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TIMBER PLAN COULD HURT HOUSING RECOVERY, SAYS NAHB

 WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by Tommy Thompson, first vice president of the 165,000-member National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), on President Clinton's "so-called" timber plan released today by the White House:
 The president's so-called timber solution is totally unacceptable. It will restrain timber production well below its historical levels, push up lumber prices and the hard costs of building new housing, price out of the market first-time home buyers living at the edge of affordability, throw tens of thousands of Americans out of work and ultimately hurt the nation's economic recovery.
 With the nation's housing recovery continuing in fits and starts, this is the worst conceivable time for an announcement of this nature from the White House. New home sales were up 23 percent in April, but they were down 21 percent in May.
 Last spring we saw what a devastating effect galloping lumber prices had on new housing production when 40 percent of builders polled in an NAHB survey reported that because of explosive increases in lumber prices they were forced to significantly curtail planned housing production.
 If prices rise, and we are very concerned that they will, this will clearly have a negative impact on housing and it will stem directly from this decision.
 In addition, the plan falls far short of meeting the fundamental goals of the April 2 Forest Conference, when President Clinton promised to resolve the gridlock over national timber policy "in the conference room instead of the courtroom" ... and to "never forget the human and economic dimensions of these problems." Rather than seek a balanced, legislative solution, the President has ducked the tough issues and is sticking with the status quo. It is a one-sided proposal that is bad for American workers, bad for American home buyers and bad for the U.S. economy.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Cynthia Adcock of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0450/


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

IH-DC -- DC021 -- 7699 07/01/93 11:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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