help@borntogive.com

Homepage Areas

REALTOR Party News – July 2019

tar1217.jpg

July Brings Summer Fun and Advocacy

July is the time for baseball, summer fun, relaxation, and family vacations. But rest assured that we are continuing to work hard on your behalf! Check out the latest updates on affordability and supply, association health plans, and flood insurance, and stay in the know on the go with REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts.

READ MORE

By The Numbers

Number of state and local REALTOR® associations that have agreed to support NAR’s latest work to secure affordable, high-quality health care option for its members ad their families through Association Health Plans. Has your association jumped on board?

LEARN MORE

Number of REALTORS® currently subscribed to the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts texting program. Stay in the know while on the go today by texting the word REALTOR to 30644. Or sign up online by July 31 to be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

LEARN MORE

The Supreme Court opinion, in which justices sided with Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick on a property rights issue that will likely have ripple effects on land use and environmental regulations. This decision overturned a decades-old precedent. It states that landowners should not have to jump through state-level hoops before heading to federal court to accuse the government of taking their property.

LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are cataloged in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

tar1217.jpg

Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the state is already feeling a housing crunch. With the help of Utah REALTORS® and the support of Issues Mobilization Grants, Utah has found a way to incentivize solutions to its growing shortage rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates.

READ More

summit1217.jpg

Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 47,000 members spanning roughly 70 different municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest – a distinction that can be unwieldy and impractical when it comes to taking advantage of REALTOR® Party resources. A scaled-up program designed for “mega-boards,” piloted by the Miami REALTORS®, has proven to be a mega-success.

READ More

lansing1217.jpg

Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

Fresh off a win with a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District called for a 16-cent per square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings, claiming that it would support students. But the REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles and the Southland Regional Associations begged to differ.

READ More

Resources & Opportunities

commonGround1217.jpg

Aug. 7: Can the Broadband Gap in Rural America be Closed? Webinar

Twenty-four million American households or more do not having reliable, affordable high-speed internet, and 80% of these households are in rural areas. But access to funding and changes in laws are taking place across the country to accelerate broadband deployment. This includes removing barriers to infrastructure investment and promoting competition in the telecommunications market. Tune in on Aug. 7 to get an overview of the digital divide, its impact on real estate and communities, and efforts to bridge the divide.

commonGround1217.jpg

We’ve Got You Covered

Major investors to RPAC are getting a special edition of REALTOR® Magazine in July! Plus, hear how REALTORS® are mentoring REALTORS® in community service, and learn about an enhancement to the VA loan program. Those stories and more in the Voice for Real Estate.

WATCH

commonGround1217.jpg

50th Anniversary of RPAC Commemorative Artwork

Are you one of the 10,000 2018 RPAC Major Investors whose name is part of the custom picture by artist Phil Hansen, replicating NAR’s Washington, D.C., building? Watch the Commemorative Artwork Creation Video, and visit the 50th Anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee webpage to search for your name.

LEARN MORE

rpGuide_1117.jpg

2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2019 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide to learn about resources for community outreach, candidate and issue campaigns, RPAC and political fundraising; member and consumer mobilization; and much more. Also, review the programs and resources that qualify for the new Vote, Act and Invest Core Standards’ requirements.

DOWNLOAD

1215_socialMedia.jpg

Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram to get the latest news, information and resources.

Read more

Miami REALTORS® Celebrate Mega Success with Mega-Grant Program Pilot

With more than 46,000 primary members spanning over multiple counties and municipalities, the Miami Association of REALTORS® is the nation’s largest local REALTOR® association – a distinction that can present unique challenges when it comes to applying for the REALTOR® Party grants one-by-one. To accommodate certain economies of scale required by organizations this size, the REALTOR® Party devised a scaled-up program for “mega-boards;” over the past three years, Miami has used its lump sum of just over $260,000 to complete 29 projects with 58 unique events to make a mega-success of the pilot program, with positive impact apparent all over South Florida.

