Washington, DC – During the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC, a group of Maryland’s District 1 REALTORS® and staff traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their federal elected officials.

(From left) Sarah Rayne, Government & Public Affairs Director for CAR; Daniel Hoff, past president of the Carroll County Association of REALTORS®; Debbie Wilkens, executive director of the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS®; Jim Blaney, past president of the Carroll County Association of REALTORS®; Sheila Washburn, president of the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS®; Steve Paul, president of the Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS®; Janice Kirkner, past president of the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and NAR Federal Political Coordinator; Rep. Andy Harris; Shelly Murray, president-elect of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®; Don Bailey, president-elect of CAR; and Jan Hayden, past president of the Greater Baltimore Association of REALTORS®.  

The group visited the offices of Rep. Andy Harris, Sen. Ben Cardin, and Del. Chris Van Hollen, who is a candidate for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and has been endorsed by NAR. REALTOR® constituents from the Western Shore of Maryland also visited their respective elected officials on Capitol Hill.

The purpose of the visits is to share with the elected officials NAR’s legislative priorities, which this year include protection of the Mortgage Interest Deduction and other benefits under consideration as the legislature considers tax reform, private flood insurance options, protection of guarantee fees to ensure access to safe and affordable mortgage financing, and increased access to condominium ownership via reform to the Federal Housing Administration condominium loan program, federal assisted housing programs, and Rural Housing Service loan programs.

Representatives from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) and the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) also delivered information packets to the elected officials regarding a serious situation in Ocean City where hundreds of property owners are experiencing sky rocketing flood insurance premiums due to an error in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood maps.

“This issue is impacting a lot of property owners and is undoubtedly decreasing the value of these condominiums on the ocean front,” said Don Bailey, president-elect of CAR. “Fortunately, all of our federal elected officials understand the importance of a quick resolution and are being proactive by contacting FEMA on Ocean City’s behalf.”

Also during the annual conference, the NAR Board of Directors voted to support “The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” S. 2432, which is legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and would help make repayments more manageable by allowing borrowers to refinance student loans, which currently is not allowed. Warren addressed the REALTORS® in a presentation earlier in the week.

“We are happy that NAR voted to support this legislation because the student loan crisis is definitely impacting the housing market, both locally and nationwide,” said CAR President Linda Moran, who also attended the conference. “More and more millennials are either putting off buying a home until their loans are paid off, or electing to not buy at all. If the legislation passes, we are hopeful it will provide some relief to this younger generation.”

Throughout the week, conference attendees also saw presentations by national pollsters Peter Hart and Bill McInturff, as well as award-winning Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward. Most presentations were understandably focused on the upcoming presidential election.

For more information about CAR, visit www.coastalrealtors.org.

More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®

Coastal Association of REALTORS® is the leading local advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. Coastal REALTORS® works in partnership with its members to promote home ownership and preserve, protect, and advocate private property rights. The organization supports 1,000 REALTORS® who serve Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.

For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409/ sarah@coastalrealtors.org