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New Federal Stimulus Package Passed by Congress

NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS®, their families, consumers, and the entire real estate industry are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19.

On December 21, Congress passed a COVID-relief package, which also included an Omnibus spending bill for FY21, and some tax extenders. Below is a summary of the major provisions of that bill impacting REALTORS®:

COVID-RELATED PROVISIONS

Unemployment Assistance

Extends the maximum number of weeks individuals may receive unemployment benefits, from 39 weeks to 50 weeks.
Extends all unemployment assistance, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation from December 26, 2020- March 14, 2021.
Limits payment of retroactive PUA benefits to weeks of unemployment after December 1, 2020, and PUA requests end on March 14, 2021.
Eligible individuals may receive PUA benefits until April 5, 2021 as long as the individual has not reached his or her maximum number of weeks of unemployment.
Extends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) at $300 per week for 10 weeks. This provides supplemental unemployment benefits for individuals receiving PUA or regular unemployment compensation for weeks after December 26, 2020 until March 14, 2021.
Extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for a maximum of 24 weeks for eligible individuals.
Phases out the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and ends the program on April 5, 2021.
Extends interest-free loans to states to keep their unemployment insurance trust funds running.
Reimburses states at 50 percent for the first week of compensable regular unemployment benefits for states with no waiting period.
Provides individuals seeking unemployment benefits with the right to appeal any state determination or redetermination regarding rights to PUA.
Provides a repayment waiver for individuals who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but who were not entitled to receive PUA, if the PUA payment was the fault of the individual and repayment would be “contrary to equity or good conscience.” State labor agencies must make all individual determinations regarding one’s repayment or waiver status.
Requires individuals to continue to re-certify weekly with the state that the individual’s loss of income is due to a Covid-related reason or issue and the individual is unemployed for a such week.
Adds additional program measures requiring individuals seeking unemployment to provide documentation of earnings and employment to state agencies as a mechanism for states to verify the identity of individuals seeking unemployment benefits.
Imposes “return to work” reporting requirements for states to provide a way for employers to report when someone turns down a job and to notify claimants of the requirement to accept suitable work, unless there is a good cause for refusal.

Paycheck Protection Program

Appropriates $284.45 billion for PPP loans and $20 billion for EIDL Grants.
Certain eligible businesses may receive second-draws of PPP loans of up to $2 million: 300 employees or fewer (or meets alternative SBA size standards) and saw at least a 25% drop in gross receipts in 2020 to a comparable quarter in 2019.
The maximum loan amount a business can get (for both first- and second-draw PPP loans) is $10 million within 90 days.
PPP borrowers who receive $150,000 or less in PPP loan money may submit a one-page forgiveness form online certifying their compliance with the program requirements.
Extends the deadline for PPP “covered periods” (the 8- or 24-week period from which a borrower has to use their PPP funds) through September 30, 2021.
Expands allowable expenditures of PPP funds to cover purchasing PPE for employees;
501©(6) organizations can access PPP funds if they have 300 employees or fewer, do not receive more than 15% of their receipts from lobbying activities and lobbying activities do not comprise more than 15% of their activities, and the cost of the lobbying activities of the organization did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year.
PPP funds cannot be used for lobbying activities of any kind.
Repeals the requirement that borrowers who receive both an EIDL advance grant and a PPP loan deduct the forgiven amount of the EIDL grant from the forgivable amount of their PPP loan.

PPP Tax Forgiveness

Allows for deductibility of business expenses paid for with forgiven PPP loans.

Eviction Moratorium & Rental Assistance

Provides $25b through September 30, 2022 for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury.
States allocation will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million.
Allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants.
Includes payments for rent in arrears as well as utilities and “and other expenses related to housing.”
States should prioritize families with incomes below 50% of area median income (but no set % of funds distributed is required).
Rental assistance will not be included in recipient’s income for federal tax purposes.
Extends CDC moratorium through January 31, 2021.

State and Local Funding

Extend by one year (until Dec. 31, 2021) the availability of funds provided to states and localities by the Coronavirus Relief Fund in the CARES Act.

Individual Stimulus Payments

Provides for one-time direct payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000, as well as an extra $600 per eligible child dependent.

