Members of the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR) joined forces with thousands of REALTORS® from across the United States who visited one-on-one with Members of Congress and their staff about issues critical to their businesses, communities and the consumers they represent during the REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo held in Washington, D. C. the week of May 12-17, 2014.
To help prepare members for their important congressional visits, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) prepared talking points to walk REALTORS® through the messages that NAR wanted them to present to their Members of Congress.
The hill visit talking points included:
- Preserve the Mission and Purpose of the FHA Program – Ensure that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family program has the tools and policies in place to meet its mission of providing access to safe, affordable mortgage financing to qualified borrowers nationwide, without imposing burdensome limitations.
- Preserve Real Estate-Related Tax Policies – Lawmakers must remember the vital role that real estate tax provisions play in the nation’s housing markets and economy. Tax reform is important but should first do no harm. Several tax provisions vital to distressed homeowners and commercial real estate have expired and need to be extended. Oppose efforts to eliminate or weaken the mortgage interest deduction (MID) for primary and second homes and oppose eliminating property tax deductions.
- Reform Secondary Mortgage Market to Provide Certainty in the U.S. Housing Market – Restructure the secondary mortgage market to ensure that affordable mortgages are available to consumers in all types of markets, and avoid a major disruption to the nation’s economy that would result from the total collapse of the housing finance sector.
- In Appreciation of the Federal Political Coordinators and Team Captains and Their Leadership–It is important to thank the HAR leadership who served as Federal Political Coordinators and Team Captains and led the group discussions during our congressional visits that spanned two days. Please join me in giving a big Texas size thank you to Ward Arendt, Shad Bogany, Christi Borden, Sheri Brummett, Kenya Burrell, Marilyn Burt, Danny Frank, Vicki Fullerton, Nancy Furst, John Nichols, Jo Ann Stevens, and Delora Wilkinson. They studied their Members of Congress’ voting records, bills, and legislation in preparation for their successful face-to-face meetings.
Many of the photos you see on these pages are credited to Ward Arendt and his keen eye and sense of timing. Ward, thank you so much for capturing these moments in time and sharing them with us.
Next year’s congressional visits are planned for May 13 and 14, so mark your calendars now to participate and join your REALTOR® colleagues for an eye-opening experience in the legislative process and see what a difference you can make!