NAHB participation in the national party conventions
is a tremendously worthwhile tradition that helps put housing front-and-center before the candidates and voters in the election season.

Kicking NAHB's political machine into high gear, Bobby and the other Senior Officers attended the Democratic National Convention in Boston last week. We fulfilled our mission of giving housing a definite presence in this high-profile event by holding a spectacular reception that was attended by political leaders from across the country. We followed up by cosponsoring two convention media briefings held by the National Journal and MSNBC. Also shining the spotlight on housing's importance to America was our clever ad series in the National Journal's "convention daily" publication, which was received by every lawmaker in attendance (examples above). We'll run the same ads and hold another reception at the upcoming Republican Convention in New York. All three of our ads can be viewed online. Read more about it in the Aug. 2 NBN Online, or contact Jay Shackford (x8406) for more information.

A big step forward for the Homeownership Tax Credit
came when the measure was included in the Senate's bipartisan-supported "Heartland Investment and Rural Employment Act" (HIRE), also known as S. 2761, on July 22. NAHB applauded Senate Finance Committee Chariman Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) for including the provision in the larger bill as a means of increasing affordable housing production. The Homeownership Tax Credit, referred to in the current bill as the "Community Homeownership Credit," is a top NAHB legislative priority, and its inclusion marks an important victory for us because of the implications for its future movement. NAHB was also successful in reducing the 10% credit set-aside for nonprofits to 7.5%. Read about it in our press release, or contact Marty Morris at x8285. [return to top]

New-home sales were riding high in June,
according to the latest Commerce Department report, released July 27. Strong buyer demand for homes, brought on by improving job growth and consumer confidence as well as solid home-price appreciation, resulted in a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.33 million sales in June, down just slightly from May's 1.34 million-unit rate. Taken together, the May-June period easily set a record for most homes sold in a two-month segment. At any rate, it now appears nearly certain that home sales for 2004 will best the record set last year. See our press release. [return to top]

Everything you ever wanted to know about log homes
is available at the click of your mouse just by visiting the NAHB Log Homes Council's Internet portal. The group recently spiffed up its image on the Web and is offering a newly updated, free publication to consumers called "The Log Home: An American Dream." This 18-pager provides useful information on buying, building and maintaining log homes. Members can download a complimentary e-copy, or purchase quantities of the printed edition by calling x8576. [return to top]

Using faxes to communicate with clients and members
would remain a permissible activity for small businesses and trade associations under the NAHB-supported Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2004, which was passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives last week. The Act relieves the excessive regulatory burden of the new FCC rule mandating that all faxes be authorized by a written and signed consent form from the intended recipient. That rule, which is part of the agency's anti-telemarketing campaign, becomes effective at year-end 2004. The legislation, H.R. 4600, creates an "established business relationship" exception to the general rule against unsolicited commercial faxes, allowing NAHB members to communicate via fax with existing customers without the burdensome regulatory requirements. Also, for NAHB and its state and local affiliates, H.R. 4600 would allow legitimate communication with all of our 215,000 members regardless of consent forms. Companion legislation in the Senate passed out of committee just prior to the House action. We'll keep you apprised heading forward. Contact: Jim Tobin, x8258. [return to top]

Three important dates to keep in mind:

Sept. 29
Forum on the Future of Tax Credit Properties
This event, held during NAHB's Fall Board of Directors Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, will explore the future of Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties after their 15-year federal affordability mandate expires. Multifamily property owners, investors and state housing finance professionals who are considering their options for the best use of these units can get answers from a panel of industry experts assembled by NAHB's Housing Credit Group. Get details online, or contact Carmel McGuire at x8207.

Nov. 1 
 Deadline to enter NAHB's 2005 Pillars of the Industry Awards competition
Apartment owners and developers, property managers, architects, interior designers and others involved in the multifamily housing industry are invited to submit entries to this prestigious contest. More information is available via our news release. Eligibility requirements and applicaiton forms are available at

Dec. 8   Close to Home: A Symposium on Workforce Housing
Bobby and Freddie Mac Chairman Richard Syron will host an important media event spotlighting the challenges to building affordable and well-located homes for working families. It all happens at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. This is an invitation-only event; if you'd like to attend or get more information, please contact Blake Smith at x8583.

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August 2, 2004

By Bobby Rayburn
NAHB President and
Jerry Howard
NAHB Executive VP and CEO
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