Broadband Expansion

Provides $7 billion for broadband internet access: $285 million for connecting minority communities.
$3.2 Billion for an Emergency Broadband Benefit for Low-Income Americans
$300 Million to Promote Broadband Expansion to Unserved Americans
$65 Million for the development of new, more accurate, and more granular broadband maps

Tax Provisions (related to COVID)

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is modified by:
Increasing the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages.
The eligibility is expanded by reducing the year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20%.
Increasing the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10K per year to $10K per quarter.
Increasing the 100-employee delineation to 500 or fewer employees.
Allowing businesses with PPP loans to qualify.
Extending the credit through June 30, 2021.
Extends payroll tax credits for paid sick and family leave enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31, 2021.
Tax Extender Provisions

The exclusion from income for mortgage debt forgiveness is extended for five years (through 2025), but the maximum amount is reduced from $2 million to $750,000.
The energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction is extended permanently, its efficiency standards are updated, and the deduction rates are indexed for inflation.
The energy investment tax credit for solar and residential energy-efficient property tax credit is extended for two years (through 2023).
The mortgage insurance premium deduction is extended for one year (through 2021).
The energy efficient homes credit is extended for one year (through 2021).
The nonbusiness energy tax credit (for qualified energy efficiency improvements) is extended for one year (through 2021).

Other Provisions

Provides for the tax deduction of 100% of business meals (up from 50%) for 2021 and 2022.
Corrects a technical problem in depreciating residential rental housing – under certain circumstances, some real estate businesses were forced to depreciate residential rental housing over 40 years instead of 30 if they elected out of a limitation of interest deductibility under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The recovery period is corrected to 30 years in the Act.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is enhanced by the creation of a permanent 4% floor for the portion of the LIHTC that is typically used for rehabilitation of older rental housing and the preservation of subsidized rental developments.
Requires carbon monoxide detectors in all federally-assisted rental housing.
Provides for $49.6 billion for HUD’s budget, which is $561 million above the 2020 enacted level. This bill includes:
$152 million for the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and its grant programs, $7 million above the 2020 enacted level:
Funding for HUD’s fair housing grants, activities, and assistance, increased by $2.3 million to $72.5 million.
Funding for HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staffing and expenses increased by $4.8 million to $79.8 million.
$25.8 billion for Tenant-based Rental Assistance, $1.9 billion above the 2020 enacted level; and $13.5 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $895 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$40 million for HUD/VA Supportive Housing for Homeless Veterans (same as 2020).
$43 million for new incremental vouchers for homeless individuals and families.
$200 million for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$3.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, $50 million above the 2020 enacted level.
$77.5 million for Housing Counseling, $25 million above the 2020 enacted level.
Reauthorizes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which funds various critical water infrastructure projects in communities nationwide, including water management, flood control, drinking water and resilience. In turn, these projects make communities safer and support economic stability and growth.
Authorizes various renewable energy, energy efficiency and other energy projects, which will make energy more abundant, affordable, provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Bryan Greene
Vice President, Policy Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS
Washington, DC 20001

Candidate Joseph “Bear” Dewberry D2 Fayetteville City Council Questionnaire

1. Candidates Full Name: Joseph “Bear” Dewberry

2. Daytime Phone Number: (910) 580-0170

3. E-Mail: [email protected]

4. Current Occupation Position: Business Owner

5. Previously Elected/Appointed Position(s): 

N/A

6. Community Involvement: 

Shinelight Autism Awareness; Breast Cancer Awareness; Domestic Violence Awareness/Prevention with Cumberland County DSS; Fallen Outdoors; On After Children’s Christmas; Cumberland County Autism Society; Fayetteville/Spring Lake Chambers of Commerce

7. Community Endorsements: 

N/A

8. Do You Have an Active Campaign Account? Yes

9. Do You Accept PAC Checks? Yes

10. What’s your plan to address the need for workforce and affordable housing? 

We’ve created opportunities to work. Now we need to create necessity to work. We know that people care for things that they have worked hard for, and if we can instill the value of work and self-sufficiency into our young people, we can begin to improve our employment climate.

