A coalition of lenders, builders, and Realtors on Wednesday fired the opening salvo in an effort to make housing policy a front-burner issue in this year's elections.

The group of five major trade groups released a policy statement, "Toward a National Housing Policy," which will be carried to the political conventions, presidential candidates, and party platform committees. "We want to elevate the issue of housing in this election year," said Randall Smith, president of the National Association of Home Builders.

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