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NAHB RESPONDS TO WILDERNESS SOCIETY CHARGES

 WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Roger Glunt, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), today issued a statement responding to allegations made by the Wilderness Society that housing and other industry trade groups had intentionally panicked the lumber options market in an effort to raise lumber prices.
 The allegation was made by Karin Sheldon, acting president of the Wilderness Society. At a press conference today she said, "We are today urging the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and appropriate congressional consumer and other oversight committees to consider probing whether housing and trade groups have panicked the lumber options market with false claims about a timber shortage."
 In response to that allegation, Glunt said: "We welcome -- in fact we encourage -- President Clinton to use the full powers of his office to investigate why lumber prices have risen 90 percent over the last five months. Our members and our customers, the nation's prospective home buyers, are outraged by the skyrocketing price of lumber and they want an answer."
 Glunt called on President Clinton to convene, as promised during the campaign, a timber summit as soon as possible. "This would be an appropriate forum to investigate the recent spike in the cost of lumber, which has increased the hard cost of building a typical 2,000 square-foot home by $4,500, and to uncover why timber harvests from the Pacific Northwest have fallen dramatically over the past six years."
 Sheldon's charge that builders are somehow benefiting from higher lumber prices borders on the ridiculous, Glunt added. "Higher lumber costs push up the hard costs of building housing, bump thousands of borderline buyers out of the market and will eventually slow the current housing-led economic recovery. This situation, unless addressed at the highest levels of government, will hurt the housing market, hurt the job market and jeopardize the economic recovery."
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: Cynthia Dodd Adcock of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0450/


CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia IN: CST SU: ECO

KD -- DC022 -- 4685 03/09/93 17:19 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 9, 1993
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