Affordable housing may require some out-of-the-box thinking. The City of Dallas bought existing hotels and apartments and turned them into affordable housing to increase the city’s inventory. Other cities have purchased abandoned school buildings for the same purpose.

11. List three ideas that you would do if elected to attract high paying jobs and industries? 

Talent matters most to high-paying companies, because human capital is the key. First, we must build a strong workforce and nurture existing talent in our communities. Second, we must champion community colleges because their infrastructure allows us to train workers in skills needed to attract industry. Apprenticeships can help as well. Third, studies show that place-making, or creating places that people want to live, will draw industry, so we must focus on improving our community overall.

12. What do you see as the biggest challenge in your district? 

District 2 includes the richest of the rich, and the poorest of the poor, and it could be challenging to represent all the members of the district with a single voice. I understand, though, that when we bridge the gap among all the diverse groups that live in District 2, we will establish a template that can serve all of Fayetteville and that will help us celebrate our diversity. We must listen to each other and share ideas and prioritize all parts of our district in order to move forward as a whole. 

13. Regarding tourism, what can be done to promote a vibrant city to outside guests and even within the community? 

North Carolina’s location places it within an 8-hour drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population, and I-95 is the “Main Street” of the East Coast corridor, so our location already works in our favor. I think we’ve already begun this work with the parks and recreation work that is happening in Fayetteville. We’ve started working to create third places, and those are the things that will bring people to our area. When we create safe, clean, healthy environments that make people want to come here, travelers won’t treat us as a bypass. They’ll want to spend time here. 

14. How do you propose to improve communications between your office and the community of REALTORS® who are becoming more engaged on issues in your district? 

I have an “open door” policy that invites anyone to share their thoughts and ideas about district 2 with me. I’ve launched a newsletter that will keep people updated about the work we’re doing, and I’ve built communication options into my website so voters can always reach me. Better yet, many of the people in the district already have my personal cell phone number and I’ll gladly share it with voters who would like to stay connected. I’m also open to future meet-and-greets with REALTORS

Candidate Bill Ayerbe D3 Fayetteville City Council Questionnaire

Longleaf Pine Realtors Questionnaire

Bill Ayerbe

(910) 391-0165 [email protected]

Owner, Ayerbe Violin Studio

Community Involvement

Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra

I do have an Active Campaign Account.

I do accept PAC Checks.

1. What is your plan to address the need for workforce and affordable housing?

Fayetteville is currently in the midst of a major housing crisis. In my District, we will be welcoming Amazon to our community which means that we will be needing housing for its employees. The lowest starting salary at Amazon is $20,000 annually. Hopefully they will start at a higher salary depending on the job, but that does not support buying a $200,000 home. Fayetteville has the area to build more affordable housing, we just need to do it.

2. List 3 ideas that you would do if elected to attract high paying jobs and industries?

A. It’s crucial to make your city presentable, safe, and welcoming. The first thing I would do is to address the Fayettenam problem. Many outside of our city still look at us as just a military community, although we are so much more than that. The reason? Public Safety. I would like to address police reform from the top down to make our community more inviting to outside companies.

B. The second idea is to work diligently with Ft. Bragg to address their needs. Meaning, approaching the contracting and weapons companies to move to our city, closer to Ft. Bragg. Again, we have the space along the 295 corridor to accommodate one or more manufacturing companies. It would benefit both Ft. Bragg and Fayetteville.

C. Thirdly, continuing the beautification of our Downtown and surrounding areas. We’ve done a lot, but we’re still not quite there. Murchison Road should be a bridge to Downtown as well as Haymount. Fayetteville is expanding rapidly, but we also must focus on our oldest and historical neighborhoods to ensure that industries look at our progress and see the future with us.

3. What do you see as the biggest challenge in your district?

I believe that there are two challenges and run hand in hand. Infrastructure and public safety. District 3 is broad extending from Cottonade and Ft. Bragg, to Downtown and Ramsey Street. Traffic has been a major issue because of the exits on McArthur Road from 295, especially in the afternoon and early evening. There have been road rage incidents and major accidents over the past 6 months. We need a more pronounced police presence in our area, and that is one of my top priorities when elected.

