NAHB: Housing jobs key to state and local economic recoveryMortgagePress.comNational Association of Home Builders, economy, employment, Sandy Dunn, development
Job losses and declining tax revenues resulting from the deep
housing slump and the decline in property values require state and
local governments to consider innovative ideas to help put the
housing market back on track, according to Sandy Dunn, chairman of
the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder
from Point Pleasant, W. Va.
"Necessity is indeed the mother of invention during a financial
crisis," Dunn said. "While the federal government has stepped
forward with a series of emergency actions to stabilize and restore
confidence in the financial markets, it's now time for the same
sort of innovative thinking at the local and state levels where
public officials are grappling with budget shortfalls that are
putting a squeeze on spending for everything from schools to public
safety and other essential services."
Such creative thinking, Dunn added, could range from foregoing
impact fees on new development to allowing higher density zoning to
build more affordable housing and streamlining the entire
development review process. It is also important that cities and
counties extend existing zoning approvals while builders work out
financing for new projects.
Any of these measures will help stimulate the housing sector and
boost local economies. "By encouraging new development rather than
penalizing it, local governments will be helping to create a new
business environment that will generate jobs, stabilize property
values and get the housing market back on track," she added.
"Fifteen cents of every dollar spent in this nation is spent on
housing," Dunn said. "It is the engine that runs this country." The
importance of residential construction on local economies can be
seen in a recent study by NAHB economists. The study, which looks
at the impacts of single-family and multifamily home building and
residential remodeling, can be found at www.housingeconomics.com.
The NAHB study estimates that in 2008, on average:
• Construction of 1,000 new single-family homes creates
3,049 jobs and generates more than $89 million in tax and other
revenues for federal, state, and local governments.
• Construction of 1,000 new multifamily rental apartments
creates 1,155 jobs and generates more than $33 million in tax and
other government revenues.
• $100 million worth of residential remodeling activity
creates 1,109 jobs and generates more than $30 million in tax and
other government revenues.
The estimates are based primarily on industry accounts published
by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the national
accounting system that is used to produce official estimates of
Gross Domestic Product.
"This study clearly demonstrates the housing industry's
importance to the U.S. economy," Dunn said. "The fastest, most
effective way to turn this economy around is to shore up the
"There is no easy way out of this economic downturn," Dunn said.
"But in times of crisis we find opportunity. This is the time to be
creative and to work collaboratively. Builders, developers,
lenders, local policy makers and other stakeholders need to work
together to promote smart growth practices that can help us build
vibrant communities that meet the needs of families across the
For more information, visit www.nahb.com.