Danielle Blake, Miami’s Chief of Public Policy, says the concept has had a profound effect on the REALTORS®’ relationship with elected officials.  “It’s the perfect program for any Government Affairs Director (GAD).  It allows us to approach elected officials and government staff with a positive message and resources to improve communities.  Before I felt like we were always on the defense in opposing ordinances.  The best part is this allows us to have an ongoing dialogue with a city knowing we have the funding to back up the ideas that come out of it.”

In the span of three years, the implementation of those ideas has involved approximately 21,940 REALTOR® members and ranged from fairly simple ribbon-cutting ceremonies to deeply complex projects like the development of a prototypical container-housing on a plot of county-donated land.  In between, there have been events strengthening partnerships with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), and Chapman Partnership, an organization serving the homeless. REALTORS® hosted one conference to explore zoning changes to mitigate climate change, and another on condo financing.  In 13 different neighborhoods, they have supported projects from cross-community trails to community gardens to Better Block events; built dog-parks and hydration-stations, and a market plaza for local entrepreneurs that celebrates Bahamian culture.

Several innovative projects could serve as models in other communities around the country, notes Jessica Mendez, Miami REALTORS®’ Manager of Community Initiatives.  “One neighborhood we’d already been working with was so excited about the partnership that they approached us to create a Sensory Garden to appeal especially to people on the autism spectrum.  The project happened to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, and it inspired us to create special programming for our members that addresses the needs of clients affected by the disorder.  We had experts come in and explain all the various terms and acronyms, services available, and particular housing needs — like proximity to those services.”  The understanding that participants gained from this class sets them apart in terms of the expertise they can now offer their clients, she notes.

Another great success has been the Miami Shores Plaza 98 project, says Mendez.  This community gathering space is actually a busy public roadway during the week, but every first Saturday night during Miami’s cooler months, it becomes a major community pedestrian attraction, with a colorfully painted asphalt, outdoor furniture built by REALTOR® members, and themed programming from “Movie Night Under the Stars” to “BBQ & Brews.”  “Using the Mega-Grant, we were able to help plan the project with the community, funded and built the furniture, and signed on as a sponsor of the first annual event series,” explains Mendez.  “But the idea is, now that they have their ducks in a row, the community is responsible for sustaining this new asset.  We believe projects like this one could be replicable just about anywhere.”

To learn more about how the Miami REALTORS® have harnessed the power of REALTOR® Party resources and their own culture of volunteer man-power to improve their communities, contact Danielle Blake, Chief of Public Policy, at 305-468-7015; or Jessica Mendez, Manager of Community Initiatives, at 305-468-7074.

Read more

Greater Los Angeles and Southland Regional Association REALTORS® Join Forces to Defeat Parcel Tax

On the heels of a highly publicized teachers’ strike earlier this year, the Los Angeles Unified School District decided to ride the wave of success by calling for a 16-cent per square foot parcel tax on all residential and commercial buildings. It claimed that Measure EE, as it was called, would support students; opponents saw it as an opportunistic attempt to fund the mismanaged budget of a bloated school system.  The REALTORS® of the Greater Los Angeles Association (GLAAR) and the Southland Regional Association (SRAR) joined a broad coalition of local business and industry organizations to oppose the measure as unfair and irrational, soundly defeating it at the polls.

As James Litz, Government Affairs Director of GLAAR, explains, Measure EE would have cost the owner of an average house in the city about $200 per year, starting in November. But the association’s real concern was the cost to owners of the city’s commercial and apartment buildings, who would be taxed by square footage on every floor. “Besides which,” he adds, “this tax wasn’t a solution to the real budgetary problems the school district is facing: the fiscal house of LAUSD is a mess, so why throw money at it?”

Using an Issues Mobilization Grant, the REALTORS® and their partners were able to rally voters to the polls for the single-measure special election – the cost of which, itself, was $12 million dollars to taxpayers, notes Litz. “Our coalition was able to put together a strong media campaign, with great ads running constantly on MSNBC,” he says. They also made extensive use of door hangers, which he points out, from a REALTOR® standpoint, give members direct and effective contact with clients and neighbors.