4. Regarding tourism, what can be done to promote a vibrant city to outside guest and even within the community?

As a teacher and musician, I know personally that music brings people together. Our downtown area already has some amazing and diverse restaurants, as does our mall area. I believe attracting larger music festivals would be beneficial to promoting Fayetteville. The new performing arts center will be a welcome addition to our community, as long as it is managed effectively and draws some top artists. Also, our tourism office has to step up and list ALL the things to do in Fayetteville, from sporting events, museums, dining, night life, etc. We all have to work together to make our city more welcoming to tourists.

5. How do you propose to improve communications between your office and the community of REALTORS who are becoming more engaged on issues in your district?

I am in a unique position since my wife Stephany is the Membership Director for Longleaf Pine Realtors. Realistically, we talk about the needs of the Realtors on a daily basis. I am well informed and will continue to be throughout this process. And please know that I will be available if any concerns arise.

Thank you for your consideration.

National Association of REALTORS® Update on Floor Plans

NAR Asks Supreme Court to Protect Consumers from Lawsuits When Making Floor Plans of Their Homes

Filing comes after Eighth Circuit ruling leaves homeowners vulnerable to onerous and unnecessary liabilities

April 7, 2022Media Contact: Wesley Shaw 202-383-1193Legal

WASHINGTON (April 7, 2021) – The National Association of Realtors® today filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to protect American consumers from a recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Court’s ruling misrepresents federal law and would invalidate decades of legal precedent by allowing copyright infringement lawsuits to be filed against homeowners who make or display floor plans of their own homes.

The brief was introduced alongside 18 groups representing consumers and professionals throughout the U.S. real estate industry, including the Redfin Corporation®, the Zillow Group, the American Property Owners Alliance and CoreLogic.

“The U.S. housing market accounted for roughly 18% of our country’s GDP in 2020,” said NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson. “The Eighth Circuit’s decision not only puts countless consumers at risk of costly, burdensome litigation for making a floor plan of their own home, but it also strains a key sector of America’s economy and threatens a critical tool of transparency for potential home buyers.”

Congress specifically allowed for homeowners to create “pictures” or “other pictorial representations” of architectural works without fear of liability when crafting the Copyright Act of 1976.

“Many home buyers rely on floor plans in real estate listings to decide whether to purchase a residence, and their ability to secure financing for that transaction is often contingent on an appraisal that requires the creation of a floor plan,” the brief reads. “After acquiring a dwelling, homeowners will often make floor plans to help them tackle installations, arrange furniture and complete do-it-yourself projects…  [And] many jurisdictions require homeowners to submit floor plans before they renovate their property.”

NAR’s 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report found that roughly two-thirds of home buyers listed floor plans as “very useful” in the online homebuying process, ranking behind only “photos” and “detailed property information” as their most valuable resources. So important are floor plans, in fact, to the average U.S. consumer as they make one of the most consequential decisions of a lifetime, that this category ranked ahead of other key educational resources and disclosures like “neighborhood information,” “virtual open houses” and price data on recently sold local homes.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

National Association of REALTORS® – White House Briefing on Property Appraisals

from Sehar Siddiqi – Director, Fair Housing Policy and Valuation
National Association of REALTORS®

On march 29, the White House and HUD held a briefing on the Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) Action Plan with Erika Poethig, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Melody Taylor, Executive Director PAVE and HUD Regional Director. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) was on of several groups invited to the virtual event.

The briefing focused on the development of the report and the action items it outlines for federal agencies to make to make the appraisal process more equitable. Of note, they mentioned they worked with 150 appraisers and other real estate professionals when developing the report and mentioned the outcomes are a milestone, not a capstone, and that they welcome additional industry partnerships going forward.

Question asked – What is the timeframe to create programs to diversify the appraisal industry and will it include apprenticeships?

Answer – Our data shows a lack of diversity in the industry – 95-97% of industry professionas are white males. One action item in the report calls for expanded access to the industry which includes reducing the number of educational hours needed to become an appraiser by 90% because these hours are unpaid.

Candidate DJ Haire D4 Fayetteville City Council Questionnaire

D J Haire

910-574-5399

[email protected]

City Council District 4

Occupation: Real Estate Management & Rental Property Owner

Community Involvement: City Council Member, Member of Seabrook Hills/Broadell Homes Community Watch, Church Elder @ Kingdom Impact Global Ministries, Sunday School Teacher.

