A group of experts representing the mortgage and real estate sectors, fair housing and consumer interests, and the national community development movement are building a new organization to advocate on behalf of the country's 75 million homeowners. America's Homeowner Alliance, modeled after the senior lobby AARP, is expected to be formally announced within the next couple of weeks. The St. Louis-based organization will aim to "protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments" of the population, from renters preparing to enter the market to longtime owners. Aside from speaking out in Washington on issues such as the mortgage interest tax deduction, the viability of low down payments, and new home-finance rules soon to take effect, the alliance will offer members access to an extensive program of rewards and discounts from more than 1,000 participating retailers -- including Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy -- that offer home-oriented products and services. Points earned on product purchases can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, or other benefits. The fee to join will be $20 a year, with a goal of signing up 250,000 members within the first year.