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PSAR committed to legislative advocacy.

posted May 12, 2017, 3:06 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated May 12, 2017, 3:46 PM ]
Legislative advocacy continues to be an important activity at PSAR. Advocacy plays a critical role in supporting property ownership throughout our communities. A powerful alliance can be formed with other REALTORS® and affiliates when we speak in solidarity with one voice and work together with elected officials to protect and promote homeownership and property investment.
The result can be public policies that uphold private property rights and build strong communities with a vibrant business environment and free enterprise system. Indeed, whether or not the average homeowner realizes it, government relations can influence the price of real estate and affect the state of the economy, level of interest rates, and nature of demographics, along with a host of other variables that can ultimately determine a property’s value. 
Recently, a number of PSAR members traveled to Sacramento for the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Legislative Day 2017. The event, the 45th annual, included opportunities to meet and discuss real estate issues directly with state legislators and their staff members, as well as hear from California’s political leaders and the leadership of the state association.
PSAR’s C.A.R. directors who attended included Aaron Kerper, Anthony Andaya, Bob Olivieri, Jan Farley, Jeff Campbell, Lupe Soto, Minerva Garcia, Nikki Coppa, Norma Scantlin, Rick Hoffman and Sarah Heck. Other PSAR members attending C.A.R.’s Legislative Day included Rafael Perez, Max Zaker, Claudia Zaker, Mike Anderson, Monet Love, Shonee Henry, Pat Russiano, Ron Boland, Ditas Yamane, Art Armagost, Evita Beas, James Sean Hillier, Larry Van Rickley and Minni Rzeslawski, along with Tracy Morgan Hollingworth, PSAR’s Governmental Affairs Director, and PSAR staff members Richard D’Ascoli and  George Ching.
As a follow-up to C.A.R.’s Legislative Day, several Association members are planning to attend the upcoming National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2017 Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, May 15-20 in Washington, D.C. NAR is widely considered one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the country.
Statewide, it’s an incredibly busy year because the real estate industry has emerged as a major player in the current legislative agenda. More than 130 housing bills have been introduced this legislative session, many of them aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage, lack of affordable housing and protecting those at risk of losing their homes. High housing costs, an undersupply of homes to buy or rent and the failure of cities and counties to adequately plan for growth seems to be fueling the flurry of political activity.
According to the state Housing and Community Development Department, California needed 180,000 new homes each year over the past decade but built on average just 80,000 a year. The state will need at least 1.8 million new homes by 2025. At 54 percent, California’s homeownership rate has dropped to the lowest point since the late 1940s. Overcrowding in the state is double the national rate. And while the state has 12 percent of the nation’s population, we have 22 percent of the nation’s homeless. Clearly, rents are too high, home prices are climbing, homeless encampments are growing and many people are cutting back on food, clothing and medical care to keep a roof over their heads.
The key housing bills in Sacramento fall into four key types, according to news reports, including Increased funding for affordable housing; Streamlined approvals for homebuilding projects; Stepped-up enforcement of housing laws; Resident protection laws.
The increased legislative activity is an encouraging sign, especially for California’s millennials. According to CALmatters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture, a staggering 38 percent of California’s 18 to 34-year-olds still live with their parents. That’s roughly 3.6 million people stuck at home. Think of it this way: If “unlaunched” California millennials formed their own state, they would be entitled to more electoral votes than Connecticut, Iowa or Utah. If they formed their own city, it would be the third largest in the country.
You can be assured that PSAR remains committed to reaching out to elected officials, motivating and mobilizing the real estate community and keeping our members involved and informed about legislative issues in an effort to protect private property rights and homeownership.