The campaign benefited from the involvement of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® (SRAR), as well, whose bounds also include the beleaguered school district. Elizabeth de Carteret, the association’s Director of Industry and Community Relations, was already mobilizing her members for a city council special election that fell on the same day as the parcel tax vote, so they rolled the campaign against the parcel tax into their effort. “We have lots of members with kids in the public schools, and members who volunteer in them; we also know, as REALTORS®, that good public schools sell properties – we’re not against any of that,” she says. “This was a just a calculated money grab, and one that would unfairly burden property owners.” SRAR’s REALTOR® members manned three phone banks, spoke at office meetings, went door to door, and engaged in an active social media effort.

On June 4, the misguided measure failed in 14 of the 15 City Council districts in Los Angeles.

Litz notes that the REALTORS® will gladly support meaningful reform of the school district’s financial practices – and systemic improvements in public education. “We realize it may be easier said than done,” he says, “but our young people deserve quality and options when it comes to public education, and we’re all for making that happen!”

To learn more about how the REALTORS® in Los Angeles are protecting property owners from unfair tax burdens, contact Greater Los Angeles Association Government Affairs Director James Litz at 310-967-8800; or Elizabeth de Carteret, Director, Industry and Community Relations, Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®, at 818-947-2256.

Read more

Utah REALTORS® Think Ahead to Prevent Affordable Housing Shortage

The population of Utah is expected to double – yes, double – by the year 2040, and the matter of just where to house everyone is high on the state’s to-do list. Blocking the way are longstanding zoning restrictions at the local level across the state, as well as significant geographic constraints and, until recently, a misperception among the general public that denied a need for affordable housing. With the help of Utah REALTORS® over the past two years, public opinion has been swayed, and the state has found a way to incentivize solutions to the growing housing shortage, rather than strong-arming municipalities with mandates in 2019.

As Cate Klundt, Government Affairs Director of the Utah Association of REALTORS®, explains, the first step was joining a broad-based partnership of industry groups, homebuilders, non-profits, and the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Institute. This group, known as the Utah Housing Gap Coalition, commissioned an academic study detailing the nature of Utah’s demographics and housing needs, and conducted polling and focus groups on consumer attitudes. “The results of these inquiries in the first phase gave us what we needed to help craft effective legislation and formulate informed, targeted education campaigns in the second phase,” says Klundt. Two Issues Mobilization Grants and polling services strengthened the effort from start to finish.

Among the key issues revealed by the research was the prevailing misunderstanding among many Utah residents who rejected the notion of a housing shortage, despite the fact that Utah’s housing prices have increased at a higher rate than those of San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle in the past 20 years. Also significant, notes Klundt, is that the population boom putting pressure on the housing market was shown to be due to in-migration and natural household growth, rather than an influx of ‘outsiders.’ A notable age gap between aspiring home buyers in Utah and those opposing the development of affordable housing units pointed to the established generation being out of touch with the plight of the millennials. “We needed to make it clear to the baby boomers that the people being squeezed out of the housing market are not some nebulous threat, but their own children — and we had the data to prove it,” says Klundt.

The REALTORS® used this data in an internal campaign focused on protecting the American dream of homeownership, a theme that resonated at their REALTOR® Day at the state capitol, where about 400 members met with three-quarters of the legislature. The Utah Housing Gap Coalition directed a public campaign at Utah’s parental generation, with the message, ‘Your grown children want to remain close to home – let’s make this possible for them!’ says Klundt.

Members of the Housing Gap Coalition visited city councils around the state to hear their concerns before approaching the state legislature with an innovative plan: an Affordable Housing Modifications bill motivating municipalities to implement housing reform policies by tying their eligibility for state transportation funding to positive steps toward affordable housing planning and transit-oriented mixed-use development. By allowing local governments to choose from a list of measures including establishing community land trusts, permitting accessory dwelling units, lowering parking requirements, and allowing for higher density residential development in commercial zones, the legislation allows municipalities to retain some local control in solving their share of the state-wide problem. Passage of the bill was a triumph for the Housing Gap Coalition, which will continue its work with a focus on future legislation to meet funding needs.

