I’m happy to deliver you our Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Update for August 2021. This update will highlight the latest initiatives that may directly impact your business, our community and the real estate industry at all levels.
Two weeks ago, the CDC announced a new 60-day extension of the moratorium, with a new expiration date of Oct. 3, 2021. The new eviction ban focuses on COVID-19 infection levels by area, but it reportedly includes about 90% of U.S. renters, including all — or almost all — Florida renters.
In response, the NAR and Florida REALTORS® legal challenges that were put on hold when the July 31 expiration occurred are being reinstated. For the latest on these legal challenges, see this breaking news from NAR.
In order to assist housing providers and tenants, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new toolkit/landing page that includes a host of rental assistance resources. It also includes things like sample emails, social media posts and videos to use in sharing the information, so more tenants are aware of the help that is available.
Additionally, you can text EVICTIONS to 30644 to get NAR’s resources on eviction moratoriums and rental assistance programs. NAR also released a special Real Estate Industry Impact Watch Report to highlight recent changes to the eviction moratorium.
Lastly, don’t forget that the OUR Florida rental assistance program has plenty of funds available to help tenants and housing providers with unpaid rent and utility bills.
NAR will be hosting a Townhall with David Maurstad, senior executive of NFIP, on August 23 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET. This NAR Townhall will offer members an opportunity to hear directly from the CEO of FEMA about the upcoming changes to the NFIP. Mr. Maurstad will provide an update on Rating 2.0 and the broad impacts it will have on the NFIP and rates moving forward. Following his presentation, Steven Fischer will host a Q&A session with Mr. Maurstad and his staff to answer previously submitted questions.
The Housing Funds for Housing ballot initiative continues to gather petition signatures to ensure that the funds collected for housing programs are actually used for those programs. So, how can you get involved in this effort? First, if you haven’t already, please visit Greater Tampa REALTORS® to fill out and sign a petition. You can also visit the Housing Funds for Housing website where you can download, print, sign and drop your petition off at the association..
In either case, once you have your signed petition in hand, please share your best selfie holding the petition. Upload the picture to Facebook and include the hashtag #housingfunds4housing to bring more attention to this campaign. Encourage your fellow REALTORS®, family, friends and community members to join the cause and help protect the dream of homeownership in Florida.
Last week, Hillsborough County withdrew a lifeline to the controversial home-energy financing program, PACE, a year after commissioners voted to unauthorize the program. Commissioner comments affirmed an August 2020 vote to terminate the program because of homeowner complaints about unethical behavior from private-sector participants. Greater Tampa REALTORS® staff met with individual commissioners and spoke at public comment to oppose the reinstatement of PACE financing.
The Governmental Affairs Committee hosted two great webinars featuring Pasco County Property Appraiser Mike Wells and Hillsborough Planning Commission Executive Director, Melissa Zornitta. To learn more about the efforts these entities are leading, I encourage you to watch the recordings below.
For more information on the policies discussed in the August Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, download our Greater Tampa REALTORS® Public Policy Report. This report provides an overview of important real estate issues that we are tracking at the local, state and federal levels.
In the August 2021 Report, you will find information on:
- Eviction Moratorium (Federal)
- Independent Contractor Status (Federal)
- Emergency Rental Assistance (Pasco and Hillsborough)
- PACE Financing (Hillsborough)
- Rental Registry Proposal (Hillsborough)
- Mayor Castor’s 2022 Budget Proposal (City of Tampa)