The Roundtable and 12 national real estate organizations this week congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their historic election and submitted detailed policy recommendations to the incoming administration in the areas of COVID-19 relief, sustainability, housing, immigration, tax policy, and infrastructure, as well as others.
- The industry's Dec. 16 letter acknowledges the many economic and social challenges confronting the country as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris prepare to take office, including the national response to COVID-19. The letter and supporting policy memo were also sent to every congressional office on Capitol Hill.
- The economic impact of commercial real estate is far-reaching, wrote the organizations. America’s commercial real estate is worth between $14.4 and $17 trillion, and directly supports 13.6 million jobs. The ownership and transfer of real estate generates over 70% of local tax revenue. Pension funds, schools, and charities have invested nearly $800 billion in real estate.
- The submission describes how struggles caused by COVID-19 are affecting real estate-related workers and putting pressure on small businesses, financial institutions, property values, retirement savings, and local governments. At the same, time, the organizations noted how the real estate industry is contributing to the reopening process and is prepared to help lead the economic recovery. “We pledge the support, collaboration, and collective ‘on the ground’ experience of our members so that, together, we can get past the immediate crisis and continue building healthy communities for generations of Americans,” wrote the 13 organizations.
- The organizations’ letter offers several recommendations for COVID-19 relief (direct relief, state and local fiscal assistance, rental assistance, liability safeguards, debt restructurings, and others) as well as recommendations aimed at long-term challenges (pandemic risk insurance, infrastructure investment, retrofitting aging buildings to optimize energy efficiency, housing affordability, immigration reform, etc.). The recommendations are then described in greater detail in the supporting policy memo accompanying the letter.
- “We also recognize that the pandemic has magnified systemic inequalities, and are committed to ‘build back better’ in a manner that addresses the disproportionate hardships endured by minority and low-income households and communities from the fallout of COVID-19,” the organizations stated.
- The letter emphasized that the industry is committed to a “nonpartisan approach to public policy” that is “focused on contributing data and fact-based analysis that improves policymakers’ understanding of how their decisions will affect real estate, jobs and communities, and the overall economy.”
The industry’s policy agenda, and its anticipated initiatives with the new Administration and Congress, will be a focus on Jan. 26-27 at The Roundtable’s State of the Industry Meeting and Policy Advisory Committee Meetings (all virtual).
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