WASHINGTON (May 15, 2012) – Housing and the economic recovery will play a large part in deciding the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, according to public policy experts at today's Legislative and Political Forum during the Realtors® 2012 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, leading Democratic strategist Celinda Lake, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling provided their unique insights into issues affecting the long-term direction of the country.
"As the leading advocate for homeownership, the National Association of Realtors® is working closely with policymakers to ensure that mortgages are more readily available for qualified buyers and real estate investors," said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. "We believe efforts that help creditworthy homebuyers obtain mortgage financing and allow more people to stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure through streamlined short sales are important for a housing and economic recovery."
Gene Sperling presented several of the current administration's successful housing initiatives and accomplishments toward moving the housing market forward, included a recent proposal to help underwater borrowers refinance their mortgages. "This isn't a partisan issue," said Sperling. "The housing market is climbing back. We must not take our foot off the pedal to accelerate the housing recovery. We need to stay at it!"
Panelists offered their perspectives on the current state of the industry and identified numerous challenges impacting the availability and accessibility of mortgage financing. In discussing the results of a recent voter survey, Celinda Lake said, "Voters see homeownership as fundamental to the American Dream. People are upset about the American Dream disappearing, so the economic numbers will be most predictive of the election outcome."
Former RNC Chair Michael Steele encouraged Realtors® to continue engaging policymakers face to face and said public voice is needed to clear the legislative clutter in Washington. "Accountability is key," said Steele. "Voice your concerns to your lawmakers by localizing the issues. Get off talking points and personalize your story. By making it personal you allow the accountability dots to connect."
The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted in the website's "News and Commentary" tab. The National Association of Realtors® supports public policies and policymakers who support the positions of Realtors® and their clients and customers on private property rights, housing issues and homeownership, regardless of political party affiliation.