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National industry appointments update - 7/9/2007

National Mortgage Professional
Jul 10, 2007

Affordable housing a high priorityMortgagePress.comZogby poll, Housing America 2007, Mortgage Bankers Association, affordable housing Nine out of 10 Americans cite affordable housing as a high priority, and more than half believe housing policy with respect to the provision of affordable housing is on the wrong track, according to a new Zogby America poll. The poll was commissioned by a coalition of public, private and non-profit advocacy groups in conjunction with the commencement of a nationwide affordable housing awareness campaign, Housing America 2007. "Without a doubt, there are opportunities available to provide a decent home and suitable living for all Americans; however, these developments face numerous challenges and lenders are continuously searching for ways to fill the gaps and make them economically viable communities," said Jonathan L. Kempner, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). "Raising awareness on this issue is something that MBA can support and we are proud to be a part of this initiative." For a growing and more economically diverse number of families, children, seniors and persons with disabilities, affordable housing in quality communities is illusionary. Housing America 2007 aims to raise public consciousness of the critical role of housing and community development initiatives and the fundamental benefits the nation receives from these activities. From March 21-April 9, affordable housing advocates across the country participated in the campaign by sponsoring events or activities designed to highlight the critical affordable housing shortage and the need for programs, policies and resources to more effectively address local housing needs. The poll results released underscore America's affordable housing crisis. One-third of respondents cited having a decent, affordable place to live as their number one priority. The poll also shows that affordable housing will affect the way Americans vote. Seventy-five percent said that presidential candidates' ideas for providing more affordable housing were important in determining for whom they would vote. Nearly seven in 10 said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who had articulated a detailed plan for providing affordable housing. "Without question, [the] poll announcement emphasizes that addressing affordable housing is an urgent need and a priority for families nationwide," said Conrad Egan, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, a member of the coalition of organizations that released the results of the Zogby poll. "Although affordable housing was often considered a lower level concern, it has inevitably emerged, given the effect on so many more families, as a topic that will be a principal concern for Americans when they vote in 2008 at the local, state and federal levels." The groups have united in the Housing America 2007 campaign to address the housing needs of a nation in which an estimated 754,000 are homeless on any given night, and minimum wage earners are unable to afford a one-bedroom home anywhere in the country. Housing America 2007 asks that we, as a nation, recommit ourselves to a goal of meeting the housing needs of all Americans. For more information, visit www.nahro.org.
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