Barry Rutenberg

Chairman of the Board, NAHB

Washington, D.C.
Barry Rutenberg Chairman of the Board, NAHB Washington, D.C.

All of us, I believe, strive to ensure that our children, grandchildren, and the generations to follow have an opportunity to achieve and experience a better quality of life than our own.

Whether it’s housing, education, or any number of other factors, we want to know that with hard work and dedication, our kids can surpass—or at least match—our own standard of living. Unfortunately, where homeownership is concerned, that legacy is increasingly in doubt.

Americans overwhelmingly support homeownership because they know that it is critical in providing financial security and upward mobility for families, promotes community stability, strengthens the economy, and creates jobs.

Nevertheless, tax, legislative, and regulatory policies now under consideration would scale back or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction and make mortgages and small business loans much less affordable and even more difficult to obtain. If these proposals become reality, homeownership will be stripped of its long-standing status as a national priority, and it will become significantly harder for all but the wealthy to achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Inevitably, some creditworthy, financially responsible families will be forced to delay homeownership or even give up hope of ever owning a home.

To focus attention on the many threats to homeownership and inspire members and the public to take action to protect it, the NAHB recently launched a new website, The website provides details about the most serious threats to homeownership and documents its importance to individual households and to local, state, and national economies. Equally important, it helps empower members and the public to take positive action to prevent homeownership from becoming just another footnote in the history books.


People visiting the site can sign a petition urging policymakers to keep housing a national priority. You can find the petition at, and I urge you to get online, sign the petition, and encourage your friends, family, and business contacts to do the same. Every additional name multiplies the petition’s impact and strengthens the message we are sending to policymakers. also includes extensive information about homeownership rallies that are being held in a number of cities before the November elections and provides coverage of rallies that have already occurred. In this key election year, it’s extremely important that lawmakers and candidates for office at all levels of government understand that the majority of voters strongly support homeownership and are aware that it contributes significantly to the nation’s well-being. The homeownership rallies vividly demonstrate the depth of the nation’s commitment to housing. Generally conducted by state and local HBAs with organizational assistance from the NAHB, these rallies bring together people who support homeownership, generate positive media coverage, and reinforce to lawmakers that homeownership should be a national priority. Homeownership rallies are scheduled for Tampa, Fla.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Columbus, Ohio; Richmond, Va., and Las Vegas. You can learn how to participate in a rally and see what happened at previous rallies at

Additionally, the site provides easy access to social media where you can get quick updates and join the conversation about homeownership. You can also find these great resources at and

As the Great Recession has shown all of us, there are no guarantees in life or in business. However, I believe that it is possible—with the strength of the NAHB behind us—to ensure that the next generation has a reasonable opportunity to achieve homeownership. The way I see it, any other legacy is unthinkable.