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Published: Thursday, 8/12/2004

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Recent studies suggest that affordable housing will be a key election issue this year.


According to the second National Housing Opportunity Pulse, a national survey conducted for the National Association of REALTORS , two out of three Americans are so concerned about the cost of housing in their communities that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who works to make housing more affordable.

Affordable housing ranks as voters third greatest concern, just behind health care and the economy.

The survey found that 81 percent of voters would like to see government place a higher priority on making housing more renters and homeowners alike.

By a wide margin, Americans support the construction of more affordable housing, both rental and ownership, in their communities if the housing fits in with the area.

Three out of four Americans are concerned about the impact the rising cost of housing has on teachers, firemen, police and others on whom communities depend, and 70 percent support the construction of affordable homes for these employees.

The first National Housing Opportunity Pulse survey, released in September 2003, also showed that 69 percent of voters gave their federal elected officials a grade of C for not working to improve the availability of affordable housing.

Real estate professionals across the nation, including members of the Toledo Board of REALTORS , work tirelessly to advance homeownership and housing opportunities for all people. Among the programs REALTORS support:

The Housing Opportunity Program, which focuses on narrowing the homeownership gap through coalition building, research, training and communication.

The HOPE (Home Ownership Participation for Everyone) Awards Program, which honors those who are making outstanding contributions to increasing minority homeownership.

Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity to build an affordable house in every congressional district through the Congress Building America program and for a family at each of NAR s annual convention cities.

The Ambassador to Cities Programs. NAR s partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors Council for the New American City is designed to expand housing opportunities and homeownership in four to six cities this year, and more in 2005.

Advancing legislation such as the recently passed American Dream Downpayment Act, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and improvements to the Federal Housing Administration s mortgage insurance program. Here, in Ohio, REALTORS have been strong supporters of Ohio Housing Trust Fund and similar affordable housing efforts.

The issue of affordable housing is rightfully a key election issue this year however the real estate professionals in the Toledo Board of REALTORS are working hard to make sure housing remains a priority for years to come.

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