By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Record Breaker

Though early estimates for the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas were 80,000, the final count was a record-breaking attendance of 92,064.

The NAHB/NCHI's New American Home also beat all previous attendance records for an off-site home, at 2,730 visitors.

Bob's Blueprint

Unintentional injury is the No. 1 killer of America's children; more than 4.5 million children are injured in their homes every day. The NAHB and HIT Entertainment, the company that distributes the children's television show "Bob the Builder," have teamed up to co-sponsor Bob the Builder's "Blueprints for Home Safety" program. "We have a unique opportunity to reach children with messages of home safety through Bob the Builder, whose positive, can-do message fits perfectly with an education campaign designed to foster home safety awareness among children and adults," said Gary Garczynski, 2002 NAHB president and a builder/developer from Woodbridge, Va. "We are pleased to join with HIT Entertainment on such a worthwhile program that has the potential to reach millions of preschool children."

Report Questioned

The NAHB expressed serious concerns about recommendations published in January by the Financial Services Roundtable that it feels could seriously hamper the ability of the housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to operate effectively.

At issue is the Roundtable's claim that the housing GSEs have fulfilled their Congressional mandate, and government-sponsored status is no longer needed. The NAHB feels there are still many underserved sectors of the housing market, including minority home buyers and those trying to provide quality, workforce housing. Until these gaps are filled, it says, the GSEs should be encouraged to do more to provide affordable housing assistance, not be restricted or eliminated.

Go Exports

On Jan. 23, Linda Conlin, assistant secretary of commerce for trade development with the Commerce Department, and Gary Garczynski, 2002 NAHB president, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a framework for a public/ private partnership designed to encourage and support the growth of U.S. exports in the building industry sector.

The MOU will combine Commerce Department and NAHB resources to better promote U.S. building materials, housing, and home construction technologies and services to world markets, through conferences, exhibitions, seminars, site visits, trade missions, and other related trade events.

Red Tape Removed

As of Jan. 22, FHA no longer requires approval of an entire Planned Unit Development as a precondition for placing FHA mortgage insurance on a dwelling located within the development. The NAHB applauded HUD's change in policy, saying it will reduce regulatory barriers and make FHA mortgage insurance available to more home buyers.