Members of the National Association of Home Builders are lobbying to make housing a key part of any new economic stimulus package.

Shortly after the new Congress was sworn in this week, members of the National Association of Home Builders started lobbying to make a fix to the housing crisis a central part of President-elect Barack Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package.

At least 80 builders met with House and Senate leaders and key committee members to ask for more buyer credits, money for below-market mortgage interest rates and more foreclosure-prevention efforts.

"Our industry stands at a crossroads and our efforts here today are vital to the housing industry's ability to weather this storm and come out the other side healthy and in a position to grow,” said NAHB Chairwoman Sandy Dunn. "Congress must understand that housing is central to the economic crisis, that housing has led our nation out of past recessions and that it can do so again.”

NAHB President and CEO Jerry Howard said the group and its Fix Housing First coalition wanted to demonstrate a united front.

"The message we are sending to Congress: There are no large builders, no small builders, no low-income builders, no suppliers and no manufacturers," Howard said. "We're all in this together and we are all focused on the stimulus package. We are talking to our members of Congress about a proposal crafted over the past several months that will fix both the supply and demand side of housing."

Obama's plan, which is expected to include billions in government spending for infrastructure improvements and other measures to stimulate the economy, is expected to be ready for votes in the House and Senate by mid February.