Identifying and advocating issues that can possibly impact the rights of homeownership

“The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.” – Confucius

As REALTORS®, we are intimately involved in the process of connecting our clients with their homes. Our daily work is more important than we realize. Homeownership stabilizes not only individual families, but extends to communities, and ultimately strengthens our country.

Government Affairs, which includes the Government Affairs Forum and the Government Affairs Issues Advocacy Committee, formally participates in this effort by meeting with elected and public officials, identifying and advocating issues at the local, state and national levels that could potentially impact the rights of owners of real estate – both residential and commercial, and sharing updates with you – Columbus REALTORS® membership.

Ohio Business Roundtable CEO and former U.S. Representative Pat Tiberi joined us in April along with national and city experts to share information about the Opportunity Zone Tax Program, which was established within the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The program offers three tax incentives for investing in low-income communities through a qualified Opportunity Fund – temporary deferral of, a step-up in basis of, or the permanent exclusion of the taxable income of capital gains. There are 44 approved Qualified Opportunity Zones in Franklin County, 39 of which are located in the City of Columbus, and include areas in the East, Northeast, Northwest, West, and South corridors of the city. For additional information, click here.

Just a week later, Columbus REALTORS® hosted U.S. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Troy Balderson (R-OH) for the 4th Joint Congressional Roundtable where each weighed in on a variety of topics including: infrastructure and the impact on economic growth; the continuation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); the viability of mortgage debt forgiveness; the future of Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; in addition to the evolution of legislation on association health plans and data privacy and security. As in the past, it was an enlightening and lively discussion. We can be confident that our members of Congress are informed and working on behalf of the consumer and the industry…on both sides of the aisle.

Each May, REALTORS® from across the country gather in our nation’s capitol to participate in meetings, discussions, and visits with our elected officials in an effort to advance public policy as it relates to the real estate industry and our Association, the National Association of REALTORS®. A short list of public policy issues that our organization is focused on include: the use of Drones in residential and commercial real estate; easing the current FHA Condo Rule restrictions; partnering to develop solutions for Homelessness; and the reduction or elimination of Real Estate Transfer Taxes. For a complete list of issues, click here.

We’re planning a “round robin” style Government Affairs Forum for fall which will include several public and elected officials as well as a session on Cryptocurrency. Interested in getting involved? Check out the events calendar at and join us at the next Government Affairs Forum. To stay up-to-date weekly, be sure to email Brent Swander, RCE, Vice President of Government Affairs, to be added to his “Three for Thursday” list. A concise email with three important updates each week.