“I don’t think we’re the only state that has to manage conservative homebuilders and more liberal housing advocates, and we were successful in creating a process that appeased both of those groups as well as local governments and the state legislature,” says Klundt. “Our whole coalition is grateful to the REALTOR® Party for the support that made it possible.”

To learn more about how Utah REALTORS® are working to help municipalities become part of the solution to their own affordable housing challenges, contact Government Affairs Director Cate Klundt at 702-767-3994.

Read more

July Brings Summer Fun and Advocacy

July is the time for baseball, summer fun, relaxation, and family vacations. But rest assured that we are continuing to work hard on your behalf! Here are a few hot topics of note:

Affordability & Supply

President Trump created a Housing Affordability Council, and recently signed an Executive Order that will eliminate barriers that limit access to affordable housing — namely zoning laws, environmental regulations, building codes and lengthy building permit processes. We anticipate there will be opportunities to provide information and input to this Council and will distribute information on an on-going basis as the work process of the Council is fleshed out.

Led by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, the Council will consist of members from eight Federal agencies. Members will engage with government leaders, elected officials, the private sector, and other stakeholders from across the country in the effort to identify and eliminate the “obstacles that impede the production of affordable homes.”

NAR was a Hall of Fame sponsor of the annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

Association Health Plans

It’s more than a year since 12 attorney generals filed suit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), challenging the agency’s final rule which opened the door for small employers and self-employed individuals, including real estate professionals, to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs). NAR is invested in efforts to pursue AHPs, and more than 200 state and local associations have agreed to support our latest work to secure affordable, high-quality health care options for members and their families. We joined in amicus brief in support of DOL’s rule through the Coalition to Protect and Promote Association Health Plans. In addition, we created the AHP Toolkit is a resource for Associations to use as they investigate and seek to implement an AHP in their area.

Flood Insurance

On February 20, 2019, five federal regulatory agencies published final regulations clarifying lender acceptance of private flood insurance. These rules went into effect on July 1. NAR has been working as part of a coalition to make it easier for lenders to accept private flood insurance, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). We will continue working with Congress and the administration to clarify any remaining issues of continuous private flood insurance coverage and address these issues as part of NFIP reauthorization and reform legislation.

Housing Finance Reform

We are continuing to push for a resolution to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae conservatorship. NAR’s plan would retain the government guarantee and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and ensure the availability and affordability of mortgage credit for credit-worthy borrowers. We met with representatives from HUD and the Department of Treasury as well as the new FHFA Director about to discuss our Vision for Housing Finance Reform.

While we are busy working on your behalf, we ask you to be ready to take action at a moment’s notice on these or other important issues at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Sign up for the REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts. Simply text the word REALTOR to 30644 or subscribe online before July 31 and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card.

 

 

Read more

GADFly Newsletter – June 2019

Dates & Deadlines

nav_red_arrow.gif Aug. 7: Can the Broadband Gap in Rural America be Closed?
Tune in to our webinar on August 7 to get an overview of the digital divide; its impact on real estate and communities; and efforts underway to bridge the divide including funding and changes in laws to accelerate broadband deployment. Hear from the REALTOR® community on a state and local level to see how they are engaged in this effort by advocating for legislation and joining coalitions to increase broadband access. Register today. For more information, contact Holly Moskerintz at 202-383-1157.

2019 GAD Institute

We hope to see you at the GAD Institute, July 16 – 18 in Cincinnati, Ohio! Limited registration will be available on site. The Institute provides a means for association lobbyists, policy and regulatory professionals, and those who work in REALTOR® Party Advocacy to meet annually, exchange ideas and best practices, as well as gain valuable career skills and networking opportunities. As you plan for your trip, please check out some of the helpful links below.

