The Consumer Federation of the Southeast (CFSE), a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, has launched a campaign to convince legislators to allow first-time home buyers to use the new $8,000 federal tax credit as up-front cash for a down payment. The CFSE says such a move would spur Florida's housing market and stimulate the state's lagging economy.
Joining the CFSE in this new coalition are the Florida Home Builders Association, the Florida Bankers Association, the Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Credit Union League.
‘This is vital to our economy, and it puts the American Dream of homeownership within reach of thousands of Floridians,’ CFSE Executive Director Walt Dartland says. ‘We are confident this can be accomplished without costing Florida taxpayers a dime.’
The group will meet with Gov. Charlie Crist and others to seek a ‘Florida Formula’ to advance consumers the tax credit to use as a down payment, as other states are also working to do, Dartland says.
An estimated 8,000 to 12,000 prospective first-time home buyers in Florida could benefit if the federal tax-credit stimulus provision were accessed on the front-end to help consumers with down payment and closing costs, the group says. Florida currently has a 20-month supply of homes, or more than 300,000 units, on the market, according to the Florida Home Builders Association.
SOURCE: Consumer Federation of the Southeast