If I had to choose a single word to characterize the way that I feel about serving as the 2010 chairman of the NAHB, it would be “proud.”
The day I was sworn in as chairman was one of the proudest days of my life, and over the past year, that pride has deepened immeasurably.
Most of all, I am proud of the NAHB’s members. I have visited HBAs throughout the nation and met thousands of builders and associates working in every aspect of the housing industry. Many are struggling to keep their businesses afloat. Against the worst possible odds—and in a very difficult business environment—they are persevering. They haven’t given up and are facing each day’s challenges with resolve and dignity. That demands extraordinary courage and commitment.
I am also extremely proud of the NAHB’s accomplishments. Despite significant challenges due to the conditions in the housing market, we have been working hard to serve members’ needs and making progress in the effort to get the housing industry moving again.
We were instrumental in pushing for an extension of the home buyer tax credit for first-time buyers and getting it expanded to repeat buyers. In one of the worst years on record for housing, this much-needed stimulus spurred almost 200,000 additional home sales that would not have occurred otherwise.
We have also worked extremely hard to end the credit crunch for AD&C funding that has put a stranglehold on the industry and is killing jobs and home building companies. With regulators pushing banks to limit their real estate portfolios, increasing numbers of sound residential construction projects are being derailed, and many builders are being forced out of business as a result. Solving this intractable problem has been—and remains—the NAHB’s No. 1 priority.
Another of the NAHB’s top priorities has been ensuring that flawed appraisals don’t thwart the housing recovery. Inaccurate home appraisals are a serious problem for builders, as sales of foreclosed and distressed homes continue to drive down new-home values and disrupt sales in many markets.
I’m proud to report that we have made sound progress on this issue, and our efforts are ongoing as we work to ensure that new homes are valued appropriately and to restore equilibrium and growth to the struggling housing market.
Looking to the future, protecting our industry’s interests during the debate over reform of the government sponsored enterprises will be a major priority, and it appears likely that the mortgage interest deduction will face threats related to deficit reduction efforts.
Just as I am proud of the successes and progress we have made on issues affecting our members, I am confident that the NAHB has the strength, direction, and capable leadership necessary to continue to meet members’ needs and deal with these and any other important issues that emerge.
I am proud and deeply honored that I have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the NAHB’s leadership team since 2007 and am looking forward to continuing our association’s invaluable work on behalf of members as immediate past chairman.
I want to thank the entire leadership team, the staff, and the NAHB’s members for making my year as chairman both memorable and productive.
Equally important, I want to thank my wife, Carole, my children and their families, and the staff of my company for their generous and unwavering support.