The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) listed six policy priorities it plans to pursue in 2019, each of which has an impact on Realtors, homeowners, and the real estate market.
NAR says its goal is to be “working to be at the forefront of discussions as Congress and the White House seek agreement on a comprehensive national infrastructure package next year.” Congress has already listed the nation’s sometimes-crumbling infrastructure – buildings, roads, etc. – as a 2019 priority. NAR says it wants to “ensure the voice of Realtors is heard.”
Other priorities include making recent tax law changes better and ensuring Realtors have a leading voice in efforts to reform the country’s secondary mortgage market.
Infrastructure Infrastructure ranked high on the NAR Member Survey and a number of NAR committees will be reviewing issues related to it. The issue is expected to be one that Congress and the White House take up in 2019, and “it’s crucial that Realtors be leaders in the conversation.”
Federal taxation The Federal Taxation Committee will consider changes to improve last year’s tax reform law. On the commercial side, NAR’s Federal Taxation Committee and the Commercial Committee will seek to advance qualified opportunity zones as a path for real estate investment.
Access to credit Alternative credit models such as rent payment history will be a focus as NAR works to improve access to credit. NAR will also educate lawmakers about the importance of protecting the availability of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage financing. NAR President-elect Vince Malta will testify before Congress on the issue and NAR will be showcasing its role as the thought leader on reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a policy forum it hosts in Washington next year.
Health insurance The Insurance Committee will work to protect and promote the U.S. Department of Labor’s rule on association health plans, which expands the use of AHPs – but it faces hurdles.
Flood insurance The Insurance Committee will continue to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to finalize comprehensive reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program and modernize flood mapping. In addition, NAR will be working with FEMA to raise public awareness of disaster preparedness.
Technology The Federal Technology Committee will promote NAR’s innovation agenda, which includes responsible data security protections, restoration of net neutrality to help maintain an even playing field online, and advancement of remote notarization.