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Jobs plan ignores housing, economists say

President Obama’s jobs-creation package, unveiled last week and already en route to Congress, is offering no relief for the housing industry, according to economists interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. 

The $447 billion combination of tax cuts and infrastructure spending does not address home sales, prices or stalled residential construction, which many consider to be a root cause of the nation’s economic woes.  

“That's probably the biggest missing ingredient here," said economist Mark Zandi.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said it was “discouraged” that the Obama administration “still fails to recognize” the important role that housing plays in the nation’s work force. In a statement released the day after Obama’s Sept. 8 speech to Congress, NAHB chairman Bob Nielsen, a builder from Reno, Nev., said: “Nothing packs a bigger local economic impact than home building. Constructing 100 average single-family homes generates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income, and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.

"Housing has traditionally led the nation out of past recessions and needs to be playing a far bigger role than it has so far in today's lackluster recovery. That won't happen until federal regulators move to end the credit freeze for new home production, banks allow qualified home buyers access to affordable home loans and policymakers acknowledge there is a clear need to support homeownership and get housing moving again to spur growth, create jobs and restore consumer confidence."