The National Association of Realtors has joined a coalition of heavyweights, including the National Association of Home Builders and the American Association of Retired Persons, in urging Congress and the president to provide more affordable housing opportunities.

Other signatories include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, Financial Services Forum, Habitat for Humanity International, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, National Housing Conference, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., Nueva Esperanza and the PMI Group.

The letter, delivered Tuesday, states, “Despite the tremendous strides we have made in housing and home ownership, there remain challenges. The gap in home ownership for minorities is still too high. For too many Americans, incomes have failed to keep pace with housing costs. And regulatory barriers often serve to discourage innovation and investment.

The letter also calls for “a national housing agenda” to overcome the barriers to affordable housing. “We think that most Americans agree that this is the time for a vigorous national effort on housing.”

In the fall, NAR hosted a National Summit on Housing Opportunities to foster a discussion on national affordable housing issues. At that summit, participants discussed a survey that highlighted a public desire to provide more affordable housing for renters and homeowners.

NAR President Walt McDonald said, “This confirms what Realtors are hearing in their communities – people are truly concerned about the impact of high housing costs on their lives, their families, their jobs and the economy.”

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