Newt Gingrich speaking at housing rally on State House steps

Housing took the national stage at the Homeownership Works Rally on the steps of the State House in Columbia today.  Featured speakers included former U.S. Speaker of the House and Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and former Congressman J.C. Watts (R-OK).

Speaker Gingrich “stole the show” by committing to protect the mortgage interest deduction and repeal Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, and “Obamacare.”  He also pledged to make tax exempt investments made by home builders and other businesses in equipment for their businesses.  Gingrich, Clyburn, and Watts all signed NAHB’s housing petition. You can read and sign the housing petition at by clicking here.

Newt Gingrich signing the housing pledge.

Newt Gingrich greets a future Home Builder and voter.
Newt Gingrich leaves the rally with the national press in tow.

Update: NAHB’s press release on the rally.

With the South Carolina GOP presidential primary just around the corner, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and its local affiliates joined with politicians, consumer advocates, the Urban League, the NAACP, Realtors, the local Chamber of Commerce and others to elevate housing issues in the current election cycle held a special Rally for Homeownership today at the statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

Headliners at the event included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), which demonstrates that support for homeownership extends across the political spectrum and is a true American ideal.

“At a time when homeownership is under attack, the rally will help draw public and media attention to the need to maintain homeownership as a national priority through federal policies that keep the mortgage interest deduction intact, ensure that affordable home mortgages and low downpayment options remain readily available, open the flow of credit to home buyers and small businesses and resolve the ongoing foreclosure crisis,” said NAHB Chairman-elect Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla., who will also address rally participants.

South Carolina voters strongly support homeownership and oppose any efforts to undermine the mortgage interest deduction and to make it more difficult for qualified borrowers to obtain affordable home loans, according to a new statewide poll conducted on behalf of NAHB by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va., and Lake Research Partners of Washington, D.C.

“In South Carolina, the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the ability to have access to affordable home loans are major drivers of our economy,” said Loftis. “As state treasurer, I am committed to ensuring that our tax code continues to support homeownership.”

“Homeownership provides the foundation for peace of mind, financial security and jobs in our community,” added Rep. Clyburn. “We cannot let the American Dream die.”

Concerned citizens who believe that homeownership must remain an important national policy are encouraged to turn out and take part in a petition drive that asks them to signify their support for keeping the mortgage interest deduction intact, increasing access to credit and mitigating the flow of foreclosures.

“Homeownership builds strong communities and home building creates jobs and provides a tax base that supports our local schools, police and firefighters,” said David Gully, president of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina. “We are here today to send a loud and clear message on the importance that South Carolina voters place on homeownership and to call on federal policymakers to refrain from taking steps that would weaken or eliminate our nation’s long-standing commitment to homeownership.”

The Rally for Homeownership in Columbia was sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, the Home Builders Association of South Carolina and the Greater Columbia Home Builders Association; and co-sponsored by Central Carolina Realtors Association, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina, Mortgage Lenders Association of Greater Columbia, Municipal Association of South Carolina, Small Business Chamber of Columbia, South Carolina Realtors and the South Carolina State Housing Finance & Development Authority.