Realtors endorse Obama’s recovery plan including housing stability, health care

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The National Association of RealtorsĆ expressed support of President Obamaís broadened focus of the nationís economic recovery that stresses housing stability and making health care an important component of his economic revitalization strategy, in addition to ěrestarting lendingî and preventing foreclosures.

ěWe fully agree with President Obamaís emphasis that housing is the backbone of our national economy,î said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. ěAs 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.î

Initial steps taken by the Obama administration and the 111th Congress to begin stabilizing the housing market meet many of NARís 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.

ěAll 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,î McMillan said.

NAR has long advocated providing health insurance to millions of Americans. ěHealth 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,î said McMillan.

Although much of the Presidentís and the countryís focus is on the nationís financial and housing markets, providing affordable health care to Americaís working families should not be delayed any longer. Nearly 30 percent of NARís members are without health care insurance and the primary reason given is cost.

ěWe 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,î McMillan said.

As the leading advocate for homeowners and the real estate industry, NAR will continue to address issues facing Americans who are trying to purchase a home, protect their current home or preserve investment opportunities in residential and commercial properties. NAR will also continue its ongoing advocacy efforts for issues important to its members such as available and affordable health care.

ěThere will be no quick fix for our economy, but tackling short-term goals while also addressing long-term strategies will likely be a winning combination,î said McMillan. ěNAR and our members look forward to working with the president to once again bring stability, prosperity and community to Americaís families.î