  • Conference mobile app – An easy way to view conference sessions, events, speakers and other attendees. Update or add to YOUR information here.
  • GAD Institute page – See final schedule and speakers here.
  • Reserve your 30-minute session with the following NAR staff experts:
    • Melissa Horn, Manager, Online Advocacy
    • Peter Kelly, Director, RPAC Technology and Online Fundraising​​​​​​
    • Adriann Murawski, Policy Representative, State and Local Government
  • Free Headshot Opportunity – Sign up for a specific time for Tuesday, July 16.
  • GADs Give Back – See which project the GADs are supporting locally this year and donate here

Advocacy Resources

nav_red_arrow.gif Association Health Plan Toolkit
NAR remains invested in protecting access to Association Health Plans (AHPs), and supporting state and local associations’ pursuit of these plans as an affordable and comprehensive health insurance benefit for REALTORS® and their families. To encourage these efforts, NAR has developed a new AHP Toolkit for associations to use as they investigate and seek to implement an AHP in their area. Federal litigation challenges and state regulatory hurdles currently prevent national adoption of an AHP, but successful state and local enactment could serve as an example for cautious states and reluctant insurers, setting the stage for a national plan down the road. Download it today. Read the latest on health care reform.

nav_red_arrow.gif Issues Mobilization is Here to Help
The Issues Mobilization Program provides financial and technical support to state and local REALTOR® Associations to assist you in addressing public policy issues that impact REALTORS® and the real estate industry. At the halfway mark in 2019, the program has awarded 40 grants ranging from $800 to $750,000 on a wide variety of public policy issues. Funding is available to assist your issue advocacy efforts in the second half of 2019. For more information, contact Joe Maheady at 202-383-1006 or John Winston at 202-383-1235.

nav_red_arrow.gif Feedback Sought on Know Before You Owe (KBYO) Mortgage Disclosure Rule/TRID
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is preparing to issue a Request for Information (RFI) and five-year assessment of the TRID rule, examining the costs, benefits, and impact of the rule on consumers, industry, and the real estate transaction. If you have specific questions, concerns, positive stories, or other comments on TRID, please share them with your Political Representative or email Business Issues Policy Representative Nia Duggins no later than July 12.

nav_red_arrow.gif State Legislative Monitor Update
Of the issues NAR monitors, more than 90 bills were enacted between the months of May and June. Several provisions passed regarding Affordable/Workforce Housing (CO, IA, LA, MD, ME, MT, NV, OR). Of note, in Oregon a controversial bill passed the House that would end single family zoning bill stalled in the Senate after Republicans went MIA. Several states enacted legislation regarding the misrepresentation of service animals (AL, IA, OK, SC, and TN). Earlier this year, KY, ND, and UT passed similar legislation. FL, NE, and OK approved legislation to enable online/remote notary services (enacted earlier this year ID, KY, MD, MT, ND, SD, TN, UT, WA). Texas recently updated their property seller disclosure form to have more flood-related questions, making it one of the most comprehensive state flood-related disclosures in the U.S. For more information, contact Adriann Murawski at 202-383-1068.

nav_red_arrow.gif Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide – Your Opinion Sought
NAR is creating an Interactive REALTOR® Party Resource Guide that puts everything you need in one location! This microsite will provide association staff with a comprehensive view of  the more than 80 REALTOR® Party programs, tools, resources, and grants, along with grant applications, success stories, historical program usages, and NAR staff contact.

Created at the request of the Future of the REALTOR® Party Presidential Advisory Group, this digital asset will be accompanied by a printed brochure featuring a letter for the current NAR president and CEO as well as the REALTOR® Party index with Core Standard designations. This combination would replace the 40+ page printed guide, which regularly changes due to programmatic resource and human changes. As the frequent users of REALTOR® Party programs and services, we want your feedback. We’ll post in the GAD Facebook page and watch for your comments over the next week. 

nav_red_arrow.gif Do You Have a New GAD Staffer?
Update GAD contact information in NAR’s GAD Directory. Are you a new Government Affairs Director, serving your association in a GA or REALTOR® Party capacity? Please add (or remove) any contact information there. Help us keep this list accurate and up to date.  

