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Panel Finds Housing Issues to Influence the Presidential Polls in November
May 15, 2012

At the Realtors 2012 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, leading Democratic strategist Celinda Lake, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling provided their insights into issues affecting the long-term direction of the country. “As the leading advocate for homeownership, the National Association of Realtors is working closely with policymakers to ensure that mortgages are more readily available for qualified buyers and real estate investors,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “We believe efforts that help creditworthy homebuyers obtain mortgage financing and allow more people to stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure through streamlined short sales are important for a housing and economic recovery.” Sperling presented several of the current Administration’s successful housing initiatives and accomplishments toward moving the housing market forward, included a recent proposal to help underwater borrowers refinance their mortgages. “This isn’t a partisan issue,” said Sperling. “The housing market is climbing back. We must not take our foot off the pedal to accelerate the housing recovery. We need to stay at it!” Panelists offered their perspectives on the current state of the industry and identified numerous challenges impacting the availability and accessibility of mortgage financing. In discussing the results of a recent voter survey, Lake said, “Voters see homeownership as fundamental to the American Dream. People are upset about the American Dream disappearing, so the economic numbers will be most predictive of the election outcome.” Former RNC Chair Steele encouraged Realtors to continue engaging policymakers face to face and said public voice is needed to clear the legislative clutter in Washington. “Accountability is key,” said Steele. “Voice your concerns to your lawmakers by localizing the issues. Get off talking points and personalize your story. By making it personal you allow the accountability dots to connect.”  
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