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More Economic Woe On K Street

Its industry hit hard by the housing crisis, the National Association of Home Builders today announced it is immediately slashing 52 positions in its Washington office and making other spending cutbacks in order to save $11.5 million next year.

The reductions come at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher on Capitol Hill for the embattled home building industry. A coalition of companies and trade associations recently launched a lobbying effort to get a $200 billion piece of the emerging stimulus package to spur a recovering in the housing market.

The home builders’ cuts also are the latest in the series of bad news on K Street, driven by the slowing economy. Earlier this month, the National Association of Manufacturers announced it was implementing a 10 percent across-the-board budget cut that resulted in a net reduction of 17 full-time positions, and other trade groups have cut back as well.

Jerry Howard, the home builders' president and CEO, attributed the cutbacks to the fact its members are "confronting the most serious recession in more than 50 years."

“By taking this action now, we help position the association to maintain its advocacy leadership and vital services for an industry struggling in the toughest economic environment seen in generations,” Howard said in a statement.

The group’s cuts will lay off 28 current employees and eliminate 24 vacant positions.

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