CABOR Members Address Critical Housing Issues on Capitol Hill

U.S. Capitol

While REALTORS® from across the country convened in Washington, D.C., last week to attend the REALTORS® 2013 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, members from the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS® (CABOR), including Sara Calo (Howard Hanna), John Lynch (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West), Karen O’Donnell (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland), Chairman-Elect Seth Task (RE/MAX Traditions), Chairwoman Joanne Zettl (Stouffer Realty), CABOR CEO Mike Valerino and Government Affairs Director Jamie McMillen, met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the housing issues critical to the greater Cuyahoga County community.

“One of the most important aspects of the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is that REALTORS® actively engage with their representatives on Capitol Hill,” said CABOR Chair Joanne Zettl. “REALTORS® met with their U.S. Senators and Representatives to communicate the issues critical to REALTORS®’ businesses, communities and the consumers they represent. REALTORS® all across the country were advocating public policies that promote sustainable homeownership and help move the real estate market forward toward a full recovery.”

CABOR’s meetings with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), and Representatives Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Dave Joyce (OH-14), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and Jim Renacci (OH-16) focused on important issues impacting the real estate market here in Cuyahoga County, including preserving the mission and purpose of the Federal Housing Administration, protecting homeownership tax policies such as the mortgage interest deduction, and ensuring that mortgage financing is available and affordable to creditworthy home buyers.

As Congress pursues comprehensive tax reform, Zettl urged each of the legislators to continue to support current tax laws for homeownership and real estate investment.

“Homeownership has had long-standing support in this country because of its many benefits to individuals and families, communities and to the nation’s economy,” said Zettl. “Owning a home is an investment in your future and for many people, homeownership helps them gain a financial foothold. REALTORS® remain committed to preserving housing-related provisions that help facilitate homeownership, build wealth for families and provide stability to communities.”

Zettl urged specific support for maintaining the current deduction for home mortgage interest. “The mortgage interest deduction helps many families become home owners, which is the foundation for a healthy middle class, and it is vital to the health and stability of housing markets,” said Zettl. “Altering this policy or any others related to homeownership could marginalize current and future home buyers, as well as jeopardize the emerging housing recovery and the overall economy.”

National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif., praised the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS®’ efforts to address crucial housing issues with their members of Congress and help ensure the future of homeownership.

“REALTORS® know the value of owning a home and investing in real estate, and by making ourselves heard on Capitol Hill last week, we are working to ensure that the American Dream of homeownership stays alive for generations to come,” said Thomas.

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