Community Associations Institute (CAI) announced today that the 29,000-member organization has joined the Fix Housing First coalition, a national effort to address the current housing crisis and broader economic downturn.
The Fix Housing First coalition brings together a variety of stakeholders—including homeowners associations, builders, manufacturers, suppliers and others—united by the concern that home prices and property values continue to decline dramatically across the country, affecting hard-working Americans everywhere.
The Fix Housing First coalition supports a stimulus package that effectively addresses the root of the current economic crisis—housing—by offering incentives to encourage Americans to buy homes again. Specifically, the coalition is urging Congress to adopt a meaningful, non-refundable tax credit and a mortgage rate reduction for all home buyers.
The mortgage foreclosure crisis is having a major impact on homeowner and condominium associations across the country. According to a recent CAI membership survey, 48 percent of association-governed communities face "severe" or "serious" financial issues as a result of the housing crisis.
Close to 60 million people—about one in five of all Americans—live in an estimated 300,000 association-governed communities.
"This crisis is impacting virtually every part of American society—families, community associations, corporate employers and municipalities," says CAI Chief Executive Officer Tom Skiba, CAE. "Meaningful measures are needed now to stem the downward spiral. That's why we are part of this effort to urge strong government action."
The solution proposed by Fix Housing First asks that Congress enhance the Home Buyer Tax Credit for residences purchased between April 2008 and December 2009 to up to 10 percent of home price or $22,000, depending on geography. In addition, buyers should have access to discounted mortgage financing that would encourage eligible home buyers to enter the market.
"Housing is at the root of the financial crisis in our country," says Andrew Fortin, CAI's vice president of government and public affairs. "The government has to take action to increase the current demand for housing. We need to give incentives to home buyers to make their purchase now instead of later. Only that can stop the fall in home values, decrease inventories and, ultimately, restore consumer confidence and spur job creation."
More information on the coalition and its proposal can be found at www.fixhousingfirst.com.
CAI is a national membership organization that represents homeowner and condominium associations, providing education and resources to the volunteer leaders and professionals involved in the governance and management of common-interest communities. CAI members include community association volunteer leaders (board members), community association managers and management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to community associations.
For more information, visit www.caionline.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Blaine TobinPhone: 703-970-9235