NAR’s federal advocacy crew had one in all its finest years in 2019 with wins on many priorities. Though not an exhaustive listing, listed here are 19 victories each REALTOR® ought to have fun:
NAR has spent a lot of the previous 12 months emphasizing and leveraging trade partnerships to strengthen its advocacy efforts. After a 4-year hole, NAR hosted a reunion in March of “The Group,” the casual identify given to the 4 key trade commerce leaders – the Nationwide Affiliation of House Builders, American Bankers Affiliation, Mortgage Bankers Affiliation and NAR. The Group met a number of occasions all year long and can meet all through 2020 to proceed constructing coverage consensus and convey a united actual property trade.
After almost a decade of NAR advocacy efforts, the Division of Housing and City Improvement launched new Federal Housing Administration condominium mortgage insurance policies. NAR is hopeful the adjustments will yield 1000’s of latest homeownership alternatives and assist enhance entry to credit score, as condominiums are sometimes essentially the most reasonably priced possibility for first-time homebuyers, small households, and people in city areas. The rule extends certifications from two years to 3 and permits for single-unit mortgage approvals, amongst different reforms. After being formally applied on October 15, 2019 the adjustments are already being felt in lots of elements of the nation the place affordability and stock issues are essentially the most important.
For added data, go to the Condominiums web page.
Flood Insurance coverage
NAR labored intently with Congressional leaders to make sure reauthorization for the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program (NFIP), which was prolonged by means of September 30, 2020. NAR additionally lobbied for H.R. 3167, the “NFIP Reauthorization Act of 2019.” This laws features a longer, 5-year extension for the NFIP together with important reforms to enhance mapping, improve mitigation, and take away obstacles to non-public flood insurance coverage coverage. NAR believes the laws “strikes a fragile stability between NFIP sustainability and affordability.” The invoice was unanimously permitted by the Home Monetary Providers Committee and is awaiting motion in each chambers of Congress.
For added data, go to the Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program web page.
Veterans House Loans
On the heels of the seventy fifth anniversary celebration of the GI Invoice, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act was signed into legislation in late June 2019, growing well-deserved assets for America’s veterans. This laws eliminates the cap on dwelling loans issued by the Division of Veterans Affairs and helps guarantee our nation’s veterans have higher entry to the American Dream of homeownership. NAR, together with different housing trade commerce teams and veterans affairs associations, had been actively engaged in Capitol Hill negotiations to make sure veteran well being advantages might be prolonged with out growing unrelated VA dwelling mortgage assure charges.
For added data, please go to the Veterans Affairs web page.
NAR hosted its first ever Coverage Discussion board, which centered on Housing Finance Reform. The February 7, 2019 occasion introduced collectively a whole lot of teachers, trade stakeholders, and coverage leaders to debate the way forward for the federal government sponsored enterprises and the affect on the customers and the financial system. NAR unveiled its whitepaper on GSE reform, “A Imaginative and prescient for Enduring Housing Finance Reform”, developed in collaboration with Susan Wachter of the Wharton Faculty and Richard Cooperstein of Andrew Davidson and Firm. NAR’s coverage suggestions make sure that accountable, creditworthy Individuals can safe a mortgage in all kinds of markets. The utility mannequin proposed within the whitepaper outlines the absolute best path ahead for the GSEs, and 2020 advocacy efforts might be formed by NAR’s collaboration with policymakers to safe these optimistic, pragmatic system reforms.
For added data, go to the Authorities Sponsored Enterprises web page.
NAR participated in a White Home occasion on the Certified Alternative Zone (“QOZ”) program on April 17. The second spherical of proposed guidelines for this system, launched in reference to the occasion, present extra particular particulars on how buyers can take part in this system and obtain the total tax advantages it gives. NAR additionally participated in a Division of Housing and City Improvement (HUD) Coverage Improvement & Analysis Stakeholder “HUDdle” on Certified Alternative Zones (QOZs). On the occasion on June 20, HUD Secretary Ben Carson gave the opening remarks, and he highlighted the purpose of this system to attract long-term funding, jobs, and financial progress to the distressed communities designated as QOZs. In August 2019, NAR launched the QOZ Toolkit that included information on RPR QOZ device and the Group Planning Grant for QOZ occasions.
For added data, go to the Certified Alternative Zones web page.
The Safe and Truthful Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act handed the Home in September 2019 by a vote of 321-103. The bipartisan laws gives a transparent framework for hashish companies to entry monetary companies. NAR despatched a letter to the total Home supporting the invoice and in late July NAR despatched a letter to the Senate Banking Committee supporting the Senate model of the laws.
Industrial Actual Property Funding
NAR participated within the U.S. Division of Commerce SelectUSA Funding Summit in Washington, DC in June 2019. Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, offered the “State of the Trade: Actual Property” phase.
Terrorism Danger Insurance coverage
NAR scored a significant victory, primarily for its industrial members, with the seven-year reauthorization of the Terrorism Danger Insurance coverage Program. Terrorism threat insurance coverage is usually required to safe vital financing for the 1000’s of economic practitioners nationwide. NAR repeatedly referred to as on Congress to reauthorize TRIP earlier than its scheduled expiration in 2020, publicly supporting Chairwoman Maxine Waters’ Terrorism Danger Insurance coverage Program Reauthorization Act of 2019.
