WASHINGTON, May 17, 2012 – Realtors® from Florida and across the U.S. – some 13,800 strong – gathered at the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital today to highlight the importance of housing and homeownership to the nation’s economic recovery.
The “Rally to Protect the American Dream” is taking place during the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, which continue through May 19. Throughout the week, Realtors from Florida and other states are meeting with legislators, public policymakers and industry leaders to address concerns and issues that affect homeowners, aspiring homeowners and real estate investors everywhere.“Florida’s housing market is improving but we still have a long way to go,” said 2012 Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene, regional manager of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale. “We must keep our members of Congress laser-focused on housing initiatives to ensure we do not lose traction in the housing market. This is not the time to show complacency, but show courage in areas of mortgage liquidity, availability of flood insurance and tax relief.”
One pressing issue for homeowners is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is currently set to expire May 31. Millions of American taxpayers rely on the NFIP for flood protection, and Realtors are urging Congress to reauthorize the program long term. NAR estimates that if the current extension is allowed to expire, some 1,300 home sales will be at risk every day that the program is not in place. While flood emergencies happen nationwide, the problem can be particularly acute in Florida.
“We need to keep housing and real estate first on the nation’s public policy agenda, because these issues affect all Americans,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami and 2002 president of Florida Realtors. “Realtors are committed to working with members of Congress, regulators and industry leaders to ensure public policies and industry practices that promote responsible, sustainable homeownership and encourage real estate investment. We want to make sure that our country’s leaders, now and into the future, understand the vital role that real estate plays in both the long- and short-term health of this nation.”