As REALTORS® we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve the American Dream of owning a home. However, as home prices continue to rise every month, we see more and more people being priced out of this American Dream.
Our country’s housing shortage didn’t happen overnight. The National Association of REALTORS® reports that over the last 20 years, the U.S. has developed an underbuilding gap of 5.5 million housing units, translating to a $4.4 trillion underinvestment in housing. This historic national 50-year record shortage of market-rate affordable homes available for purchase has severely limited access to the residential real estate market.
That’s why I am proud that at all levels of government, REALTORS® and our Advocacy teams are working hard with elected officials to increase housing inventory and improve access to homeownership.
REALTOR® Advocacy in D.C.
When I say that REALTORS® are working hard to increase our housing inventory and improve access to homeownership, I genuinely mean it. At NAR’s 2022 Legislative Meetings, nearly 8,000 REALTORS® traveled to our nation’s Capital to advocate for Congress to take steps to address our housing shortage. I was there and personally participated in a meeting with Representative Michael McCaul’s Office. In addition, many other REALTORS® had meetings with Congressional Offices asking their elected officials to support important housing initiatives, including:
- the bipartisan Housing Supply and Affordability Act to create a Local Housing Policy Grant program for cities, states, tribes, and regional associations that enact pro-housing policies at the local level.
- the bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) to offer tax credits to attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes, estimated to incentivize the building and rehabilitation of 500,000 homes over the next decade.
- the GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act to create a grant to incentivize public and private investment in abandoned and underutilized shopping malls to repurpose them for a range of uses, including the development of affordable housing.
- the Revitalizing Downtowns Act to create a Qualified Office Conversion Tax Credit to convert unused office buildings into residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties.
At the same time, we are working to ensure fair housing for all. That’s why REALTORS® across the country are asking Members of Congress to support the Housing Fairness Act, which would reauthorize and increase funding for HUD fair housing testing and enforcement programs.
ABoR Advocacy in Central Texas
Advocacy doesn’t just happen at the federal level. As the old saying goes, “all politics is local,” and that’s why your ABoR Advocacy Team continues to advocate for local leaders in Central Texas to prioritize housing affordability and pursue steps to increase our region’s housing supply. With the demand for housing continually outpacing supply, it is time for local jurisdictions to approve meaningful policy changes that reduce regulator barriers to housing and allow for greater housing capacity. That is why ABoR Advocacy is calling on local leaders to approve important policy changes to help change the trajectory of our housing market and allow for increased housing supply. These asks include approving:
- development process improvements designed to simplify the development process and timeline to help create a streamlined and predictable development review process.
- accessory dwelling unit (ADU) reforms aimed at increasing the feasibility of constructing ADUs and removing obstacles to affordability.
- regulatory reforms to reduce barriers to housing to ensure property owners can access their property’s existing development rights and are allowed to develop, expand, remodel, or improve their property to the fullest extent of those development rights.
- residential parking reforms to reduce or eliminate the impact residential parking minimum requirements have on the market’s ability to meet our community’s housing needs.
- adaptive reuse policies designed to encourage the reuse and retrofit of existing buildings for residential use.
Our region must come together to meet the housing challenges our fast-growing population face by collectively finding ways to increase the abundance and variety of housing. ABoR is committed to being a consensus builder during these conversations and we are uniquely positioned to bring parties together as our members represent every corner of Central Texas.
TREPAC Supports REALTOR® Advocacy
As you can tell, REALTOR® Advocacy is working hard to address our housing shortage, but we can’t do it without the help of our members. REALTOR® Advocacy is supported by TREPAC which helps us have strong relationships with elected officials at all levels of government. Our advocacy program is successful thanks to the relationships we’ve built and maintained over time with our members help–particularly here in Central Texas.
I have seen the value of these relationships firsthand at both our nation’s Capital and at City Hall. As REALTORS® we are busy and can’t always be in the halls of democracy to make our voices heard. However, because of our REALTOR® Advocacy teams, I know that they are making our voice heard for us! That’s why I am a TREPAC Major Investor. There’s truly no easier way to protect my business and livelihood and I encourage you to consider supporting REALTOR® Advocacy by making an investment in TREPAC today. To learn more about REALTOR® Advocacy, TREPAC, or how to make an investment, email ABoR’s Advocacy team at Advocacy@ABoR.com.