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ISPA Pushes Housing Recover Plan

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The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) has joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan that will revive the economy. "The decline in housing sales and overall home values led the global economy into our current recession. We need to do all we can to turn this around by stimulating home sales," said Dick Doyle, ISPA President and CEO. “Further, ISPA is proud to be leading a parallel effort to stimulate the purchasing of home furnishings as an important aspect of the economic recovery plan,” he continued. Fix Housing First, which consists of more than 600 organizations, home building companies and manufacturers, is pressing for a major stimulus package to stem the decline in home values, stabilize financial markets and reignite consumer demand for homes and home furnishings. To get the economy moving again, the coalition is urging Congress to support enhancements to the home buyer tax credit and provide below-market 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for home purchases. A similar plan worked in 1975, when the nation was also in the midst of a recession. Congress then passed a short-term $2,000 tax credit for all new homes ($12,000 adjusted for today's median home prices) along with subsidized mortgage rates. The stimulus jump started the depressed economy and the effects continued long after the measure expired. The coalition is calling for significant enhancements to the current $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers. Among the improvements: -All primary home purchases between April 9, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009 would be eligible. -The credit amount would be increased to 10 percent of the price of the home, capped at 3.5 percent of FHA loan limits, bringing the credit to a range of roughly between $10,000 and $22,000. -The current recapture provision would be eliminated. Repayment would only be required if the home were sold within three years. - The credit would be available at the time of closing, making it easier to be used as a down payment. The second component of the stimulus plan would provide qualified home buyers with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 2.99 percent on contracts closed until June 30, 2009 and 3.99 percent on closings between June 30 and Dec. 31, 2009. The coalition has also announced its support for continuing foreclosure prevention measures to keep people in their homes. Concurrently, ISPA is leading a second coalition that is promoting tax credits for consumers who purchase home furnishings when they buy a new home. All major home furnishings industries are represented, and all agree that a credit of up to $5,000 for consumers will significantly increase sales of home furnishings such as mattresses, and lead to the creation of manufacturing jobs. To learn more about Fix Housing First, go to http://www.fixhousingfirst.com/. Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association, is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the growth, profitability and stature of the mattress manufacturing industry. ISPA represents over 700 mattress manufacturers and their suppliers throughout the world.

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