During two exciting and fast-paced days, 70 members of the Houston Association of REALTORS® visited with 10 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and two members of the U.S. Senate and advocated for REALTOR® issues. In addition to the office visits, breakfast meetings with our members of Congress were held at Tortilla Coast on May 11 and 12. During the two day period, we were very pleased to have Representatives Kevin Brady, Al Green, Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pete Olson, Ted Poe, Brian Babin and Randy Weber join us for breakfast and discuss our issues. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Chairman Michael McCaul in the Homeland Security committee room on Capitol Hill. Congressman Culberson hosted us in his Capitol office for a morning visit. The afternoon of May 11, Texas REALTORS® gathered in the Hart Senate Office Building for back-to-back meetings with Senators John Cornyn and the staff of Ted Cruz. These annual visits give members of Congress an opportunity to listen to the concerns of REALTORS® in their districts and recognize their opinions and perspectives to help shape important laws and policies.
H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act” Needs Movement
On June 13, the National Association of REALTORS® launched an all member Call for Action urging its members to contact their U.S. Senators and encourage them to bring H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act”, to the Senate Floor for a vote. This bill makes much-needed reforms to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) condominium loan program, federally-assisted housing programs, and Rural Housing Service loan programs. H.R. 3700 passed the House by a vote of 427-0 earlier this year and now only needs passage through the Senate in order to be sent to the President’s desk. Check you inbox for NAR’s Call to Action and respond accordingly.
Federal Funds for Flood Mitigation
On May 23 a letter of support was sent to Congressman Al Green (TX-09) in regards to his bill H.R. 5025, the “2016 Tax Day Floods Supplemental Funding Act.” This bill will secure funds to help mitigate damages from future floods through the completion of various flood control projects in Harris County, including the project to widen Brays Bayou. There has not been any movement on the bill since the letter was sent out, but the Governmental Affairs team is monitoring any progress and will continue to keep HAR members informed. In addition to receiving HAR’s letter of support, this bill also received letters of support from the Greater Houston Partnership, the Harris County Flood Control District, and the City of Houston.
It is important to note that H. R. 5025 has received support from all ten of the U. S. House Members from the Greater Houston Area, including Ted Poe, John Culberson, Kevin Brady, Al Green, Michael McCaul, Randy Weber, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pete Olson, Gene Green, and Brian Babin.
Here is the letter that was sent to Congressman Al Green (TX-09) on May 23, 2016:
Dear Congressman Green:
On behalf of the Houston Association of REALTORS® and our 32,000 + members, we are writing to you to express our strong support of your bill, H.R. 5025 the “2016 Tax Day Floods Supplemental Funding Act.” It has only been a few weeks since the 2016 Tax Day flood struck the Greater Houston area. The April 18 floods had a dramatic impact on our entire region. Over 3,700 homes were damaged in Harris County, with some flooding for the second, third or fourth time. There were a total of 3,710 damaged structures throughout the county: 2,348 were outside the floodplain and 1,362 homes within the 100 year floodplain required in-home substantial damage inspections.
The funds secured from this legislation would help mitigate damages from future floods through the completion of various flood control projects in Harris County, including the project to widen Brays Bayou. This bill is extremely important for homeowners living in Harris County.
We are so grateful for your representation in Washington, and your continued support and interest in the real estate community is invaluable. If we ever may be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call on us.
2016 Chair of the Board
HAR Chief Political Strategist