Jul 28, 2023, 12:04 PM
In this installment of the Advocacy Report, we are debriefing about NVAR Government Affairs staff attending the NAR Government Affairs Directors’ (GAD) Institute July 18-20 in Detroit, Michigan. We will also recap NVAR Staff joining Board President Heather Embrey and President-Elect Thai-Hung Nguyen for an exclusive opportunity to meet with several influential elected leaders at a recent event held in McLean. Finally, we will discuss how NVAR Staff and Realtors® helped lead an Arlington County Community Workshop on the Role of Local Government in Homeownership.
Advocacy and Government Affairs updates from Washington D.C., Richmond and across Northern Virginia. The REALTOR® Advocacy Report is your source for news from the NVAR Government Affairs Team.
GAD Institute: NVAR Government Affairs staff attended the NAR Government Affairs Directors’ (GAD) Institute July 18-20 in Detroit, Michigan. The GAD Institute is an annual professional development conference for state and local real estate association professionals who provide guidance to and work for associations in the areas of government affairs, political affairs, legislative or regulatory affairs, lobbying, advocacy, RPAC fundraising, campaigns, community outreach and/or all REALTOR® Party initiatives.
This year’s conference covered topics including Fair Housing, Tax Policy, Home Equity Legislation, Short-Term Rentals, Rent Control, Housing Density, Overcoming NIMBYism, Combating Political Tribalism and the Partisan Divide and much more. Even more valuable than the session topics is the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with other local associations, between local and state associations, and with NAR advocacy staff.
Housing Arlington: NVAR Staff and Realtors® helped lead an Arlington County Community Workshop on the Role of Local Government in Homeownership. This in-person collaborative workshop focused on objectives and strategies for accomplishing the vision and goals of the Housing Arlington Homeownership Study. Learn more about the Housing Arlington Homeownership Study.
Building Relationships: NVAR Staff joined Board President Heather Embrey and President-Elect Thai-Hung Nguyen for an exclusive opportunity to meet with several influential elected leaders at a recent event held in McLean. The event featured US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) Virginia House of Delegates Democratic Leader Don Scott (D-80), Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-6), and Delegate Vivian Watts (D-14).
Having Realtor® leaders at the table for these types of meetings and events is vital for building and maintaining relationships with members of Congress and the General Assembly.
News and notes on Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
For drivers who stick with the Greenway, a smooth commute through the heart of one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties could soon cost more: The road’s owner is seeking the approval of state regulators to increase rates up to 40 percent. The request has angered drivers, county leaders and some state lawmakers, who are questioning the proposed toll increase and oversight of the six-lane, 14-mile stretch of private highway in the Washington exurbs.
Find out what the proposed EPA regulations to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint dust mean to REALTORS® and property managers.
The congressional delegation in the D.C. region notched a win when the House of Representatives roundly rejected an attempt to add more long-haul flights to Reagan National Airport.
REALTORS® are tackling supply and affordability challenges to bring down barriers for would-be home buyers.
The ongoing redevelopment of Richmond Highway (Route 1) in Fairfax County has sparked a larger discussion over whether the benefits of road widening projects outweigh their potential harm. The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to bring improvements to a three-mile stretch in the Richmond Highway corridor in two phases: first from Jeff Todd Way to just north of Frye Road, then from just north of Frye Road to Sherwood Hall Lane. Notably, the changes will widen Richmond Highway from four to six lanes, which will pave the way for bus rapid transit in the corridor but has garnered some pushback from local community members.
Check out the three new action steps announced by the White House in its crackdown on rental housing junk fees.
On July 6, NAR signed on to a letter to Senator Daines and Congressman Smucker. The business groups represented in the letter expressed strong support for the introduction of the Main Street Tax Certainty Act of 2023, legislation to make permanent the 20-percent deduction for small- and individually-owned businesses (Section 199A). Senator Daines' and Congressman Smucker's legislation would provide certainty to the millions of S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships that rely on the Section 199A deduction to remain competitive both here and overseas.
FHA Raises Multifamily Large Loan Threshold
On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) increased the threshold dollar amount for “Large Multifamily Loans” from $75 million to $120 million, a change NAR and multifamily housing advocates specifically requested just last year. In addition to increasing the threshold, the new policy leaves open the possibility of future annual increases of $5 million. This is the first increase since 2014. This change will increase the number of multifamily loans that are eligible for standard underwriting for FHA insurance – loans above the “Large Loan Threshold” must meet additional requirements. Increasing the threshold by $45 million creates greater flexibility for lenders in this space and will facilitate the creation of more rental housing while also mitigating increased development costs. It also better reflects the risk profile of the borrowers.
In November 2022 NAR and several rental housing coalition partners sent a letter to the FHA requesting that the agency make this specific update to its loan limit thresholds to reflect changes in the market and the need to speed up and encourage multifamily rental development. NAR is pleased that the FHA has made this common-sense and long-overdue change and will continue to work with the agency to further improve its programs to encourage and assist in the development of more multifamily housing.