RER President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer to Receive Commercial Property Executive’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Jeffrey DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable

Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, above, will receive Commercial Property Executive’s Lifetime Achievement Award during CPE’s virtual 2023 Influence Awards on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 1 pm ET, when he will deliver the keynote address. (Register here for the event)

As the founding President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable and in previous Washington-based positions, DeBoer has been at the forefront of national policy affecting the real estate industry for the past 40 years.

The prominent Capitol Hill publication, The Hill recently recognized DeBoer as one of the “Top Lobbyists” in Washington, DC for 2023. This was the sixth consecutive year DeBoer has been included in the list. (Roundtable Weekly, Dec. 8)

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Roundtable Condemns Violence; Urges Humanitarian Aid

The Real Estate Roundtable today issued the following statement:

“The Real Estate Roundtable strongly condemns last weekend’s violent, murderous attack on Israel and its citizens. Long standing regional conflicts cannot justify this abhorrent behavior. We urge all civilized people and organizations to stand in opposition to it, and to provide assistance to mitigate the rapidly growing humanitarian crisis.

Congress Seeks to Include Legislative Language in Spending Bills Addressing Federal Workers’ Return to Offices

House and Senate lawmakers are looking to change current federal workforce telework policies by including language in annual spending bills under consideration by Congress. Yesterday, a House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee held a hearing on “Oversight of Federal Agencies’ Post-Pandemic Telework Policies” and efforts to mandate federal workers return to their offices. (BGov, Sept. 14)

Federal Telework

  • The Real Estate Roundtable has urged President Biden and national policymakers for months to end government policies that encourage remote working arrangements for federal employees. (RER letter to President Biden, Dec. 12, 2022)
  • The White House directed Cabinet officials on Aug. 4 to increase the return of federal employees to their offices this fall as a “critical” part of fulfilling the mission of government agencies. (Government Executive, Aug. 7 | Axios, Aug. 4
  • In the House, Republicans inserted language into the Financial Services-General Government spending bill (H.R. 4664) that would defund any agency that does not return to 2019 telework practices.
  • The House bill states, “Within 30 days of enactment of this Act, the Committee requires Federal agencies to reinstate and apply their pre-pandemic telework policies, practices, and levels in effect as of December 31, 2019, or they cannot obligate or expend funding for fiscal year 2024.”
  • The Senate’s Appropriations bill for FY 2024 (S. 2309) is far more flexible, requiring agencies to only “examine how policies for in-person work, telework, and remote work impact agency productivity and performance as well as how effectively and efficiently agencies are able to carry out their missions and serve the public.” (Government Executive, Sept. 5 and FedWeek, July 18)
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) is seeking to add an amendment to federal spending bills that would force agencies to provide details on the cost of telework. “You have bureaucrats that are doing bubble baths during their conference calls for work. So you federal employees that are out there, we’re coming after you,” Ernst said recently. (BGov, Sept. 14)

Roundtable Calls for Workplace Return

  • Today Real Estate Roundtable Chairman Emeritus Bill Rudin (Co-Chairman and CEO, Rudin Management Co.) discussed the return-to-office trend in New York City, the challenge of property conversions, the need to increase the housing supply, and other issues facing CRE on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street.

Marcus & Millichap President and CEO, Hessam Nadji and former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, will lead the live webcast discussion on the economic factors, including Federal Reserve policy, impacting the commercial real estate market. DeBoer, Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC and Sharon Wilson Géno, President of NMHC will join the conversation as CRE industry leaders. (Register here)

Real Estate Roundtable’s DeBoer Discusses Coronavirus Policy Responses and Need for Future Actions

Jeffrey DeBoer, Bisnow video interview

Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, above, discussed the government’s legislative and regulatory responses to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic – and what those policies mean for commercial real estate – in a BisNow webinar yesterday and Real Estate Executive Council Town Hall today.  (Watch April 30 Bisnow interview)

  • The discussions addressed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), new Federal Reserve credit lending facilities and the need for a national renter assistance program.
  • DeBoer noted that the federal response to the pandemic’s economic shockwave have provided bridge relief, and that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) PPP and the Fed’s TALF credit facility could be improved to increase their effectiveness. 
  • The Roundtable’s Covid-19 Resource Center includes an “8-Point Plan” to improve the PPP. Additionally, the SBA on April 29 released an updated PPP FAQs document.

Restoring The Rent Obligation Chain & Future Issues

DeBoer emphasized in his discussions that there is a vital need to “restore the rent obligation chain” to benefit business and residential tenants, owners, lenders, local budgets and retirement investments. (Bisnow video)

  • Before the pandemic crisis, there was clarity on the likely income real estate assets could generate by rental obligations and contracts.  However, now those income streams are impaired. The future of certain businesses are unknown; tenants in shared buildings may default; and how employers can retain or regenerate jobs is uncertain. DeBoer noted that these challenges can be addressed by fixing the rental obligation chain.
  • DeBoer also said future issues that should be addressed include business liability, as building owners anticipate the return of occupants, workers and visitors – along with government support for a Pandemic Risk Insurance Program, which could be modeled on the highly successful Terrorism Risk Insurance Program established in the wake of 9/11. 
  • The Real Estate Roundtable recently established a Building Re-Entry Working Group to address issues associated with building re-entry, as state and local authorities seek to re-start economic sectors and allow people to return to work.
  • DeBoer also discussed what future legislative packages may include to jumpstart the economy, including infrastructure investment.

Other Roundtable videos address how the crisis has affected real estate tax issues, along with other topics, on its Youtube channel.

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