NAR Releases 2019 Policy Priorities

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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 want 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.

The priorities were announced at the 2019 Realtor Party Training Conference in Minneapolis. They were developed following a process that included feedback from the NAR Public Policy Coordinating Committee and results of the 2018 NAR Member Survey.

Florida survey results

A map lists national priorities at the state level. Florida has three, all of which NAR says it plans to support:

  • Water quality: “In Florida, both of our coasts are being affected by blue-green algae, impacting local economies.

  • Short-term rentals: “Florida passed legislation that would preempt duration of stay. Since then, local governments have passed over-reaching ordinances trying to ban short-term rentals. We are trying to address some of the concerns at the state level.”

  • Open/expired permits: “Sellers/buyers are having issues with open/expired permits during closing. We are looking at state legislation to cap the length of permits.”

NAR 2019 policy priority issues

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.