Homes Online From protecting wildlife to framing a house—and everything in between—kids across the country now can bring the home building process to life in an interactive environment with the launch of the NAHB's “Homes of Our Own” online coloring book, developed by the NAHB Women's Council.

The new virtual coloring book, which can be found at, helps children learn the process of building homes and find out how builders protect the environment. They even get to draw and color pictures of their own homes in an online setting.

“This technology teaches children valuable lessons about building and the environment in a way that is fun and interactive,” says Lee Terry, chair of the NAHB Women's Council.

Clean Water The federal government may not impose regulations over non-navigable waters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has decided, which directly contradicts previous circuit court decisions. The NAHB has called on the Supreme Court to resolve the debate as other branches of government have refused to issue policy language, guidance, or rules on Clean Water Act jurisdiction.

In U.S. vs. Needham, the Fifth Circuit ruled that “the Clean Water Act and the Oil Pollution Act are not so broad as to permit the federal government to impose regulations over ‘tributaries' that are neither themselves navigable nor truly adjacent to navigable waters. Consequently, in this circuit the United States may not simply impose regulations over puddles, sewers, roadside ditches, and the like.”

New Director The NAHB commends the U.S. Senate for confirming the nomination of Alicia R. Castaneda to serve as a director of the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB), which regulates the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

“The FHFB will clearly benefit from Ms. Castaneda's knowledge of community financing issues,” says Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of the NAHB.

Record Year New-home construction in 2003 reached 1.848 million units, the highest in 25 years and 8.4 percent above starts for 2002.

“The strength in housing in 2003 was concentrated in single-family unit starts, while condominium units in multifamily structures gained ground,” says NAHB chief economist David Seiders.

Credit Bill To help the White House achieve its goal of 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010, the NAHB supports homeownership tax credit legislation that will facilitate development in inner cities, struggling suburbs, and isolated rural areas.

“Passage of this vital housing bill would [help] bridge the gap between what it costs to build homes in lower-income neighborhoods and the price that buyers in those neighborhoods can afford to pay,” says Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of the NAHB.