The HAR Governmental Affairs team would like to thank our Federal Political Coordinators (FPC) and other HAR members who traveled to Washington, D.C. in May to meet with our Houston area legislators. Each year REALTORS® from all over the nation trek to the Hill and visit with legislators regarding real estate related legislation. This is a unique opportunity to meet with our federal elected officials to discuss issues, like the National Flood Insurance Program, that have local impact. The issues below are hot button issues that vital to our industry and your clients:
Supporting Strong Net Neutrality Protections
- Congress must enact common-sense “rules of the road” that will ensure the internet is an open, competitive place for consumers and for businesses.
- Legislation must ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) may not: (1) block, (2) throttle or (3) establish paid prioritization (internet fast lanes). It must further require ISPs to be transparent in their network management practices.
- Frequent regulatory fluctuations are not good for internet providers nor for those who rely on the internet for business or personal use. It is time for Congress to act!
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Thank the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, which would comprehensively reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years.
- Congressional action is still needed. Urge the Senate to take up H.R. 2874 immediately to avoid a program lapse on July 31, 2018.
- The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, made significant changes to the treatment of residential real estate. Some of the potentially harmful provisions were not enacted.
- As we move toward implementation of the law, it is clear that Congress has more work to do to address significant tax law problems that unfairly inhibit current and prospective homeowners.
- REALTORS® need to remind Members of Congress and their staffs that healthy real estate markets are key to sustained economic growth. Additionally, many benefits come to society, communities and families from sound tax policies that encourage homeownership and real estate investment.
Equal Access to Housing Opportunities
- 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. Fair housing is critical to our ability, as REALTORS®, to serve our clients, consumers and communities. We are committed to action and policies that support sustainable, inclusive communities without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.
- For more than 100 years, REALTORS® have subscribed to a strict Code of Ethics. This Code includes a commitment to provide equal professional services regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin and as of 2009, sexual orientation and in 2014, gender identity.
- REALTORS® are proud to lead the way toward greater equality in housing opportunities and urges Congress to adopt fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Please be on the lookout for legislative updates and opportunities to get involved through Call For Actions. If you are a broker and would like to participate in the Broker Involvement Program, so your agents can be the first to know about policy issues and calls for actions, please contact Amber Burton at email@example.com or 713.629.1900 ext. 269.