New Jersey Congressman Leonard Lance, R-7, has accepted a Defender of Housing Award from the National Association of Home Builders and the Metropolitan Builders and Contractors Association of New Jersey, also known as Metro. The award was given this morning at a ceremony in front of 25 Mill Street, a condominium community under construction in in Bernardsville, N.J.

Representative Leonard Lance accepts a Defender of Housing Award.

"Mr. Lance is among a group of Congress members who have built a strong record of defending housing from unnecessary laws and regulations that drive up the cost of homes," said Philip A. Calinda Jr., president of Metro, at the ceremony. "His positions and defense of common sense make it easier for families to achieve the American Dream of home ownership."

The NAHB’s Defender of Housing Awards are given to federal legislators who continually support positions which the NAHB shares on issues involving the housing industry. Candidates for the award are nominated by local and state home builders’ associations and chosen by a panel of NAHB leaders. New Jersey congressmen Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11, Frank LoBiondo, R-2, and Chris Smith, R-4 will also receive Defender of Housing Awards this year, in addition to senators and representatives from 33 other states.

In his statement at the ceremony, Lance expressed his support for the home building industry. “It's incredibly important that all Americans have the opportunity to have the housing of their choice," he said. "It's incredibly important that housing be affordable. And it's incredibly important that those who build our dwellings have to opportunity to do so without undue red tape and regulation." Lance also called for a greater focus on tax reform in the presidential debate.

Last year, an NAHB report found that the construction of a 25-home rental community would generate $3 million in local income, $550,000 in local taxes, and 40 local jobs. On a yearly basis, the community would provide a recurring $650,000 in local income, $125,750 in local taxes and 11 local jobs. While these statistics are not directly applicable to 25 Mill Street, the condominium project was presented to Lance as an example of the positive impact of new home construction.

Barry S. Solondz of DCL holdings pointed out that he was using more than 40 subcontractors in the project, generating many local jobs, while Calinda noted the project’s energy efficiency, walkability, and proximity to public transportation.