National Association of REALTORS® President Vince Malta met with officials from President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday to highlight concerns over a recent executive action halting evictions through 2020. Alongside other NAR liaisons and committee leaders, Malta stressed the need for a more sustainable long-term solution to representatives from the National Economic Council and White House Office of Domestic Policy Council.
After the executive order was issued on Sept. 1, Malta quickly urged consideration of housing providers who continue to fear wide-scale financial ruin in the prolonged absence of rental incomes.
“While NAR is supportive of administration efforts to ensure struggling Americans can remain in their homes, this order will bring chaos to our nation’s rental housing sector and put countless property owners out of business,” Malta said immediately following the announcement by the White House and the CDC.
NAR continues to push Congress to enact legislation that would instead provide emergency rental assistance programs directly to housing providers.
Under the current order, renters are likely to find themselves in an untenable situation come Jan. 1, facing significant obligations of past rent. At the same time, America’s housing providers cannot forgo revenue and still maintain the nation’s much-needed stock of rental housing.
“Kicking the can down the road and creating mountains of debt for renters would simply lead to a flood of evictions come January,” Malta said at Monday’s meeting. “This would have repercussions across the entire real estate market and on our overall economy at a time the nation cannot afford the disruption.”
Adding urgency to the matter, 38% of REALTORS® own at least one rental property, while more than 40% of rental units across the nation are owned by “mom & pop” owners.
Monday’s meeting also allowed NAR leaders to inquire about potential relief options for property owners ineligible for unemployment benefits or Small Business Administration relief loans. White House staff informed Malta that the administration is committed to working with Congress toward an additional stimulus bill and is open to including rental assistance in the legislation.
“We strongly urge the administration to support rental assistance, which will help renters who would face significant hardship and likely eviction come January, and allow property owners to hold their properties and meet their obligations,” Malta said this week. “We support rental assistance that is provided directly to property owners to ensure rents are being paid.
“Unlike the Great Recession, the current economic situation is the result of a health emergency. Let us make sure we do not end up with a larger housing crisis as a result. REALTORS® stand ready to work with Congress on this important issue.”
Lending their support during the meeting were committee chairs and liaisons from NAR’s 2020 and 2021 advocacy, commercial and commercial policy, property management, and single-family investment management teams, along with 2021 President Charlie Oppler, 2021 IREM President Chip Watts, 2020 Vice President of Advocacy Christine Hanson, and 2021 Vice President of Advocacy Leigh Brown.
Source: REALTOR® Magazine