Policymakers Emphasize Affordable Housing Incentives, Increasing Supply 

Three U.S. Senators discussed national housing policy with industry leaders and Roundtable members during this week’s State of the Industry (SOI) meeting. (See Meeting agenda)

Need for Housing Incentives

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) discussed the importance of expanding and extending the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which was included in a tax package advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee last week by a vote of 40-3. Sen. Wyden negotiated the $77 billion bill with Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and commended the overwhelming margin of bipartisan support in the committee vote. (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 19)
Housing Panel at RER's 2024 State of the Industry Meeting.  Moderator Kathleen McCarthy, Blackstone
  • Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), center, discussed what can be done to address U.S. housing challenges with Kathleen McCarthy, left, (Chair-Elect, The Real Estate Roundtable | Global Co-Head of Real Estate, Blackstone), and Shaun Donovan, right, (CEO and President, Enterprise Community Partners |former HUD Secretary and OMB Director). Sen. Hassan spoke about the urgent need for national policy to encourage development of more workforce housing, while Mr. Donovan noted the congressional tax bill under consideration would create 200,000 new affordable housing units.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) at RER's 2024 State of the Industry meeting
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)– introduced by Roundtable Chair Emeritus (2012-2015) Robert Taubman (Chairman, President & CEO, Taubman Centers, Inc.) – spoke about legislative efforts to revitalize downtowns. Sen. Stabenow referred to the recent tax package as an encouraging development for affordable housing, yet noted how more is needed to incentivize conversions of commercial properties to multifamily use. Stabenow is an original co-sponsor of the Revitalizing Downtowns Act (H.R. 4759) to encourage adaptive use of older buildings.

Housing policy and incentives advocated by The Roundtable to encourage more affordable housing supply are topics weaved throughout RER’s 2024 Policy Priorities. (See Executive Summary)

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Roundtable SOI Meeting Spotlights Monetary Policy, Liquidity, and Capital

The Roundtable’s State of the Industry (SOI) meeting this week explored monetary policy, international capital flows, commercial real estate market sector updates, and other national capital and credit issues included in RER’s 2024 Capital and Credit Policy Priorities.

Policy and CRE Markets

Debra Cafaro (Ventas) with former Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles
  • Debra Cafaro (Chairman & CEO, Ventas, Inc. | Immediate Past Chair, The Real Estate Roundtable) led a policy discussion with former Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles (Chairman, The Cynosure Group) on the “Basel III Endgame“ regulatory proposal to increase banks’ capital requirements; CRE loan exposure to the financial system; and the importance of retaining Fed independence from the political landscape.
  • CRE industry leaders offered market sector reports, including Roundtable Board Member Jodie McLean (Chief Executive Officer, EDENS) on retail; Thomas Toomey (Chairman and CEO, UDR) on multifamily; Dan Letter (President, Prologis) on industrial; Roundtable Board Member Owen Thomas (Chairman & CEO, BXP) on office; and Michael Lowe (Co-CEO, Lowe) on hospitality.
Foreign Investment panel during The Real Estate Roundtable's 2024 State of the Industry Meeting
  • Roundtable members also discussed market liquidity and international investment in U.S. real estate, including the negative impact of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) of 1980. A panel of experts included (left to right) David Friedline (Partner, Deloitte Tax LLP); Steve Hason (Managing Director, Head of Americas Real Assets, APG Asset Management US Inc.); Adam Gallistel (Managing Director, GIC Real Estate); and Max O’Neill (Managing Director, Blackstone). 
  • A presentation by Roundtable Senior Vice President Clifton E. (Chip) Rodgers, Jr. about the major capital and credit issues facing the industry can be downloaded here.

The Roundtable’s Real Estate Capital Policy Advisory Committee (RECPAC) plans to meet next in New York this spring.  Details on date, time and venue will be provided soon.

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Senator Joe Manchin and Financier Michael Milken Among Roundtable’s SOI Meeting Guests

2024 photo: left, Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer with Roundtable Chair John Fish (Suffolk)

Roundtable Chair John Fish, right, (Chairman and CEO, Suffolk) and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, left, launched this week’s Real Estate Roundtable 2024 State of the Industry (SOI) meeting, which focused on many of RER’s 2024 Policy Priorities. (See Executive Summary and the SOI meeting agenda)

  • The meeting featured a discussion with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Financier Michael Milken on America’s leadership role in the world. Additional presentations by prominent policymakers and industry leaders focused on issues of importance to commercial real estate, including updates on select market conditions by Roundtable members. (See below)

Economic Leadership & Future Challenges

Sen. Joe Manchin, left, with Financier Michael Milken at The Real Estate Roundtable's 2024 State of the Industry Meeing
  • Sen. Manchin, left, and Mr. Milken, right, discussed the need to preserve American economic leadership; the crucial, long-term importance of an educated workforce; and global demographic trends that pose new challenges to U.S. strength.
  • Sen. Manchin noted that he is retiring from the Senate at the end of this Congress but not retiring from his efforts to encourage bipartisan policy solutions to America’s big challenges such as immigration, the national debt and deficit, and electoral system issues.
  • An international financier and philanthropist, Mr. Milken discussed a variety of his successful initiatives in access to capital, medical research, education, and public health. He leads a new DC-based initiative called the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream while spearheading the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank focused on financial, physical, mental, and environmental health issues affecting critical global issues.
The Real Estate Roundtable's 2024 State of the Industry Meeting was well attended.

Three additional U.S. Senators and other guests at the Jan. 23-24 SOI meeting addressed a variety of other policy issues, including affordable housing, tax policy, banking and climate regulations, evolving security threats, and the current election cycle. (RER’s 2024 SOI meeting agenda and stories below).

Next on The Roundtable’s 2024 meeting calendar is the Spring Meeting on April 15-16. The upcoming meeting is restricted to Roundtable-level members only

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