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Congressional lawmakers form bipartisan real estate caucus

A coalition of four lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives — two Democrats and two Republicans — have come together to found the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus, a group designed to “support policies that allow [the real estate] industry to prosper” due to its overall importance to the U.S. economy.

The group, announced on Monday, includes Reps. Mark Alford (R-Miss.), J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.), Tracey Mann (R-Kan.) and Brittany Petterson (D-Colo.). It is publicly supported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and seven other trade groups.

“Real estate represents 16% of U.S. GDP, supports 2.8 million jobs, and generates $50 billion in tax revenue,” an announcement of the caucus’ formation stated. That’s why it’s necessary to establish a congressional group dedicated to its needs, the group explained.

Three of the four members describe their previous experience working in real estate as reasons for helping to form the group and pursue goals designed to support the industry.

“I am proud to serve as a co-chair of the Real Estate Caucus,” Alford said in a statement. “I know that housing is a key issue for all Americans, and especially for my constituents. Before being elected to Congress, I owned a small real estate business, so I know firsthand the regulatory challenges that realtors face every day. I’m honored to be able to chair this caucus and work together to solve real estate issues.”

Correa also spoke about his time working as a real estate broker, saying that the business helped him to see “firsthand the role real estate plays in uplifting Main Street and hard-working American taxpayers,” he said. “Our Caucus will bridge the partisan divide and push Congress together to deliver real estate policy that will benefit soon-to-be homeowners across the country and help so many families get one step closer to fulfilling their own American Dream.”

Mann attributed burdensome regulations and high-cost materials as deterrents for the housing market. He formerly served as a commercial real estate agent, which he believes should translate well to the goals of the caucus.

“Real estate agents and developers should be empowered to provide housing options for all Americans, generate jobs, and offer top quality services for homeowners — not handcuffed by overreaching federal regulations from Washington, D.C.,” Mann said.

Petterson focused on the way the real estate industry can help to facilitate the American dream. She added that she is “proud to be a founding member of this caucus as we work to champion policies that will increase our housing supply and accessibility, make it easier to buy a first home or leave a home you’ve outgrown, and foster a market that is beneficial for all.”

The trade groups listed as supporters praised the launch of the new caucus.

“Lawmakers from across the political spectrum are in overwhelming agreement that this nation is facing a housing affordability crisis,” NAR said in a statement. “Homeownership is a bipartisan issue, and we applaud these members of Congress for forming a caucus to work across the aisle to make housing more accessible.”

MBA also applauded the creation of the caucus, saying it will help “advance housing policy” for renters and prospective homeowners.

“MBA looks forward to working with this bipartisan group to help more Americans achieve their dream of housing choice — be that sustainable homeownership or affordable rental opportunities,” MBA said.

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