The 2016 election will likely be noted in the annals of history as one unparalleled in modern politics, in terms of unpredictability. True to its unpredictable form, this season more individuals and organizations have engaged in the political process in ways that they had not previously. Case in point, previously the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) had steered clear of getting involved in individual congressional races. But now that has changed. The NAHB is throwing it's hat in the ring and endorsing congressional candidates for the first time in its history.
In September, DS News spoke with Jerry Howard, CEO of NAHB, about the reason behind these first-time endorsements and what they would be looking for in endorsement candidates. Now the wait is over – the NAHB has finally released the list of candidates they will be endorsing for the U.S. House and Senate in the upcoming November elections, choosing 135 candidates.
NAHB Chairman Ed Brady says that the candidates chosen have demonstrated their commitment to make housing and homeownership a national priority and to advance policies that will put families in homes and spur job and economic growth.“The housing recovery has been sluggish at best and that is in large part due to the failure of our elected officials to act on some very important issues so we've decided to look at each and every congressional race with our local associations in those districts and determine whether or not there is either a candidate or an encompass that is worthy of our endorsement,” said Howard. “It is an endorsement that is based upon their pro-housing stance regardless of what party they are a member of.”
But the endorsement class skews Republican. The group endorsed 109 candidates for the House of Representatives from 32 different states. Eighty-eight of the candidates were on the Republican ticket. Likewise, 13 of the 14 Senate candidates with the NAHB stamp of approval hail from the Republican Party.
The group says that they took the step of endorsing candidates for the first time in their 74-year history because they believe “Congress has failed to adequately address the nation’s housing problems, even though housing is a key driver of the nation’s economy and accounts for 15 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.”
"Our rational is that as we have come out of the Great Recession, we have taken very strong note of the fact that as the housing industry burned, Congress fiddled and we are of the mindset now that the next congress needs to look at housing seriously, recognizing its importance to both the economy and to the social fabric of our country and take actions that are long overdue,” said Howard.
NAHB urges these members of the new 115th Congress to specifically reform and streamline the regulatory process, ensure that any tax reform efforts protect vital housing tax initiatives, ease tight credit conditions for home buyers, and enact comprehensive housing finance reform.
“I am very proud of our NAHB Board of Directors for taking the important step to endorse pro-business and pro-housing members and candidates for Congress. Well done,” Brady said. “Continue to support pro-housing candidates from both parties! Most importantly, express our treasured freedom: the opportunity to cast your vote. It is a responsibility to take seriously.”