The National Association of Home Builders chided President Barack Obama for not mentioning the housing market’s importance in his Sept. 8 presentation to Congress on his jobs plan.

"While the nation's home builders commend President Obama for tackling critical employment issues, it's discouraging that the administration still fails to recognize that housing has a central role to play in restoring the nation's work force,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a builder from Reno, Nev. "In normal times, housing accounts for 18 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, and nothing packs a bigger local economic impact than home building. Constructing 100 average single-family homes generates more than 300 full-time jobs, $23.1 million in wage and business income and $8.9 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.”

Nielsen pointed out that residential construction has typically been a leading indicator of the end of a downturn.

"Housing has traditionally led the nation out of past recessions and needs to be playing a far bigger role than it has so far in today's lackluster recovery,” he added. “That won't happen until federal regulators move to end the credit freeze for new home production, banks allow qualified home buyers access to affordable home loans and policymakers acknowledge there is a clear need to support home ownership and get housing moving again to spur growth, create jobs and restore consumer confidence."