"There is no factual evidence of a need for continued federal rent control," said 1950 NAR president Robert P. Gerholz* during a televised debate with housing expediter Tighe E. Woods in December 1950. In reiterating the Association's stand against federal rent controls, Mr. Gerholz said, "an aggrieved tenant. . . can get fair treatment through a local framework of justice. . . . It's the only way to take rent out of politics."
He supported congressional action to terminate rent control and believed that Congress should limit real estate taxes to encourage homeownership and stabilize property values. He organized a campaign that promoted home buying, even in a depressed market. "It would give more Americans a real stake in the nation," he said.
One of his most successful projects with NAR was his nationwide drive to clean up depressed neighborhoods across the nation. The Association served as a clearinghouse to pass results on to local officials. Within a few short months, Mr. Gerholz had gained the support of hundreds and his "anti-slum" campaign was a success.
In 1922 Mr. Gerholz organized the Flint, Michigan, firm Robert P. Gerholz Co. In 1931, he was president of the Michigan Real Estate Association, having previously served as president of the Genesee County Real Estate Board. Prior to his election as NAR president, he served as president of the National Association of Home Builders, representative to President Truman's White House Conference on Housing and chairman of the REALTORS® Washington Committee.
Following his presidency, Mr. Gerholz continued his leadership in the housing industry, serving as first vice president and secretary of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the FHA/Industry Advisory Committee, chairman of the NAHB Research Institute and 1965 president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. In 1966 he was named REALTOR® of the Year of both the Flint Board of REALTORS® and the Michigan Real Estate Association.
A nationally recognized business leader, Mr. Gerholz was a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, the C. S. Mott Citizen of the Year Award, and the Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He was inducted into the National Association of Home Builders' Hall of Fame in 1977.
Mr. Gerholz received his law degree from Ferris State College and later served as chairman of the college's Board of Control. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Limestone College in South Carolina.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).