Housing and private property issues were top concerns for more than 8,500 realtors who convened in Washington, D.C., in early June during the 2014 Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo. Rob Harman, president of the Delaware Association of Realtors attended the meetings and visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
A number of critical residential and commercial real estate issues took center stage at this year’s meetings. Sessions focused on pressing topics like protecting real estate-related tax policies, reforming the secondary mortgage market and the accessibility of mortgage credit and loan programs.
“As the leading advocate for homeownership and real estate issues, Realtors want to make sure these critical issues are recognized by our country’s leaders and remain top of mind for them,” said Harman. “Homeownership and commercial investment play a critical role in the long- and short-term health of this nation.”
While he was in Washington, Harman met with U.S. senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney’s staff on Capitol Hill to influence public policy decisions that will directly affect consumers’ ability to buy, sell and own real estate. Harman also urged the federal delegation from Delaware to reinstate the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2013. The expired tax provision provided relief to individuals following a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure.
“With proposed legislation being debated in Congress this term that could have a significant impact on consumers and the real estate market, it was important for realtors to meet with lawmakers,” said Harman.
Throughout the week Realtors participated in sessions with a number of government officials and industry experts who addressed many of today’s critical housing, mortgage finance and real estate investment issues. During one session, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a blueprint for greater consumer access to credit through a new FHA housing counseling program. Donovan said the agency is taking additional steps to expand access to mortgage credit for underserved borrowers.
Harman also had the chance to explore the latest industry innovations and stay up to date on how new products are transforming the real estate business, as more than 100 exhibitors showcased the newest real estate products and services for the industry during the Trade Expo.
The Delaware Association of Realtors is a trade association with over 3,100 members and is the voice for real estate in Delaware.