One of the most important roles of the South Bend Area REALTORS® is Advocacy. Advocacy on behalf of homeowners and anyone who has an interest in private property rights. We are diligent in our efforts to be “The Voice for Real Estate” in the South Bend Area, as well as at the state and national levels. It is said that home ownership is a key aspect of the American Dream. We wholeheartedly agree and support that dream!
Our efforts are non-partisan! We do not align with either Democrats or republicans (or any other political party). We are best described as the REALTOR® Party. We focus on issues of importance relative to home ownership and private property rights. We work with members of any political party in order to enact legislation and regulation that promotes private property rights and supports quality of life within our communities.
Through our Government Affairs Committee, the South Bend Area REALTORS® work to promote strong communities and a great quality of life by engaging city councils, county councils, mayors offices, assessors and other government officials who play a role in determining laws or policies that impact homeownership. We work hard at building relationships with elected officials and department heads, in order to ensure that our voice is heard on issues directly impacting real estate.
Local Issues of Importance have included:
- Zoning Ordinances
- Landlord-Tennant Relationships
- Building Codes
- Land Use Planning
- Property Tax Assessments
All these issues affect property values and quality of life within our communities and impact everyone, especially home owners. Most of our advocacy efforts focus on the needs of homeowners and business owners. We speak on their behalf, in order to protect the rights of all private property owners.
We also work closely with other organizations whose priorities align with ours on many issues. A few examples include:
- Human Rights Commission – to ensure that the principles of Fair Housing are emphasized
- Home Builders Association – to promote continued development of quality homes
- Chamber of Commerce – to promote economic development
- Local School Boards – to promote quality educational opportunities
From a state-wide perspective, we work very closely with the Indiana Association of REALTORS® to address issues that impact real estate and homeownership throughout the State of Indiana. The issues are generally a bit more wide-ranging and diverse in nature. Obviously, issues related to housing, real estate law are a focus of our attention, but we also have a strong voice in areas related to taxation, transportation, infrastructure and education – all issues which impact the economic development of our state and the quality of life we expect.
On Federal Issues, we work closely with the National Association of REALTORS® to impact legislation and regulation that impacts all home owners and property owners in the United States. Collectively our 1.4 million voices have a huge impact on the decision makers in Washington, DC! Some of the issues we have impacted include:
- Mortgage Interest Deduction – providing tax relief to encourage home ownership
- National Flood Insurance Program – protecting homeowners from devastating losses due to flooding
- Opportunity Zones – incentives to bring economic opportunity to distressed neighborhoods
- Health Care reform – efforts to make group insurance benefits available to membership organizations like NAR
- Fair Housing Act – expansion of the Fair Housing Act to make it more inclusive than originally written
- Infrastructure – supporting efforts to repair and expand the physical infrastructure that helps provide transportation of goods and services
Learn more about the National Association of REALTORS® Advocacy Agenda.