About 750 REALTORS® attend luncheons, legislative briefings before visiting State Capitol

With the largest crowd ever expected for the annual Capitol Conference & REALTOR® Lobby Day, members attended three luncheons and legislative briefings, one at Illinois REALTORS® headquarters and two within the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® gathered at the Illinois REALTORS® headquarters while several central Illinois associations met in the Lincoln Room at the DoubleTree and all others gathered in the Presidential Ballroom of the DoubleTree. With assistance from association leaders, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan and Manager of Grassroots and Political Programs Neil Malone conducted the legislative briefings.

REALTORS® at the two locations then grabbed bus rides to the State Capitol to meet with their legislative leaders, some planned and some spontaneous.

See photo gallery below.

Illinois REALTORS® take stand against Home Rule in 4 Illinois communities

This mailer was sent to Lynwood residents to alert them to the dangers of Home Rule. The community has tried a number of times previously to implement the policy, and failed each time. Illinois REALTORS® was engaged in this effort with Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®.

Ads and mailings funded by Illinois REALTORS® explaining the dangers of Home Rule have been used in four communities in the state where voters will cast ballots on April 4.

The ads appeared online in Lynwood, Creve Coeur, Ottawa and Coal City.

In Ottawa and Coal City, online advertising was supplemented by a series of full-page newspaper advertisements warning residents about the potential costs of allowing elected officials to take their communities to Home Rule status.

In each of the four communities, a series of mailings slammed home the message that Home Rule would be a bad move for property owners. The fight was a joint effort by Illinois REALTORS®, Real Property Alliance and local REALTOR® associations.

Home Rule ballot initiatives pose a number of threats for communities which have fewer than 25,000 residents.

If voters were to sanction the change, elected officials would have more say in taxation and the amount of debt a community could take on. Often, that power can directly translate into higher property taxes and even additional fees for property owners.

Illinois REALTORS® and its partners have worked closely to explain the pitfalls of Home Rule to communities considering Home Rule. The organizations have been involved in several communities where ballot initiatives have been torpedoed as a result of wary property owners voting to make sure they keep a say in tax policy.

 

Illinois REALTORS® shine at National Policy Conference

The spirit of service is inherent in so many of Illinois REALTORS® members, it often goes unnoticed since most are not looking for accolades, they are looking for progress. However, this week at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Annual Policy Conference and Awards Gala in Washington, D.C., these members got both.

Accolades for service

Congratulations to the Chicago Chapter of NAHREP for receiving the Chapter of the Year award and earning recognition for its success in Financial Performance, Sponsor Engagement and Board Management at the Leadership Academy.

These awards are no surprise since the commitment of members extends beyond the local chapter to involvement at the state and national levels. At the gala, Joe Castillo, Broker/Owner of Mi Casa Real Estate in Chicago was installed as a national board member, and Genie Birch, Broker at Century 21 Affiliated in Lincolnwood, serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee at NAR and welcomed the group at their reception. Gaspar Flores, Jr., the current Chicago Chapter president, serves on the Illinois REALTOR® Strategic Thinkers Working Group and the Housing Opportunity Working Group. This is a short list of their involvement but underscores why they have achieved so much success.

Members of the Chicago Chapter are contributing to NAHREP’s advocacy efforts this week. They headed to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to share with members of Congress their position on topics like: immigration, the building of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, homeownership, the mortgage interest deduction and promoting small business.

Progress realized

These members have seen results from the NAHREP Hispanic Wealth Project through the increase in Hispanic homeownership. According to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership that was presented at the conference, Hispanic homeownership accounted for almost 80 percent of the year-over-year homeownership growth from 2015 to 2016.

A Fannie Mae survey cited as part of the project explained that Hispanics have many reasons for valuing homeownership, including:

  • The environment for raising children,
  • control over one’s living space,
  • building wealth and
  • property rights through the ability to control one’s own living space.

The conference provided a great opportunity to see Illinois REALTORS® show their commitment to real estate and homeownership while celebrating their culture and community.

Congratulations NAHREP Chicago from all of us at Illinois REALTORS®!

(Photos by Sharon Gorrell, Jessica Barrera, Erika Villegas and Gaspar Flores, Jr.)

More REALTORS® need to speak out against rent control bill through Call for Action

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More Illinois REALTORS® need to voice their displeasure with House Bill 2430 so the proposal is stopped in committee or defeated by a vote.

Since March 6, more than 5,200 Illinois REALTORS® have said “no” to HB 2430 through the association’s Call for Action. The bill will repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997. Although its intent is to create rent control in Chicago, repealing the act would, by default, make rent control an option for all home rule units in Illinois, not just Chicago. To join your colleagues and tell House members HB 2430 is a threat to private property rights, click here.

Rent control is widely discredited by many – if not most – economists and many housing advocates. Rent control is counterproductive, is very complicated to administer and would have many unintended consequences. For a summary of reasons why REALTORS® object to HB 2430, go here.

 

5K REALTORS® need you to join fight against rent control too

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More than 5,000 members of Illinois REALTORS® have submitted emails to their state representatives in the last eight days, asking them to reject House Bill 2430. But even more members need to join in if the bill is to be stopped.

The bill will repeal the Rent Control Preemption Act of 1997. Although the intent of the bill is to create rent control in Chicago, repealing the act would by default make rent control an option for all home rule units in Illinois, not just Chicago. To join your colleagues and tell House members HB 2430 is a threat to private property rights, click here.

Rent control is widely discredited by many – if not most – economists and many housing advocates. Rent control is counterproductive, is very complicated to administer and would have many unintended consequences. For a summary of reasons why REALTORS® object to HB 2430, go here.

On March 6, Illinois REALTORS® initiated a Call for Action regarding the bill. In one day, about 1,800 members responded, and participation has continued since then.