Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

On Feb. 6, 2019, NAR President John Smaby and several other members of NAR's Leadership met with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, Acting Assistant Secretary and Fair Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Brian Montgomery to bring attention to several matters of importance to REALTORS®.

President Smaby urged Secretary Carson and Commissioner Montgomery to release the long-awaited FHA condominium rule. REALTORS® support increased flexibility with owner-occupancy and commercial space requirements, as well as more streamlined project re-certification and the allowance of spot loan approval for non-FHA designated condominium projects. The Secretary was understanding of NAR's stance and recognizes the importance of condominiums as the most viable form of home-ownership for many worthy borrowers. NAR's Leadership also discussed the need for HUD guidance on assistance animals for rental property owners, which the Secretary recognized would be helpful. Secretary Carson noted that HUD intends to publish a rule on down-payment assistance which he welcomes NAR's comment. NAR is an advocate of down-payment assistance programs that are properly managed.

Photo, from left to right:
Sid Pugh, Vice Chair, 2019 NAR Federal Financing & Housing Policy Committee; Tracy Kasper, NAR Vice President of Advocacy; Brenda Small, Vice Chair, 2019 NAR Public Policy Coordinating Committee; Vince Malta, 2019 NAR President-Elect; John Smaby, 2019 NAR President; Ben Carson, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; George Wonica, Chair, 2019 NAR Federal Financing & Housing Policy Committee; Julie DeLorenzo, Chair, 2019 Chair, NAR Public Policy Coordinating Committee; Melanie Barker, NAR Public & Federal Issues Liaison.