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Builders ask Governor to Spare Housing Fund

January 15th, 2009 by flanews

Florida’s home builders are asking the governor to veto cuts to a state fund that helps people buy houses. Lawmakers voted to take 190 million dollars from the fund. As Whitney Ray tells us, contractors say the money will help people buy existing homes which will increase the demand for new construction.

Hear it Here: Builders ask Governor to Spare Housing Fund

Contractor Bill Schults is one of a shrinking number of Florida construction workers who still has a job. A decline in home sales has forced Bill to tighten his tool belt.

“I had a crew of 30 people at one time. They’re all laid off except for the few people that are here,” said Shults.

Home construction was cut in half in 2008 and the need for new houses continues to shrink. Florida’s housing market is saturated. Currently more than 300-thousand homes are empty.

Wednesday lawmakers voted to take 190 million from a 300 million dollar affordable housing fund to balance the budget. Thursday home builders told the governor the cut was short sighted.

“These moneys can be used to get people back into housing, that lost their housing in Foreclosure,” said the Vice President of the Florida Home Builders Association Chuck Fowke.

Crist said he’ll take a close look at the entire budget to see if the fund can be spared.

“We’ll be reviewing all of that to see if we can help,” said Crist.

Home builders also asked the governor to pressure bankers for help with loans.

The Florida Home Builders Association said banks are not lending enough of the Washington bailout money and they’re calling in construction loans making it hard for builders to start new projects.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Economy, Housing, State Budget, State News, Transportation | No Comments »

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