RPAC News

nav_red_arrow.gif New Corporate Ally Program Materials Available!
Did you know the Corporate Ally Program now counts toward RPAC fundraising goals? Check out the new Corporate Ally Program Brochure and updated FAQs  to help with your fundraising efforts! If you’d like to order brochures or have questions, contact Allyson Nelson at 202-383-1156.

nav_red_arrow.gif 2020 President’s Circle Conference Update
The 2020 President’s Circle Conference will be held in Miami, Fla., February 24-27, 2020. President’s Circle Members who invested the full $2,000 by July 31 will be able to register for the conference beginning on August 5, 2019. Early registrants have first access (at their own expense) to a limited number of rooms reserved for nights before/after the conference for the lower conference rate.

After the initial launch, registration will be open to members on a rolling basis, as follows:

  • $2,000 PC investment completed by July 31: Eligible to register on August 5
  • $2,000 PC investment completed by August 31: Eligible to register on September 5
  • $2,000 PC investment completed by September 30: Eligible to register on October 4

Contact Avery Walker at 202-383-7510 for questions regarding the President’s Circle program.

Contact Patricia Tarhon at 202-383-1119 or Prisca Austin at 312-329-8389 for questions regarding registration for the 2020 President’s Circle Conference.

NAR’s Economic Outlook

For more information on NAR’s Economic Outlook, contact Meredith Dunn at 202-383-1207.

SAVE THE DATE

Message from the GAD Chair

cadyThomas2.jpg
Matthew Leger
GAD Chair
REALTORS® of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale

And just like that, we are a couple weeks away from the culmination of a year of hard work and preparation led by your 2019 GAD Advisory Group. With that said, GAD Institute is no small undertaking. It takes lots of preparation and execution to pull off something as successful as this event. A big thank you to everyone who has helped throughout the year – without your volunteer hours, knowledge of our industry, and dedication to the GAD Community, none of this would be possible.

A couple specific thank you’s in advance of the institute:

Danielle Scoggins for chairing the Short-Term Rental Workgroup and Liz Peetz and Lacey Everett for co-Chairing the Affordable Housing Workgroup. Both workgroups put in many extra hours in preparation for their presentations on Policy Day at the GAD Institute.
Jaime Horbach (Rix) and Andrew Blackburn for developing a mentor program for our first-time attendees. Our GAD Community is growing and this year we will welcome 52 first-time attendees to Cincinnati!
Mark Quarry and Sarah Rayne for their vision in building the partnership with Project Connect. Your leadership will go a long way in helping many of children in Cincinnati!
And finally, to the person who kept the 2019 GAD Advisory Group in line this year, Kyle Lambert-London. Thank you for going above and beyond to make sure this group has always had the tools necessary to allow us to execute the best possible institute. More importantly, thank you for being more than just a staff liaison. Thank you for being a friend and mentor to so many of us. Your hard work is evident when witnessing the progress the GAD Institute has made over the years.

Sadly, this is my last GADFly, but know that you are in more than capable hands with your 2020 GAD Advisory Group Chair, Julia Parenteau!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Cincinnati, OH!

Safe Travels!

Matthew

Read more

REALTOR Party News – June 2019

bobGoldberg_sm.jpg e_mendenhall.jpg

Homeownership Advocates: ‘That’s Who We R’

June is National Homeownership Month, when we promote homeownership opportunities and financial management as paths to ownership for more Americans. This month, we are also recognizing milestones in military veteran housing and celebrating LGBT buyers — and all those for whom homeownership is part of the American Dream.
READ MORE

By The Numbers

The law that eliminates the cap on home loans issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was unanimously passed by the Senate on Wednesday and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. NAR helped secure a victory in the bill by limiting proposed VA home loan fee increases, and commended Congressional and White House efforts to protect the VA Home Loan Program. LEARN MORE

24M

Number of loans backed by the VA Home Loan Program since its inception. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill. Since being signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the GI Bill’s VA Home Loan Guaranty Program has given service members the chance to own a home through this centralized, affordable, and accessible resource. See photos from the official event. LEARN MORE

