Virginia rally for homeownership - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Virginia rally for homeownership

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The number of Americans filing for foreclosure has dropped to the lowest level since 2007. Here in central Virginia, the trend is the same.

But residents also want the policies that favor home ownership to stay intact. Thursday afternoon, they rallied in downtown Richmond to send a message to lawmakers.

The message behind the rally is simple: homeownership is important to families, communities and the economy.

John and Jennifer Klein are proud homeowners. They purchased their Chesterfield property a few years ago.

"The feeling we get when we walk in the door is right. It's our home and that makes us feel great," said John Klein.

The Kleins rallied with hundreds - including realtors, church, community and political leaders.

They're standing together to promote and protect policies that support homeownership.

"So we need to protect the mortgage interest deduction, we need to make sure that working families have access to 30 year mortgages, and fair and reasonable down payments," said Lauren Lafayette with the Richmond Association of Realtors.

Rally participants say, scaling back or eliminating those sticking points could threaten home ownership.

"Right now we're seeing housing under attack with proposals and tax legislation and regulatory issues - all sorts of things that will not allow people who are credit-worthy to be able to buy a house," said Barry Rutenberg with the National Association of Home Builders.

The group says housing is critical to local and state economies - that homeownership creates jobs, increases quality of life.

Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, a Democrat, are throwing their support behind the movement.

"I heard this was a non-partisan crowd, so this is what I'm going to do. I'll tell Obama and you tell Romney to leave us alone and let's make sure we don't have any changes in the homeownership deduction," Jones said to the crowd.

The National Association of Home Builders organized the event which is part of a eight state tour.

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