NAHB voices support of rate cut

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) voiced support of what it called the Federal Reserve Board’s “aggressive action” to cut interest rates by 75 basis points this week.

The group said it strongly supports Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s statements made before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 22, encouraging Congress to move to “swiftly address the current housing crisis through legislation.”

Paulson urged Congress to approve three pieces of legislation: to increase the availability of affordable FHA mortgages; to enact comprehensive reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allows them to temporarily buy larger home loans in high-cost markets; and to allow cities and states to issue tax-exempt mortgage bonds to refinance existing loans to help troubled borrowers.

“The Federal Reserve has set the tone by taking a decisive step to cut interest rates; now it’s time for Congress to move quickly and pass these three bills,” said NAHB president Brian Catalde, a home builder from El Segundo, Calif. “The Fed rate cut, action on these three bills and enacting an economic stimulus package is absolutely vital to restore consumer and business confidence.”