Can You Hear Me Now? On May 17, It’ll be Yes

After the housing downturn there were calls among lawmakers and policymakers in Washington to scale back the country’s historic commitment to home ownership. Those calls continue today.

NAR President Moe Veissi (center) with leaders of several state and local associations and YPN chapters on the U.S. Capitol grounds where the Rally to Protect the American Dream will be held on May 17. Copyright © 2012 Toby Jorrin.

Maybe the value of the mortgage interest deduction should be curtailed, as President Obama is suggesting in his latest budget proposal. Maybe there should be little or no federal backing of mortgages once Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are restructured out of existence, as some bills would do. Maybe loans that lenders originate for securitization should be required to have at least 20 percent down, as banking regulators have proposed. Maybe the fees that lenders pay to have their loans guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie should go up, as Congress has just passed into law.

All of these and more add up to an attack on home ownership and raise the question of whether our children and grandchildren, despite the unquestioned good home ownership does for our country, will have the same options for buying as we or our parents had.

Here in Washington, largely behind the scenes, NAR has been waging a battle on Capitol Hill and among the regulatory agencies to try to keep some balance in this debate over home ownership and dial back the reaction to the housing downturn.

In May, though, the battle will come into sharp relief as thousands of REALTORS® join NAR President Moe Veissi and the NAR Leadership Team at a rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

The Rally to Protect the American Dream takes place on May 17 and is REALTORS®’ high-energy way of letting Washington lawmakers and policymakers know that REALTORS® are ready to go to the mat to protect this most cherished of American institutions.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” NAR President Veissi says.

You’ll be hearing more about the rally in the months ahead. President Veissi and other leaders in the industry are reaching out to REALTORS® across the country to join them on the ground of the Capitol for what promises to be a memorable morning.

Sharing the stage with President Veissi will be members of Congress, home buyers, and others. Theirs will be a simple message: Real estate is the bedrock of the country and the country’s REALTORS® are taking a stand to keep it that way.

Lear more in this video podcast with President Veissi.

Send any questions about the rally to

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is director of multimedia communications for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He can be reached at

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  1. Bette McTamney

    Be a part of the Realtor Rally in May, showing that homeownership has a significant impact in the overall quality of life. For over 100 years,Realtors have helped people find their piece of the American dream-stand up in the Nation’s capital for affordable home ownership! As said ” we are a nation of Homeowners and Homeownership is the foundation of the American Dream”. See you on May 17th!

  2. Please keep me updated with information on the rally!

  3. The solidarity in the real estate community is encouraging. Homeownership is the American Dream and we need to protect it. Responsible homeownership should be a priority for our leaders. ENTITLE DIRECT is also running a campaign to advocate for responsible homeownership with their Million Key Cause. They are collecting keys to advocate for legislation that will help current and future homeowners.

  4. As a child I grew up in a small apartment and lived at the mercy of our “landlord”. I would dream of living in a house we owned and vowed I would do so as an adult. Today I own three homes and it’s great but I see today’s generation of young adults feeling that home ownership is out of their reach. I hope we do not regress back to a nation where the dream of home ownership is only for investors, landlords or the 1% of this country.
    Home ownership matters and everyone should strive to earn it, pay for it and protect it!

  5. Keith Detweiler

    I think the one key word that needs to be used is “responsible homeownership”. We all know that much of what was done in the last 15 or 20 years with respecft to lending programs were designed to get people into the American Dream at all cost. Loans with lousy credit scores and credit records. No doc loans that were flat out lies. We all saw them and when I first got into this business in 2002, I knew then even as a newbie, that these practices and many others were simply not sustainable.
    Just a few comments about the NAR platform here and the bullet items
    I am all for a flat tax and no deductions at all. This includes eliminating the mortgage interest deduction. If whether or not there is a mortgage interest deduction is a buyers deciding factor in buying a house, they probably should not be buying anyway. Just that simple.
    Fannie and Freddie are corrupt government entities that need to go. Period. The culture of corruption and intimidation that pervades these two organizations should have no place in our representative republic.
    Making people have some skin in the game is a good thing. What did people do before all the government sponsored programs? They saved money to put down. They had an interest in the outcome because it was their money, not some taxpayer funded program.
    I will agree as a dues paying member to NAR that the American Dream of homeownership, as it has been corrupted over the last 2 decaded, is under attack. Most of the attack is coming from something that has been lacking in this country for some time called COMMON SENSE