Community Endorsement: District 4 communities across District 4, Some Members of Home Builders Association, other Leaders throughout the City of Fayetteville, and my Family.

Active Campaign Account: Yes

Do You Accept PAC checks: Yes

.

What’s your plan to address the workforce & affordable housing:

.

As a sitting City Council Member I strongly support our present endeavors to building up our workforce and affordable housing: I’ve presently ask to use some of our Recur Funding for affordable housing in our Bonnie Doone, Johnson Street community. Supporting our $33 million affordable housing project in Cross Creek Points. Help to spearhead our Murchison Road Choice Neighborhood affordable housing project. Leading the effort for incentives to investors to build in older neighborhoods. The present City Council raise our city employees to $15 per/hour, this should help employee new citizens to our workforce.

List three ideas that you would do if elected to attract high paying jobs and industries.:

1- I will continue supporting the efforts of telling the great stories & successes of the City Fayetteville to help attract possible investors; our Arts, Diversity, our Military, our I295 connection. 2- Continue improving our Incentive programs for possible investors, Continue to improve ordinances to be more business friendly, 3- Market and highlight our Regional Airport. I support purchasing additional land to expand our Airport. This would open more air traffic, future companies flying in and out of Fayetteville.

What do you see as the biggest challenge in your district?

1- The old neighborhoods in my district need more uplift, new housing, new investment. I’ve pushed on Council the need for more older community investment, incentives to investors where builders to want to tear down and rebuild new. Storm water and over flooding, I continue to fight to improvement our Storm Water Runoff issues especially in older neighborhoods.

Regarding tourism, what can be done to promote a vibrant city to the outside guest and even the within the community.

I still continue to say that the City of Fayetteville must do a Better job presenting and marketing our city. Promote our city using the very best forms of Marketing, and Technology. (More Billboards, more Television Ads.) Our Marketing must go outside our normal region of marketing ourselves.  I visit the National League of City of Cities this up-coming week. I must have conversations, visit other City Leaders and States Representatives, view their presentations and bring those ideas back to discuss with Council and Staff. Ask our State & Federal representatives for more marketing funding.

How do you propose to improve communications between your office and the community of REALTORS who are becoming more engaged on issues in your district?

I will continue to have open dialogue with our community of Realtors. Continue to ask their members to serve on our City Boards and Commissions. I’m happy to say that I help lead the very first initiative to have Building Contractors and Real Estate professionals serve our first UDO Board to make sure their views as stakeholders were heard. These type efforts must continue!

Candidate Michael Pinkston D8 Fayetteville City Council Questionnaire

1. Candidates Full Name: Michael Pinkston

2. Daytime Phone Number: 9104941569

3. E-Mail: [email protected]

4. Current Occupation Position: self employed

5. Previously Elected/Appointed Position(s):

None

6. Community Involvement:

Operation cease Fire 5 years Operation in as Much 6 years Center for the Blind 4 years Find a friend 4 years

7. Community Endorsements:

former Mayor Tony Chavonne former City Councilman Bobby Hurst former City Councilman Ted Moen

8. Do You Have an Active Campaign Account? Yes

9. Do You Accept PAC Checks? Yes

10. What’s your plan to address the need for workforce and affordable housing?

we need to establish state, local and federal housing acts, which will supplement payment for low income families.

11. List three ideas that you would do if elected to attract high paying jobs and industries?

listen carefully to any and all proposals presented to Council. Right now I am looking for any large company that would employ upward of 500 individuals. We are going to have to learn to think outside the box if we are to attract large companies.

12. What do you see as the biggest challenge in your district?

We need more people to get involved in community projects. Demand better street lights, more sidewalk, pools, and recreation parks.

13. Regarding tourism, what can be done to promote a vibrant city to outside guest and even within the community?

We need a world class mall, a new civic center, and better golf courses.

14. How do you propose to improve communications between your office and the community of REALTORS® who are becoming more engaged on issues in your district?

The realtors association can play a vital role in sharpening the landscape of Fayetteville.