PMI pushes housing recovery plan

The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan that will revive the economy.

Washington - The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan that will revive the economy.

Fix Housing First, consisting of more than 600 organizations, home building companies and manufacturers, continues to add new members on a daily basis and is pressing for a major stimulus package to stem the decline in home values, stabilize financial markets and reignite consumer demand. To get the economy moving again, the coalition is urging Congress to support enhancements to the home buyer tax credit and provide below-market, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for home purchases.

The coalition is also calling for significant enhancements to the current $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers. The improvements include that all primary home purchases between April 9, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009, would be eligible; the credit amount would be increased to 10% of the price of the home, capped at 3.5% of FHA loan limits, bringing the credit to a range of roughly between $10,000 and $22,000; and the current recapture provision would be eliminated. Therefore, repayment would only be required if a home was sold within three years, and the credit would be available at the time of closing, making it easier to be used as a down payment.

The second component of the stimulus plan would provide qualified home buyers with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 2.99% on contracts closed until June 30, 2009, and 3.99% on closings between June 30 and Dec. 31, 2009. The coalition has also announced its support for continuing foreclosure prevention measures to keep people in their homes.

A similar plan worked in 1975 when the nation was also in a recession. Congress then passed a short-term $2,000 tax credit for all new homes ($12,000 adjusted for today's median home prices) with subsidized mortgage rates.

Additional information is available at: www.fixhousingfirst.com.