Real Estate Industry Issues

Tax Incentives to Lending Equality to Promote Homeownership, Increase Housing Supply and Revitalize the Commercial Sector in South Florida

Support Tax Incentives to Convert Underutilized Commercial Property Into Residential Units:

  • Finding new uses for unused commercial Real Estate offers significant benefits for families struggling to find affordable housing, the distressed commercial sector, the nation’s broader economy, and for governments at all levels, which will reap new revenues.

Support Solutions That Spur New Housing Supply:

  • The strong residential real estate market has helped keep our nation’s economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this boon to our economy has been severely limited by the current shortage of homes available for purchase.
  • If more residential housing units were made available, there would be increased opportunity for Americans to access the wealth building benefits of homeownership, greater employment and greater economic activity for federal, state, and local economies.
  • South Florida’s elected, community and business leaders support a multi-pronged approach to incentivize the creation of more housing units. These could include a rehabilitation and commercial-to-residential tax credit, incentives to train and hire more residential construction workers, and even tax credit bonds to encourage local governments to speed up the approval of zoning and other decisions that result in the creation of more residential units.

Support Tax Benefits for Property Ownership:

  • Research continues to recognize the benefits of homeownership for our communities and for household financial growth. Many middle-income, minority and millennial households are prevented from realizing a direct tax benefit of owning a home.
  • These groups were already slowest to recover from the struggles of the Great Recession and continue to face the greatest headwinds to increased homeownership. South Florida’s elected, community and business leaders support the enactment of meaningful tax credits for down payment assistance for first-time buyers, and for the ongoing costs of homeownership for those who do not benefit from the Mortgage Interest Deduction and real property tax deductions because they no longer itemize their deductions.

Help Our Workforce – Support Lending Equality for All

  • Condominiums are the most affordable housing option for our workforce in South Florida, but yet buyers in Florida are not offered the same condo lending terms as buyers in the 49 other states. For over 10 years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had a geo-targeting policy against Florida for the most common condo loans, making it very difficult for our workforce to pursue the dream of homeownership and provide a stable environment for their families. We ask that you push the GSEs to remove this geo-targeting policy from their guidelines and provide the same lending terms for all Americans.

Reauthorize and Reform the National Flood Insurance Program and Reduce Barriers to Private Flood Insurance Options

  • Congress must pass a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP and include meaningful reforms that open the door to private market flood insurance and modernize flood mapping and mitigation investments. Flood insurance is required for a mortgage in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. While there is a growing private market for flood insurance, millions of small businesses and homeowners currently depend on the NFIP to protect their property against flooding, the most costly and common natural disaster in the United States. Without flood insurance, property owners would have to rely on the Federal government for taxpayer-funded disaster relief after major floods.

Sources: Broward, Palm Beaches and St. Lucie Realtors®

Miami Association of Realtors®

National Association of Realtors®