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Realtors® Ready to Drive Real Estate Issues Home in Nation's Capital

Media Contact: Stephanie Singer

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2012) – Realtors® from across the country are meeting with legislators, public policy makers and industry leaders this week to address pressing concerns and issues that affect homeowners, aspiring homeowners and real estate investors everywhere as the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo begins.

"As leading advocates for homeownership, housing issues and private property rights, Realtors® come to Washington this week ready to engage on a number of pressing issues," said National Association of Realtors® President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. "Both residential and commercial real estate play important roles in our families, our communities, and our nation's economy, and Realtors® want to ensure a bright future for our industry and our country."

More than 9,000 Realtors® and guests are expected to attend the meetings, which run here through May 19. During the week, Realtors® will meet with legislators on Capitol Hill to urge action toward ensuring access to affordable financing, streamlining short sales, engaging in comprehensive secondary mortgage market reform, bolstering liquidity in the commercial and multifamily real estate market, and preserving the tax benefits associated with homeownership.

In addition, Realtors® are urging members of Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which is currently set to expire on May 31. Millions of American taxpayers rely on the NFIP for flood protection, and NAR estimates that if the current extension is allowed to expire, 1,300 home sales will be at risk every day that the program is not in place.

Realtors® will also participate in sessions with a number of government officials and industry experts, including representatives from the Federal Housing Administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve Board, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, National Economic Council, and the U.S. Treasury.

One of the highlights of this year's meeting will be a Rally to Protect the American Dream on Thursday, May 17. Approximately 10,000 Realtors® are expected to convene on the grounds of the Washington Monument from 9:30-11 a.m. to highlight the important role housing plays in the economic recovery. Many Realtors® will travel by bus from as far away as Florida, Maine, and North Dakota just to participate in the event.

"We need to keep housing and real estate first on the nation's public policy agenda, because these issues affect all Americans," said Veissi. "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."

For more information about the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, visit www.realtor.org/midyear.nsf/pages/homepage.

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.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted in the website's "News and Commentary" tab.