Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer joined other real estate industry trade group leaders in a July 29 Walker & Dunlop webinar “All Eyes On Washington: What will the next stimulus bill do for CRE?” moderated by Roundtable member and W&D Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Willy Walker.
- Mortgage Bankers Association CEO and President Bob Broeksmit and National Multifamily Housing Council President Doug Bibby also participated in this “Walker Webcast” to discuss the next $1 trillion+ stimulus bill under consderation on Capitol Hill and its impact on the multifamily, mortgage, and commercial real estate industries. (Watch video on The Roundtable’s YouTube channel)
- The three trade group leaders agreed that consensus on a new stimulus bill will stretch into August and predicted a new bill would be passed by Aug. 8 or Aug. 15. Bibby and Broeksmit predicted the legislative package cost would total $1.75 trillion, while DeBoer estimated $2 trillion. (BisNow, July 29 and ConnectCRE, July 30)
- DeBoer noted that the real question in determining whether additional funding for state governments, small businesses, and others will be approved is how previous funds allocated by Congress during the pandemic are being allocated. DeBoer asked, “Are they going to solve COVID-related problems, or solve issues that were pre-existing?”
- Broeksmit added, “An imperfect compromise is going to emerge, and that’s all right because we need to get the funding out quickly. We don’t have time to get it perfect.”
- Walker also focused on the federal eviction moratorium, observing that it negatively affects the relationship between landlords and their tenants as they attempt to work through financial challenges of paying rent.
- “When you have an eviction moratorium, there is a propensity for people to go dark on you,” Walker said. “The owner and tenants stop working with each other. You lose the ability to maintain your community.”
- Bibby stated that an eviction moratorium may seem appealing but it creates a cycle of economic disinvestment and puts the livelihoods of tens of thousands of owners across the country at risk.
- DeBoer emphasized that a robust federal rental assistance program to help the unemployed as well as struggling small business is necessary to preserve the “rental obligation chain” that underpins the economy. He also said The Roundtable supports additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which has distributed approximately $520 billion to an estimated 5 million businesses.
- DeBoer added that businesses should receive assistance from the government on “new and unusual” expenses related to safety and cleaning protocols.
“We have to think of this period as building a bridge to a time when the economy works again, when businesses are open and when people are employed and can stand on their own two feet again,” said DeBoer. “But we need the bridge to get there, and it needs to be strong enough and long enough.” (REBusiness Online, July 31 and Walker Webcast video)
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