Despite hopes that the housing market is starting to bottom out, the National Association of Home Builders is struggling to cut costs.
The Washington trade group will close its offices for the business week starting Aug. 24 and for the three days before Thanksgiving in the final week of November, Jerry Howard, chief executive officer, said in an interview. This will mean eight unpaid working days off for all 341 staff members.
The association has reduced its work force by about 15% since December. The need to slash costs results from a steep drop in fees from members.
The number of member companies has fallen to about 190,000, from a peak of 256,000 in May 2007, Howard said.
Though Howard said "we are starting to see a bottom in the housing market," he added that home builders remain under severe pressure.