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Homebuilders Lament Credit Woes

November 24th, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida Homebuilders said today they are being strangled by bad credit policies and that none of the federal bailout going to banks is going into the homebuilding industry. Four of every ten job losses are already from the construction industry and as Mike Vasilinda tells us, builders say without relief, unemployment is only going to get worse.

Hear it Here: Homebuilding Woes

Homebuilding is at a virtual standstill in Florida. Painter Mike Carnes laid off two helpers and is barely keeping busy.

So its just me, so Im able to kinda stretch the work out til we get another house to do, Carnes said.

This house was pre-sold, or this lot would still be vacant.

Across the state, the story is the same. Lots like this one, cleared for construction, sit empty.

Florida Homebuilders are blaming banking practices for part of the problem. Builder Earl Snyder was almost in tears at a news conference as he talked about laying off workers.

I mean we are in dire straits, Snyder said. Weve got to do something.

Snyder has great credit, pays his loans on time, yet is having his 2 million dollar loan called in by the bank.

I think, just the rich are going to get richer and us poor are going to just stay in the holes, Snyder said. I dont know the answer to the problem, but theyve got to start lending us money. Its critical.

The State Homebuilders Association says more layoffs are on the way because banks are not opening the credit spigot after the bailout.

The money is being misused, misappropriated, and misguided, Valrico homebuilder Chuck Fowke said.

Many banks have also frozen construction loan payments, leaving builders in a lurch
halfway through a project, limiting their ability to finish houses under construction.

The builders met today with Florida CFO Alex Sink and the Bankers Association. Neither returned calls to discuss the situation.

Posted in Business, Housing, State News | 3 Comments »

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