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Realtors from across the country gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with their federal legislators regarding issues that impact the real estate industry. Pictured, from left, are Coastal President-Elect Joe Wilson, Bud and Alyson Church, and Coastal President Bernie Flax.

(June 7, 2019) During the National Association of Realtors Annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., Realtors from across the country, including members from the Coastal Association of Realtors, traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their federal elected officials.

The purpose of the visits is to share with elected officials NAR’s legislative priorities, which this year include reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), an investment deadline extension for Qualified Opportunity Zones, and passage of The Equality Act to support fair housing.

Since authority for the NFIP to write insurance was set to expire on May 31, NAR members advocated for reauthorization of the program to avoid a lapse.

Flood insurance is required for a federally-related mortgage in more than 20,000 communities across the country.

According to NAR research, 40,000 property sales are delayed or cancelled each month of a program lapse. Realtors support extending the NFIP as Congress continues its bipartisan work toward responsible long-term reauthorization that includes meaningful reforms to strengthen program solvency.

The House voted to extend the NFIP through September, but the measure has not yet been approved by the Senate.

The Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) program has great potential to spur real estate development and investment, creating additional economic opportunities in these designated communities.

Investors are eager to participate, but delays in the process to finalize QOZ rules have stalled the program’s momentum.

Members advocated for the U.S. Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to quickly finalize rulemaking, or Congress should act to extend deadlines for certain tax benefits created through Opportunity Zones to ensure the program’s success.

Fair housing laws improve opportunities to employment, education, and healthy communities, and NAR is proud of its commitment to equal housing policies.

Ten years ago, NAR amended its Code of Ethics to require that Realtors provide equal professional service to the LGBTQ population.

Members advocated for H.R. 5, The Equality Act, which amends the nation’s civil rights laws to ensure the American Dream is available and accessible to all Americans. H.R. 5 was passed by the House on May 17 and awaits a vote in the Senate.

“We always appreciate our elected leaders taking time out of their busy schedules to hear about real estate issues,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “We provided them with a lot of information, not only on these timely issues, but also on who Realtors are and how they impact the nation’s economy. We hope they will stand with us on these issues to support our industry and the American Dream.”

For more information about CAR, visit www.coastalrealtors.org.

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