New extended deadline of the National Flood Insurance Program. The extension was attached to a broader disaster aid package, H.R. 2157. In addition, House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) unveiled long-term reauthorization and reform legislation. LEARN MORE

Number of people appointed to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC), one of whom is REALTOR® Paul Yorkis. The Medway, Mass. REALTOR® will use his 27 years of experience in real estate to provide recommendations and support to the HCFAC in the effort to help families obtain, sustain, and improve their housing through a strong national network of HUD-approved counseling agencies and HUD-certified counselors.
LEARN MORE

The REALTOR® Party At Work

Highlighted here are a few of the many REALTOR® Party success stories across the nation. These and others are catalogued in the Success Stories section on REALTORParty.realtor.

tar1217.jpg

Washington REALTORS® Fight for Affordable Housing Legislation

REALTORS® in Washington state knew that access to affordable housing at all income levels was being hampered by lack of inventory. Using an Issues Mobilization Grant, they convinced lawmakers to tackle challenges ranging from zoning to builder-liability to spur the creation of more housing stock.

summit1217.jpg

DC REALTORS® Keep Property Taxes at Bay

When the D.C. Association of REALTORS® learned on the eve of a budget vote that a City Council member was planning to introduce an “emergency amendment” taxing homes valued at more than $1 million, it dropped everything and called in the REALTOR® Party. A timely Call for Action got a strong message through to council members, and the proposal was shelved – for the time being.

lansing1217.jpg

Pacific Southwest REALTORS® Helps Create Homeless Resources Website

Using a Housing Opportunity Grant, the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® has sponsored the development of a website serving as a one-stop resource for those experiencing homelessness – or near-homelessness – in the San Diego area.

Resources & Opportunities

commonGround1217.jpg

NAR Engaged in White House Discussions to Find Association Health Plan Solutions

Throughout June, NAR is celebrating the homeowner heroes of today, tomorrow, and beyond! We’re recognizing the heroes that make homeownership thrive while building strong communities, creating generational wealth for families, and boosting our economy. Join us as we promote the American Dream of homeownership and recognize the people, policies, and programs that help protect homeownership now and into the future.LEARN MORE

commonGround1217.jpg

50th Anniversary of RPAC Commemorative Artwork

Are you one of the 10,000 2018 RPAC Major Investors whose name is part of the custom picture by artist Phil Hansen, replicating NAR’s Washington, D.C., building? Watch the Commemorative Artwork Creation Video, and visit the 50th Anniversary of the REALTORS® Political Action Committee webpage to search for your name. LEARN MORE

commonGround1217.jpg

ICYMI: REALTORS® Legislative Meetings Hill Visit Town Hall

During the 2019 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, REALTORS® met with 92% of the members of Congress. This includes meetings with all Democratic and Republican House of Representatives and Senate leadership members, committee chairs, vice chairs, and ranking members.VIEW PICTURES

rpGuide_1117.jpg

2019 REALTOR® Party Resource Guide

Check out the 2019 REALTOR® Party Association Resource Guide to learn about resources for community outreach, candidate and issue campaigns, RPAC and political fundraising, member and consumer mobilization, and much more. Also, review the programs and resources that qualify for the new Vote, Act, and Invest Core Standards’ requirements.

1215_socialMedia.jpg

Join the REALTOR® Party Online

Are you posting, liking, tweeting or pinning? So is the REALTOR® Party. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to get the latest news, information and resources.

Read more

Celebrating National Homeownership Month with Pride

June is National Homeownership and LGBT Pride Month. While we are recognizing the important relationship between homeownership and achieving the American Dream, and encouraging people around the country to learn more about homeownership opportunities and financial management plans.

