Leadership Advocacy Activities

While the week in DC for your leadership team was full of meetings about the settlement, our primary purpose was to visit our legislators in Washington to talk about housing issues.  Addressing housing affordability starts with adding to the nation’s severely limited inventory. The U.S. is facing an underbuilding gap of 5.5 million units, translating to a $4.4 trillion underinvestment in housing. America’s tax law can and must do more to promote homeownership, build stable communities, and boost economic growth.  We also talked about how the settlement will affect VA buyers and urged their influence and support of our US Veterans in finding and securing housing with the help of a knowledge professional advocating for their best interests. A summary of issues below, and fun photos from that afternoon:

Leadership Heads to the Capitol: Jim Thurston (MLS Vice President, Paula McLean (MLS President) Andy Perenick (Board Vice President) and Nick Geranios (Board President) with Sandy Carroll behind the camera. Post Meeting  with NAR President Kevin Sears

President Nick Geranios and VP Andy Perenick discussing the issues with House of Representative legislator Rickie Neal

The team meets in the Senate offices of Elizabeth Warren.

REALTOR® Priorities: Update America’s Tax Law to Increase Access to Homeownership

  • Cosponsor the bipartisan More Homes on the Market Act to incentivize more long-term owners to sell their homes by increasing the maximum amount of capital gains a homeowner can exclude on the sale of a principal residence and annually adjusting it for inflation.
    • H.R. 1321 is sponsored by Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).
  • Cosponsor the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes by offering tax credits that create a pathway to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership. Providing this powerful incentive to build and rehabilitate homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners can fill the gap in areas where it is often more expensive to develop or rehabilitate than appraisal values will support.
    • S. 657 is sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
    • H.R. 3940 is sponsored by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Brian Higgins (D-NY).
  • Cosponsor the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act or legislative provisions to expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and encourage investment in creating and preserving affordable housing.
    • S. 1557 is sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Todd Young (R-IN), Ron Wyden, (D-OR), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
    • H.R. 3238 is sponsored by Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
  • Support small business by preserving the 199A qualified business income deduction and keeping taxes on business income lower for independent contractors and pass-through business owners.
  • Support commercial real estate investment and economic development by preserving 1031 like-kind exchanges.
  • Incentivize homeownership by increasing the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and eliminate the penalty for married taxpayers filing jointly, who have the same maximum deduction as single filers.

REALTOR® Priorities: Ensure Equal Access to Professional Representation and Support Fair Housing

  • Ensure veterans maintain access to professional representation and can compete in the market by giving VA buyers the option to compensate their broker directly.
  • Cosponsor the Direct Seller and Real Estate Agent Harmonization Act to ensure real estate agents maintain their independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and preserve their ability to choose their preferred business classification.
    • H.R. 5419 is sponsored by Representatives Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA).
  • Support the bipartisan Fair and Equal Housing Act to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the Fair Housing Act.
    • H.R. 4439 is sponsored by Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
  • Reauthorize and increase funding for HUD fair housing enforcement programs. Congress should support legislation that reauthorizes and increases funding for HUD’s fair housing enforcement programs.

Research reports, papers, case studies, and surveys examine the latest trends and activities in real estate, as well as the impact national policies have or may have on this critical sector that makes up one-fifth of the nation’s economy.

These resources are available to policymakers, and we encourage their use when considering legislation that affects real estate and real estate professionals. Here are a few recent NAR Research reports that can inform policymaking: