlands regulations following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision (SWANCC) that limited government jurisdiction over isolated waters. True to form, the agencies have committed to collecting more data on this issue but NAHB says, enough is enough! Instead of dragging their feet, the regulators need to take the lead in providing a clear and consistent description of what is, and is not, in their jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee, requested the GAO report and is also calling for quick action to resolve the problems it identifies. Contact: Chandler Morse (x8327). [return to top]
Condos are still the darlings of the multifamily market
while conditions on the rental side are also finally showing signs of improvement, according to NAHB's latest Multifamily Market Index (MMI), released on March 3. The for-sale component of the index moved up six points at the end of 2003, while the index gauging demand for Class A apartments moved up nearly 5 points from the previous quarter. Multifamily builders also registered more optimism this time regarding prospects for improvement among the market-rate and affordable apartment segments over the next six months. NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders explained it this way: "Historically, rental apartment demand has been dependent on job growth. While the recession has been over for a while, we haven't seen enough job growth to fuel strong rental demand, but with improving economic indicators, we hope to see a turnaround soon." See our press release or contact Gopal Ahluwalia (x8480). [return to top]
2004 Committee, Council and Leadership Directories are online
and easily searchable by anyone logged on as an NAHB member to www.nahb.org. Get contact information for your National Vice President, State Representative and more, just by typing in the person's last name, their NAHB title or a state they represent. You can also download the directories in their entirety, sorted by either name or role. To access the directories, follow the links provided for committees and councils or leadership (executive board members) or just go to our home page and type "committee directory" or "leadership directory" in the search box. Contact: Cynthia McKinley Brown, x8346. [return to top]
Are YOU ready to deal with the media?
NAHB's respected Spokesperson Training Program can teach you the latest in interviewing and public speaking techniques to make your next public presentation or interaction with a reporter go as smoothly as possible. Your next chance to get this training is at NAHB's Spring Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, DC this April. One Presentation Skills session will be on Wed., April 28, while two Interview Skills sessions will be held on Thursday and Friday, April 29 and 30, respectively. Cost is $375 per attendee, and you DO need to register in advance. Word to the wise: these workshops fill up fast! Contact Rhonda Brown (x8061) to get signed up or to find out how to arrange for on-site training at your local HBA. [return to top]
Can't-miss events on the horizon...
NAHB's 2004 Spring Legislative Conference is April 28 in Washington, DC. This is our biggest grassroots lobbying event of the year, and an incredibly important part of your schedule for the spring board meeting. Like last year, we'll start with a short interactive briefing session at the headquarters hotel, followed immediately by pre-arranged visits to legislators' offices on Capitol Hill. Visit our Legislative Conference page on www.nahb.org or call x8470 for more info.
NAHB's Family Build is April 24-29 in Washington, DC. Volunteer now to participate on one or more days of this great Habitat for Humanity event a new tradition for our Spring Board of Directors Meeting. Bobby and Annette would love to see you there, so check out the sign-up form and additional information online or contact Shari Smith at x8308.
It's also not too late to attend the following events this month:
National Green Building Conference Log Homes Council President's Tour
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.NAHB.org | ©2003, National Association of Home Builders