WASHINGTON (May 15, 2018) – Realtors® from across the country will gather in the nation’s capital this week for the 2018 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo committed to continuing their work with Congress and the administration to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell real estate.
More than 9,000 Realtors® and guests will attend this year’s conference, which kicked off yesterday and runs through Saturday, May 20. On Realtors®’ agendas this year will be visits with members of Congress, regulatory agency officials and top industry leaders; attending some of the nearly 100 available conference sessions on topics ranging from policy to technology; and focusing on the yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.
“As real estate professionals and Realtors®, our day-to-day business is influenced by the decisions made by our policymakers, and what happens on Capitol Hill matters tremendously to the real estate industry, our livelihood and the existing and future property owners we serve,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “That’s why NAR concentrates tremendous effort advocating for federal, state and local policy initiatives and why so many Realtors® are here in Washington this week, focusing Congress’s attention on the issues that bear significant weight on our industry.”
This year, Realtors® are advocating support for several important legislative initiatives, including strong net neutrality protections to ensure the internet is open and competitive for consumers and businesses; renewing and strengthening the long-term viability of the National Flood Insurance Program; indexing homeownership tax incentives for future inflation and permanently extending the tax exclusion on mortgage debt forgiveness; and adopting sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act.
During the meeting, attendees will hear from industry experts and thought leaders, including:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who will discuss the agency’s commitment to fair housing during the conference General Session
- U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri), who will inspires attendees with a personal story about the importance of safe and affordable housing for all Americans
- realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale, who will overview current conditions in the residential and commercial markets
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, will address the latest actions out of the CFPB, plans for improved efficiency and effectiveness of agency operations, and his perspectives on issues important to the real estate industry
- Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William “Brock” Long, will address a broad range of disaster and emergency management topics, from National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization and federal disaster relief to rebuilding assistance and mitigation in the aftermath of a record-breaking hurricane season
- NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who will share residential and commercial real estate market updates and forecasts
Throughout the week, NAR will put a special emphasis on fair housing, with events and speakers that will acknowledge the past fight for fair housing and look toward the future, with expanded equalities in housing opportunities. NAR is urging Congress to adopt sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the Fair Housing Act. As members of NAR, Realtors® subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics, which includes a commitment to provide equal professional services regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, and as of 2009, sexual orientation, and since 2014, gender identity.
“Realtors® are proud to lead the way toward greater equality in housing opportunities, and we urge Congress to adopt fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Mendenhall.
In addition, NAR will recognize local and state associations and members who play a significant role in making the Realtors® Political Action Committee among the largest and most bipartisan contributor to candidates. More than 190 Realtors® will be inducted into the RPAC 2017 Hall of Fame, which recognizes members whose aggregate RPAC investments are at least $25,000; this is the largest class inducted in RPAC’s 49-year history. More than 9,360 Realtors® will be recognized as major investors for giving more than $1,000 to RPAC, and 1,207 members will be recognized as President’s Circle members, or major investors who give an additional $2,000 directly to candidate and party committees.
NAR will also recognize local and state Realtor® associations for meeting their 2017 RPAC and advocacy goals; 24 state associations and 431 local associations will receive NAR’s Triple Crown award, and 16 state associations and 260 local associations will be presented with a President’s Cup award. The full list of awardees is available at realtorparty.realtor/recognition.
The meeting trade expo will be open Wed., May 16 and Thur., May 17 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. More than 100 industry-leading companies will demonstrate the latest real estate products and services.
To stay connected with the conference follow the Realtors® Legislative Live blog, www.LegislativeLive.realtor, the Twitter hashtag #narlegislative, or find NAR at @nardotrealtor on Facebook and Twitter.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.