Access to Homeownership Top of Mind in Washington

Access to Homeownership Top of Mind in Washington

February 2024

Making homeownership more accessible has been one of NAR’s top advocacy priorities for years, and REALTORS® are ensuring it’s top of mind for policymakers, too.

Since NAR released its groundbreaking report in 2021 revealing America’s underbuilding gap of at least 5.5 million housing units, REALTORS® have led the call for a once-in-a-generation response to solve this crisis.

The urgency was evident at NAR’s annual Policy Forum, hosted last Thursday, February 8, in Washington, D.C. The capacity crowd included housing and economic experts, policymakers, and industry stakeholders committed to addressing the challenges hindering homebuyers.

From the historic inventory shortage to high interest rates, regulatory obstacles, fees, and lending issues, the panelists outlined the current housing market landscape and discussed how technology, innovation, and legislative policies can help keep homeownership within reach.

NAR continues to advocate for multiple legislative solutions to make homeownership more accessible, including:

  • The bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, which attracts private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes through tax credits.
  • The bipartisan Choice In Affordable Housing Act, which creates incentives for housing provider participation in HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.
  • The bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act, which expands credit reporting for Americans with limited credit histories.
  • The Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, which encourages communities to build affordable housing through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
  • The bipartisan More Homes on the Market Act, which incentivizes 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.
  • 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.
  • Increasing the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction and eliminating the penalty for married taxpayers filing jointly.

At the end of January, those final two priorities gained momentum when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a long-shot bipartisan tax bill. While business-related tax incentives and the child tax credit are the focus of this legislation, it also includes expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit among other pro-real estate provisions. Additionally, it greased the wheels on a long-stalled vote to increase the SALT deduction.

The complicated politics of these issues make it difficult to predict whether the tax bill can pass the Senate, and whether the standalone SALT bill will be considered on the House floor. However, the inclusion of these items in ongoing conversations on tax reform demonstrates the strength of REALTOR® advocacy in ensuring lawmakers understand the importance of these policies.

Of course, we also continue to work with Congress to extend the authority of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and ensure other vital housing programs do not lapse as the next government funding deadlines approach on March 1 and 8.

NAR will continue advocating for solutions to protect and expand homeownership. We can’t wait to see many of you in Washington D.C. in May for the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, where we will return to Capitol Hill and share with lawmakers how pro-real estate policies benefit their constituents and the American economy. Mark your calendars – registration opens Feb. 14!

Thank you for the crucial role you play in expanding the American Dream.


  1. REPLY
    Joseph Cassese says

    You missed homeowners insurance which is currently going through the roof. Do something instead of talking, the young people need to live in a Home. Stop the Politician greed, help the people especially the young people.

  2. REPLY
    Jennifer Schrader says

    RE:The bipartisan More Homes on the Market Act, which incentivizes 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.

    I am hoping what is stated above will NOT be expanded to investors….

    My local Realtors are talking about NAR advocating for the Capital Gains Tax to be removed to incent INVESTORS to sell their smaller single family homes to create more access to affordable housing. IF this is even thought to be a fair solution for our housing shortage, please know that it is NOT. Investors caused this issue competing for inexpensive homes and winning due to cash buys and being “their own best customer’s” as licensed Realtors….and now want a tax break when they sell the smaller homes for another 50K or more than they paid after putting a little lipstick on the house. LOOSE LOOSE for the owner occupied first time buyer. All they are receiving is an over priced house after investors got their cake and get to eat it too.

    I am a lender that offers access to over 20K in down payment assistance to income qualified buyers AKA New Teachers, Single Parent families , and entry level college grads with 50K salaries who can’t find housing or even come close to qualifying for the homes available on the market.

    We have programs to help…we need the houses. Maybe a win win would allow investors to spread out the capital gains over a few years…but NOT waive their responsibility.

    • REPLY
      Frances Linsman says

      I 100 percent agree with your view! Giving a free pass for big money invested isn’t the answer.

  3. REPLY
    Amy Taylor says

    Capital gains does not apply to investors. The cap gains exclusion happens at $250k for a single person or $500k for a couple, if that has been their primary residence and they have lived in the home at least 2 of the last 5 years. The goal is to raise these limits, lowering the tax liability for individuals to sell their homes.

  4. REPLY
    Sant Prakash Singh says

    My personal opinion as triple Licensed individual (Realtor, Mortgage Loan Originator and General contractor is that no one is touching the main problem. How to eliminate Shortage of 5.5million and the unbridled greed of investors including foreigner’s. The solution to this that i feel is the Federal & State Govt should form Development Authorities and embark on massive house building projects as was done after the great war. International Tenders be invited as US building costs are exorbitant,where as the rest of world is building better and faster.These houses are then sold to individuals who have no house of their own on easy terms. Secodly the Residential Property be removed from investment domain. Investors should be restricted only to commercial and Multi storey buildings more than four stories. Housing should be made a fundamental right of every US citizen and put in the constitution.

    • REPLY
      Cheryl Stewart says

      I agree with your comments.Thank you for voicing what many others agree with.

  5. REPLY
    Lois says

    What about a family looking to build wealth through owning a single rental property in addition to their residence? Be careful about what barriers you want to place on “investors.”

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