The pandemic upended the National Association of Realtor’s legislative priorities for 2020, with the association’s advocacy efforts being forced to pivot to COVID-19 relief. And while that lobbying resulted in a few wins — like unemployment for Realtors, the Paycheck Protection Program and rental assistance — the association is ready to put new priorities in its crosshairs for 2021, while continuing to advocate for relief.
“Fallout from the pandemic will likely be felt for years, and we surely haven’t seen the last of COVID in Congress,” NAR Chief Advocacy Officer Shannon McGahn wrote in a piece for RisMedia. “We enter 2021 with continued resolve to fight for relief, but we are also determined to work on behalf of Realtors for many other priorities.”
In the coming months, the trade organization plans to advocate for tax incentives for homeownership and construction of affordable housing. It plans to fight to preserve the 1031 like-kind exchange, which allows investors to defer capital gains taxes under specific circumstances.
The association also plans to fight for a more inclusive national housing policy. Under its new president, Charlie Oppler, the association has already been more vocal in acknowledging its own role in housing discrimination.
McGahn said NAR will partner with lawmakers in Washington to “secure more equitable public policy” while also promoting its own efforts to members. Those efforts include providing anti-bias training videos, fair housing simulation training and other anti-discrimination initiatives.
“We know that all NAR members — and everyone in this country — benefit when our housing market is free, fair, transparent and efficient,” McGahn said. “And, as the largest trade association in the world, NAR is committed to using our voice to champion efforts that will combat and eliminate discrimination in America’s real estate industry.”
With the new year also will come a new administration, despite the efforts of President Donald Trump and a select number of Republicans to overturn the certified results. McGahn, a former members of the Trump administration, both acknowledged Biden’s victory and praised his proposal for a $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit.
“President-elect Joe Biden’s $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit proposal could be particularly helpful for minority homebuyers and millennials who have struggled to save for a down payment while juggling student loan payments and relentless housing price growth across the country,” McGahn said.
“These issues enjoy tremendous bipartisan support, and NAR stands ready with strong relationships on both sides of the aisle to lend a hand in moving these important policies forward.”