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NAHB Chair Says NO to Raising Mortgage Fees

Statement From NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen on Proposal to Raise Mortgage
Fees to Pay for the Payroll Tax Extension

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 - Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association
of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Reno, Nev., today issued
the following statement on a congressional plan to raise fees charged by
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and use them to help pay for an extension of
this year's payroll tax cut through 2012:

"Congress is essentially proposing to raise taxes on millions of
potential home buyers in order to pay for a payroll tax cut and other
non-housing legislative initiatives. With the housing market struggling
to regain its footing, such a short-sighted move would be extremely
counterproductive and threaten the fragile economic recovery. 

"The guarantee fees (g-fees) that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge
lenders to protect against credit-related losses should not be used for
purposes unrelated to the safety and soundness of the housing finance
system.

"Just as we are beginning to see modest signs of improvement in
scattered housing markets across the nation where employment is gaining
and consumer confidence is rising, Congress is tampering with g-fees and
needlessly raising the cost of buying a home. This will jeopardize the
tenuous rebound and is the last thing this economy needs."

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a
Washington-based trade association representing more than 160,000
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 800 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. 

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