NAACP & National Association of Home Builders Address Affordable Housing Need, Prepare for Fall Symposium

April 5, 2007

Effective deterrents to predatory lending, land banks that make lots available for housing, broad-based consumer education efforts and a revitalized Federal Housing Authority ? are a few of the many ideas generated and refined in a recent roundtable discussion on housing affordability conducted in Washington, D.C.

Co-hosted by the NAACP and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the roundtable discussion drew expertise from leadership at the nation's leading housing advocacy groups.

"The roundtable discussion was a critical first step in determining how we move the affordable housing issue from a policy discussion at the national level to a movement that makes a real difference in the lives of families across the nation," said Dennis Hayes, Interim President & CEO of the NAACP. "We view this issue from a broader context and seek to determine the larger social costs of current development patterns. We don't want to encourage policies that promote economic disassociation."

Discussion ranged from sub-prime lending to the production of affordable rental housing, from weak federal housing programs to local zoning practices. Participants agreed that the lack of affordable housing will grow worse without concerted action by both public and private sector institutions.

"The immediate challenge is to make sure that policy makers at all levels of government are aware of the increasing demand for affordable housing, then give them a set of clear and concise recommendations to meet that need," said Brian Catalde, NAHB president and a home builder based in El Segundo, Calif.

Other roundtable participants included:

? Enterprise Community Partners

? Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

? Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

? Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBAA)

? National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)

? National Association of Realtors (NAR)

? National Housing Conference (NHC)

Participants agreed to hold a two-day symposium in the fall that is designed to generate policy recommendations that a broad coalition of organizations can endorse.

"The challenge will be ensuring that the ideas generated at the symposium are addressed by Congress and the President," Hayes added. "We will continually work with other advocacy organizations and policy makers to ensure that homeownership, a central component of the 'American Dream,' is not an illusive vision, but a reality for those that seek it."

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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