Following Nathaniel H. Rogg, who made himself a near-legend in national housing, is a difficult assignment. But sandy-haired David E. Stahl, 42, seems to be doing it quietly and efficiently.

Since January, Stahl has been functioning as executive vice president of the 89,000-member National Association of Home Builders. That's the trade group which has a staff of 200 and a budget estimated at $7 million. Stahl's job is to run an association, which serves large and small volume builders throughout America. It also represents them with the federal government here. The NAHB headquarters is that strikingly contemporary building at the northeast corner of 15th and M NW.

While the differences between Rogg and Stahl are many, one principal attribute of NAHB's new staff leader is his preferance for a low profile. It seems to come naturally, which should please member leaders of the association who recently chafed under the annual realization that they were much less known than Rogg, who has had a long career as an economist and housing authority in Washington.

Stahl went to the NAHB post, one of the better-paying trade association jobs in the nation, from the top staff position at the Urban Land Insitute, where he and his smaller staff were involved in research related to residential, commercial and industrial land use as well a new community development. Earlier he was the late Mayor Daley's special assistant for house in Chicago.

The Stahl future in Chicago was regarded as bright but he resigned as that city's controller in 1973, as reported in House & Home magazine, after "incurring the mayor's wrath for revealing in a newspaper interview that city insurance business had been switched to a fiem that employed Mayor Daley's son.

At Miami Univeristy in Oxford, Ohio, Stahl was a Phi Beta Kappa. He served in the military and also had a stint in mortgage banking. He and his wife and their four sons now live in a single-family dwelling in Falls Church. He is on the executive board of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts.

With a reputation as an efficient, hard-working executive who leaves his office late and takes work home in a briefcase, Stahl has been reshaping and restructuring the NAHB staff and making at least some advances in personnel morale in the process. Meanwhile, he's staying out of the limelight. As a result, the elected officers of NAHB are being pictured and quoted more often these days.