It’s hard to believe that this critical, unprecedented election—which has gripped the American public and media for months—will come to a head on Nov. 8.
In just a few short weeks, voters nationwide will go to the polls to choose our next president, congressional representatives, and state leaders.
As Election Day nears, I’m proud to say that the NAHB is firmly established as an authoritative representative of the housing industry within both Democratic and Republican political circles. Perhaps most significantly, both parties sent a speaker to our recent Board of Directors meeting to talk about the importance of housing.
The Republican Party nominee, Donald Trump, addressed our board. The fact that an NAHB meeting drew a presidential candidate speaks volumes to our efforts to elevate housing as a national priority in this election.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s campaign sent Gene Sperling, one of Clinton’s top economic advisers.
Every new administration and every new Congress signals a new dynamic in Washington, D.C. The NAHB has been working hard to ensure that housing concerns are at the top of the agenda in that new dynamic.
I had the chance to speak to party officials and other lawmakers when I attended both national conventions this past summer. NAHB also has introduced recent programs that honor officials who have prioritized housing. The Defender of Housing Award recently was given to roughly 120 members of Congress whose actions show they understand and appreciate the significant role that residential construction plays in the national economy.
This election also marks the first time that NAHB has endorsed congressional candidates. This endorsement is a sign to our members and other friends of housing that they should support and vote for a specific candidate because of his or her track record as a pro-housing and pro-business candidate. To clarify, the NAHB does not endorse presidential candidates.
The national office worked closely with state and local HBAs on both of these initiatives—no official received a Defender of Housing Award or NAHB’s endorsement without the support of the local HBA.
NAHB also raises money for BUILD-PAC, its bipartisan political arm that helps elect housing-friendly candidates to federal office. The association is striving to raise $3 million for the PAC in this election cycle.
NAHB takes these actions in the political realm because it knows our elected leaders’ support is critical for the housing industry to continue to move forward. For instance, officials need to take on housing finance reform so that all deserving Americans can access a mortgage. Leaders also need to fight overly burdensome regulations that slow down business operations and raise the price of housing.
It is not too late to ensure that housing is a winner in November. Before heading to the polls, evaluate the candidates and think about who would be the best proponent of the housing industry. Whatever you do, make sure to cast your ballot on Election Day. The stakes are too important to sit this one out.