January 6, 2009
For the Media: Fix Housing First Coalition
Uponor Joins Fix Housing First Coalition to Help Stimulate Housing Market and Revive Economy
Uponor, a global leader in PEX-based radiant floor heating and cooling, plumbing and fire safety systems, has joined Fix Housing First, a coalition formed to push for a housing recovery plan that will revive the economy.
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. 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.
“Being a part of the building industry, we at Uponor are in full support of Fix Housing First and their efforts to help improve the housing market,” says Anders Tollsten, executive vice president, Uponor North America. “By providing Americans with incentives to invest in housing, it will not only help our industry, but the economy as a whole.”
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.
To learn more about Fix Housing First, go to www.fixhousingfirst.com.
Uponor Corporation is a leading supplier of plumbing, fire safety and radiant heating and cooling systems for the residential and commercial building markets across North America and Europe, and a market leader in municipal infrastructure pipe systems in the Nordic countries. Uponor Corporation employs 4,200 people in 27 countries and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd., Finland.
Uponor, Inc. is headquartered in Apple Valley, Minn. For more information, visit www.uponor-usa.com or call (800) 321-4739.
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