Congress has passed legislation that will extend and expand the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit.

"We commend lawmakers for acting in a bipartisan manner to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit beyond its November 30 deadline and expand it to a wider group of home buyers," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, OK. "The tax credit has proven to be a powerful economic incentive. Today's action by Congress will further stabilize housing and the economy by creating new jobs, stimulating home sales, reducing foreclosures, cutting excess inventories and stabilizing home prices."

In addition to the $8,000 credit for first-time homebuyers, the new law has been expanded to include a $6,500 credit for owners of existing homes who are purchasing a new principal residence.

The NAHB says it estimates the tax credits will create 211,000 jobs and generate 180,000 additional home sales in the coming year. It is also expected to generate $9.6 billion in wage income and $6.9 billion in federal, state and local taxes.

"The new NOL rules will throw a lifeline to struggling businesses, allowing them to continue making payrolls, paying business loans and otherwise keep their doors open until the economic recovery takes hold," said Robson.