NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 2, 2022) – Closing out the second day of the 2022 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, The Advocacy Scoop provided National Association of Realtors® members with an inside take on the state of real estate in Congress.
NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith opened the session by laying out three priorities Realtors® are taking to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week: addressing inventory, supply, and affordability; ensuring fair housing for all; and demonstrating how NAR research products can inform policymaking.
"We often say our advocacy operation is second to none – and we say that because it's true," Rouda Smith said. "We don't represent an industry. We represent a profession made up of 1.5 million individuals working every day in their communities to change lives."
NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn followed with a "State of the Union" speech on real estate issues, highlighting that inventory is top of mind for Realtors®.
"Our job is to fight for your clients, consumers, and the entire industry to make sure we have enough housing supply to make homeownership accessible, available, and affordable," McGahn said.
She also stressed the importance of NAR's nonpartisan, issue-focused advocacy structure. "No matter who is in power, our issues stay the same. Our fight for all consumers continues. And we keep these legislative conversations going throughout the year, back in the districts."
During a rapid-fire panel discussion, NAR's full leadership team, including President Leslie Rouda Smith, President-elect Kenny Parcell, First Vice President Tracy Kasper, Treasurer Nancy Lane, Immediate Past President Charlie Oppler, Vice President of Advocacy Kaki Lybbert, Vice President of Association Affairs Shannon King, and CEO Bob Goldberg discussed the top issues in real estate with three NAR policy experts.
Bryan Greene, vice president of policy advocacy, outlined NAR's initiatives to expand homeownership to more people, especially groups that have been historically excluded. "The brick wall we face is supply. If we don't have housing, we can't expand access. So, we're engaged in a range of efforts to ensure we have housing supply."
Evan Liddiard, director of federal taxation, provided updates on existing proposals to boost inventory through tax incentives, including renovating distressed properties, converting unused commercial properties to residential, and providing down payment assistance and tax credits to first-time buyers. But he also broached new ideas. "One potential solution we're discussing is what if we offer some owners of rental properties a capital gains tax break if they sell to first-time buyers?"
Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, focused on how NAR's research products can influence policymaking at all levels of government. "We've worked to ensure the research products we're releasing can be used on the Hill and also in your local communities." Lautz highlighted three recent reports: The Double Trouble of the Housing Market, A Snapshot of Race and Home Buying in America, and Obstacles to Home Buying.
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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