WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 – Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom builder from LaPlace, La., issued the following statement on the passing of President George H. W. Bush:
“On behalf of all the members of NAHB, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the Bush family. President Bush was an American war hero, a great statesman and an American patriot who embodied the ideals of our nation.
“He was also a true believer in housing. President Bush hosted the NAHB Board of Directors on the South Lawn of the White House to commemorate the association’s 50th anniversary. He said that ‘strong housing can help a strong economy’ and ‘the dream of homeownership keeps the American dream alive.’
“To make these words a reality, President Bush pushed vigorously for policies to ensure that housing would help boost the economy. He championed a $5,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, called for penalty-free withdrawals from IRAs for the purchase of a first home, urged changes in the passive loss tax rules to spur real estate and housing development, and called for an extension of mortgage revenue bonds and the low-income housing tax credit.
“President Bush summed up the importance of a strong housing industry to America when he said: ‘The old adage is coming true: As housing goes, so goes the economy. Owning a home helps America, makes it better, and more caring.’
“The nation’s home builders salute his legacy of a lifetime of service to America.”
The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 140,000 members involved in home building, remodeling, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 700 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB’s builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.