WASHINGTON – Feb. 26, 2008 – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) expressed support of President Obama’s broadened focus of the nation’s economic recovery that stresses housing stability and making health care an important component of his economic revitalization strategy, in addition to “restarting lending” and preventing foreclosures.
“We fully agree with President Obama’s emphasis that housing is the backbone of our national economy,” says NAR President Charles McMillan. “As he said, when a family buys a home, workers are hired to build it. Those workers spend money and open businesses. As a result, investors return. In short, housing is the key to revitalizing America and we pledge to work with him to help jumpstart our economy.”
Initial steps taken by the Obama administration and the 111th Congress to begin stabilizing the housing market meet many of NAR’s policy recommendations. NAR called for lowering interest rates, reducing preventable foreclosures and reinstating the higher loan limits for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, NAR was the leading advocate for increasing and improving the home buyer tax credit.
“All of these measures will help stabilize housing values and allow the housing market to begin to strengthen and the economy to begin to heal. This will improve communities and create jobs,” McMillan says.
NAR has long advocated providing health insurance to millions of Americans. “Health care for small businesses and the self employed has been a high priority for NAR, and one that we hope will be fully addressed by the president and administration this year. Small businesses provide millions of jobs and are the engines behind the U.S. economy,” adds McMillan.
Although much of the President’s and the country’s focus is on the nation’s financial and housing markets, providing affordable health care to America’s working families should not be delayed any longer. Nearly 30 percent of NAR’s members are without health care insurance and the primary reason given is cost.
“We are eager to work with President Obama and the Congress to help rectify the health care situation while continuing to address the need to help people avoid foreclosures and stay in their homes,” McMillan said.