June is also LGBT Pride Month. In 2009, more than a decade before the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, NAR embraced the significance of the protections secured by the Fair Housing Act, and encouraged efforts to extend them by amending our Code of Ethics in 2009 to prohibit discriminations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

REALTORS® attending the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill event with Army Sgt. 1 st Class William Kopf

On June 5, we joined the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of  Housing and Urban Development to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill along with the 24 millionth home loan backed by the VA loan program. The recipient was Army Sgt. 1 st Class William Kopf (pictured third from the left), an Active Guard Reserve Soldier who turned to his home loan benefit for the third time after service requirements necessitated a move from Utah to Northeastern Pennsylvania. REALTORS® Marilou Saar and Joni McKenna were in attendance Wednesday as the agents who helped make the 24 millionth transaction possible.

We are a key voice in promoting and educating consumers on homeownership. Through the HomeOwnershipMatters.realtor website, we offer an ideal platform for current and prospective homeowners to have their voice heard at the local, state, and national levels of government on core tax and property issues, joining REALTORS® in protecting homeownership now – and for generations to come. With proposed policy changes happening in communities across the country, it is more important than ever to stand-up for homeowner rights.

Be sure to visit Home Ownership Matters’ National Homeownership Month page for shareable videos, infographics, and other content throughout June.

Read more

Washington REALTORS® Campaign for Affordable Housing Legislation

REALTORS® in Washington state knew that access to affordable housing at all income levels was being hampered by lack of inventory, and that not just one, but a whole slew of legislative hurdles was in the way of creating more. With the help of an Issues Mobilization Grant, they mounted a persuasive campaign called Unlock the Door for Affordable Homeownership, urging residents to contact their legislators in support of a bundle of bills aimed at increasing the state’s housing stock.

Unlock the Door was driven by a strong coalition of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, with the REALTORS® at the forefront, explains Nathan Gorton, the Washington Association of REALTORS®’ (WAR) Government Affairs Director. Comprising groups from across the housing industry, the coalition is united in the belief that housing is all about supply-and-demand, and that a weak supply hurts everyone. “It affects people in all income levels, including homeowners trying to sell their houses – from move-up young families to empty-nesters to retirees,” says Gorton, “and part of our task was making sure the legislature understood that continuum, and what it means for the state’s economy. On the other side of the coin, building the campaign forced us to take a closer look at government subsidized housing, and its place in the puzzle. There was a lot of learning going on, on both sides,” he gamely admits.

“The fact is, there was no single silver-bullet bill that we could have brought to the legislature that would result in more homes coming on the marketplace,” he continues. “It was closer to twenty.  So, we bundled them together in four categories – Funding for Local Governments; Increased Housing Supply & Density for Market-Rate and Affordable Housing; Incentives for Affordable & Low-Income Housing; and Regulatory & Liability Reforms – and got to work seeking public support.”

Unlock the Door was a robust media campaign, including broadcast and cable TV, radio, and digital ads, featuring real-life stories submitted by members of WAR about the challenges and frustrations of Washington residents shut out of the housing market.

It was an absolute home-run of a campaign, reports Washington REALTORS® President, Dale Chumbley, who led a near-record crowd of just over 500 members to the state capitol in January for “WR Hill Day”. “The whole tone was positive, pro-active, and upbeat. We went into the legislature saying: ‘We all know this is a problem; here’s who the coalition is; here are our solutions.’” And the legislature was ready to listen. Polling showed significant public concern about the level of affordable housing in the state, and the coalition had done its homework, meeting issues of concern with draft legislation. Only one significant bill of 18 on the Unlock the Door docket failed to pass, a measure attempting to extend a tax exemption program for affordable multifamily housing. The coalition is already planning to try again next year.

A survey of WR members toward the end of the campaign revealed an 84% awareness of the effort, the sort of recognition that could normally take years to achieve, according to the consultant on the project. “Not only was it a huge success legislatively,” says Gorton, “it was a huge success for our members, and for homeowners and aspiring homeowners in Washington state: a real triumph, all around!”

To learn more about how the REALTORS® of Washington state have been taking a big-picture approach to overcoming the challenges of affordable housing, contact Nathan Gorton, Government Affairs Director of the Washington REALTORS® at 360-943-3100.

Read more