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Homebuilders Agree to Keep Howard

The National Association of Home Builders and the chief executive officers of the biggest homebuilders appear to be patching up a long-standing rift over a tax code provision in the stimulus bill. They have also agreed that the group’s chief executive officer, Jerry Howard, will stay on in his post.

NAHB representatives and a handful of CEOs from the largest homebuilders in the country met Monday in Chicago to try to hash out their differences, chief among them whether Howard would remain as the head of the powerful trade group.

NAHB Chairman Joe Robson and NAHB’s High Production Home Builders Council Chairman Tim Eller issued a joint statement Tuesday following the meeting.

“We face many issues in common and now more than ever, it is important for all homebuilders to be united,— Robson and Eller said in the statement. “We agreed to have additional discussions in the near future and build on our many mutual interests in an effort to strengthen our industry.—

“In addition, Jerry Howard continues as President and CEO of NAHB,— they added.

The dispute stems from a provision that the struggling builders wanted in the economic stimulus bill. The measure would have expanded to five years the time period that companies could use to offset revenue losses against profits.

Howard sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaking out against the provision on the day the $787 stimulus bill was in conference committee, a provision that infuriated the group’s largest builders.

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