Government Affairs Digest - March 2019

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2019 Capitol Hill Fly-In Judged a Success

Nearly 80 IREM Members representing 41 chapters traveled to Washington, DC, earlier this month to take part in almost 100 meetings with their Members on Congress.

Issues that members carried to their legislators included reauthorizing and reforming the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP) and encouraging legislators to contact the Department on Housing and Urban Development to issue guidance on companion animals. For more information on these issues and the messages IREM Members delivered, check out the leave-behinds.

Staying active and engaged with federal policy-makers is the best way to advocate and promote beneficial public policies for the industry. There really is no substitute for you, the practitioners, sharing your personal experience with legislators and their staff. Even though the Fly-In is now past, other opportunities for members to reach out to legislators are available, and IREM will be promoting these throughout the year.

A hearty and sincere “thank you” goes out to all IREM Members who participated in the Fly-In and the chapters that supported them. To share in the experience, check out some of the pictures from the Fly-in. If you attended and have pictures to share, send them to Also, get some insights on how one chapter participated in the Fly-In by reading the Chicago Chapter’s summary of the Fly-in on its website.

Free Webinar – Opportunity Zones and Section 199A: What You Should Know

On March 29 at 1pm CDT, IREM has planned a webinar that will be free to members ($99 for non-members) and will provide an overview on the new Opportunity Zone program and the Section 199A deduction for pass-through entities.  Proposed guidance from the Treasury Department for Opportunity Zones has been issued, and the regulations for the Section 199A deduction were recently finalized. To be delivered by Evan Liddiard, Director of Federal Tax Policy, and Erin Stackley, Senior Representative, Commercial Legislative Policy, of the National Association of REALTORS®, this webinar will examine what questions the recently released rules answered and what issues are still outstanding.

Federal Housing Advisory Board to Meet with HUD and Rural Housing Service

 Members of IREM’s Federal Housing Advisory Board (FHAB) will travel to Washington D.C. on April 9-10 to meet with representatives of HUD and Rural Housing Service. This is one of two meetings each year conducted in DC by the FHAB to discuss such issues as the 538 Program, Budget, Performance Based Contract Administration (PBCA), and Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).

A summary of the discussions that take place with HUD and RHS will be included in the April edition of the Digest.

Oregon Becomes First State to Impose Statewide Rent Control

On February 28, Oregon became the first state in the nation to impose statewide limits on how much landlords can raise rents. The new law limits rent increases to 7 percent annually plus the change in the Consumer Price Index. Some smaller and newer apartment buildings will be exempt.

IREM coordinated with the IREM Oregon-Columbia River Chapter to oppose the legislation because of the potential detrimental impact it would have on property owners and the property management industry. Full article

Affordable Housing

Upcoming REAC New Inspection Model Listening Sessions

Starting in 2017, HUD performed a “wholesale reexamination” of REAC’s inspection processes. The department determined that a new inspection model that can capture a more accurate identification of a substandard property and instances in which an owner has failed to provide acceptable, basic housing conditions is essential. The new model should have more objective standards that are defensible and less complex and focus on areas that impact residents.

To ascertain feedback on REAC’s New Inspection Model, HUD is hosting a Listening Session in Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit, and Seattle.  To register, members can scan the HUD website and look for the REAC Listening Sessions and select the preferred dates and locations.  Each date has a morning and afternoon session and it is recommended to attend only one session because both sessions provide the same information.  As a reminder, registration is on a first-come, first-served basis due to room capacity.  There is an organizational participation limit for all locations.

Please note remote access is not available for any sessions. 

  • Fort Worth, TX – March 19 *Full
  • Detroit, MI – March 26 *Full
  • Seattle, WA – March 28
  • Atlanta, GA – April 4

HUD Publishes Revisions to Fair Market Rents in 10 Areas throughout Oregon, California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Read the full notice

National News

Support squirrels need not apply: American Airlines set to ban all but service dogs, cats and the occasional miniature horse
Residential & Commercial – Assistance Animals

New Accounting Regulations Will Lead to Shorter Lease Terms
Commercial – FASB Lease Accounting Standards

The Government Affairs Digest is distributed monthly to the IREM Executive Committee, Regional Vice Presidents, Chapter Presidents and Chapter Legislative Chairs, Legislative and Public Policy Committee, and the Federal Housing Advisory Board. Other IREM members who would like to receive the newsletter may opt-in at any time.

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