Mississippi builder Bobby Rayburn was elected on Wednesday as 2004 president of the 220,000-member National Association of Home Builders during the association’s 60th annual International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Rayburn, president of Rayburn and Associates in Jackson, has built more than 3,000 homes and apartments throughout Mississippi during his 30-year career, according to a company statement. He is a past president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Hattiesburg and of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi. He was named Builder of the Year by the Hattiesburg Home Builders Association in 1979.

Despite record high home ownership rates and housing’s strong performance in recent years, Rayburn pointed out that the job of housing the nation’s working families is far from complete.

“Millions of families cannot afford to live in the communities where they work,” Rayburn said. “I will dedicate my presidency to helping those working families who struggle to find housing.”

“Work force housing is housing that is affordable for our teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public servants, as well as millions of Americans in the service and retail industries,” Rayburn added. “These people are the heartbeat of the community. They teach our children, keep our streets safe, and provide the services we depend on every day. Many of them are forced to commute long distances, or they live in housing that simply does not meet their needs.”

Rayburn said that NAHB will focus its efforts on policies that support a strong and dynamic housing finance system. In particular, Rayburn said NAHB will be a major player in the ongoing debate over the re-regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “We will fight any legislative proposal that would diminish, impair or otherwise interfere with the efficient operation of the secondary mortgage market,” Rayburn pledged.

Rayburn said NAHB will also address smart growth and balanced land use policies that take into account the ongoing demand for housing created by a growing economy and population. Too often, local governments exclude affordable housing through large lot zoning, urban growth boundaries or other slow-growth mandates that constrain the supply of land and drive up its cost, according to a company statement.

Also elected during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas are 2004 NAHB First Vice President David Wilson, from Ketchum, Idaho; Vice President/Treasurer David Pressly from Statesville, N.C.; and Vice President/Secretary Brian Catalde from Playa del Rey, Calif. 2003 NAHB President Kent Conine, from Dallas, remains on the leadership ladder this year as immediate past president. Rounding out the association’s leadership is NAHB EVP and CEO Jerry Howard, from Washington, D.C.

The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association 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.

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