For added data, go to the Terrorism Insurance coverage web page.
In December 2019, Congress handed a spending bundle funding the federal authorities for fiscal 12 months 2020. Included within the bundle are short-term extensions of three tax provisions instantly impacting the actual property trade:
- The exclusion of forgiven mortgage debt from gross revenue, which means that homeowners of main residences who bought them brief and had a part of their mortgage debt written off won’t must pay tax on the quantity forgiven;
- The deductibility of premiums for mortgage insurance coverage; and
- The deduction of the price of enhancements to industrial buildings that make them power environment friendly.
These provisions had all expired on the finish of 2017, however the invoice extends them, retroactive to the start of 2018, and thru the top of 2020. NAR additionally advocated strongly for H.R. 5377, “the Restoring Tax Equity for States and Localities Act,” which would supply a short lived two-year repeal of the $10,000 cap imposed on state and native tax deductions (SALT). The invoice handed the Home on the finish of December.
Truthful Housing Act
NAR continues to advertise the significance of the Truthful Housing Act and encourage member compliance with the legislation. NAR’s Truthful Housing Toolkit gives assets to develop understanding of and compliance with honest housing obligations. NAR additionally supported HR 5, “the Equality Act,” a invoice that may shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in housing and different settings. In Could 2019, HR 5 handed the Home by a vote of 236 – 173. NAR additionally labored intently with the Division of Housing and City Improvement to develop insurance policies that shield those that depend on the help of companion animals whereas stopping people from exploiting the system.
For extra data, go to the Truthful Housing web page.
Affiliation Well being Plans
On June 10, 2019 NAR collectively filed an amicus (buddy of court docket) temporary with 5 native boards to defend the US Division of Labor’s (DOL) rule enabling working homeowners (together with NAR members) to take part in affiliation well being plans. Over 200 state and native REALTOR® associations signed in assist of this effort. NAR and a number of other state and native associations additionally met with Division of Labor (DOL) and White Home officers to debate the trade’s robust assist for AHPs in Could. NAR constructed a toolkit and assets for state associations to work with their state legislature and insurance coverage commissioner to raised perceive and search alternative with undertake DOL’s affiliation well being plan rule into state legislation and continues to fulfill with the Secretary of Labor to assist these state efforts.
For extra data, go to the Well being Care Reform web page.
Entry to Credit score
NAR is working to make sure the American Dream of homeownership isn’t out of attain attributable to an inaccurate dedication on willingness and skill to repay a mortgage. NAR has supported a number of payments affecting federal credit score coverage and scholar mortgage debt, together with H.R. 123, “the FHA Extra Credit score Pilot Program Reauthorization Act,” which handed out of the Home Monetary Providers Committee in September 2019. The invoice would permit HUD to create a pilot program to automate different credit score.
Client Monetary Safety Bureau (CFPB)
On December 12, 2019, NAR collectively filed a impartial amicus (buddy of court docket) temporary with MBA and NAHB within the Supreme Court docket case analyzing the construction of the Client Monetary Safety Bureau (CFPB) that requested the least disruptive treatment potential to make sure market stability and certainty. The Temporary argues that if the Court docket finds the restrictions on the President’s potential to take away the Director of the CFPB unconstitutional, it ought to sever the restrictions relatively than strike down the whole Client Monetary Safety Act. This could stop important disruption to the financial system together with substantial uncertainty in our housing markets.
U.S.-Mexico-Canada Settlement (USMCA)
NAR supported the USMCA, the current settlement with Mexico and Canada within the renegotiation of the North American Free Commerce Settlement (NAFTA). The USMCA will carry North American buying and selling exercise into the twenty first century by means of groundbreaking reforms on digital commerce, agriculture and the surroundings, amongst many others. The settlement additionally preserves and strengthens the robust commerce ties between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
The 2020 mortgage mortgage limits for FHA and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs or the Enterprises) elevated in high-cost areas. The baseline (nationwide) restrict elevated to $510,400 from $484,350 in 2019. In high-cost areas, the restrict will go as much as $765,600 (from $726,525). The mortgage limits are based mostly on the Federal Housing Finance Company’s (FHFA) Housing Worth Index, which elevated by 5.38% since final 12 months. NAR has strongly advocated that the FHFA permit the GSEs to fulfill their public mission of supporting liquidity and broad entry to mortgage credit score. This contains adjusting the mortgage limits annually for the GSEs to replicate the change within the common U.S. dwelling worth, required below the Housing and Financial Restoration Act (HERA).
WOTUS Repeal and Exchange
Since 2015, NAR has supported efforts to repeal and substitute the “Waters of the U.S.” regulation, which might have swept extra water our bodies below management of the federal authorities and resulted extra burdensome and costly regulation. These efforts got here to fruition in 2019, when EPA finalized the repeal of the WOTUS regulation. NAR continues to assist the second step of this course of, which is to develop a common sense WOTUS rule that gives consistency, predictability and a shiny line on which waters are regulated by the federal authorities and that are regulated by state and native governments.
For extra data, go to the Clear Water Act web page.