New Congressional Caucus Launched to Address Housing Affordability

With the real estate industry currently representing 16% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), supporting approximately 2.8 million jobs, and generating $50 billion in tax revenue, Reps. Mark Alford, J. Luis Correa, Tracey Mann, and Brittany Pettersen have launched the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus. The Caucus was formed to address housing affordability starts by adding stock to the nation’s limited housing inventory.

Freddie Mac estimates a 3.8 million unit shortfall nationwide. These 3.8 million units are needed to not only meet the demand from the growing number of households but also to maintain a target vacancy rate of 13%. The housing shortage scenario represents an underinvestment of trillions of dollars in housing in the U.S. According to the Caucus, America’s tax laws can and must do more to promote homeownership, build stable communities, bolster rental housing supply at all price points, and boost economic growth.

“I am proud to serve as a Co-Chair of the Real Estate Caucus, I know that housing is a key issue for all Americans, and especially for my constituents,” said Rep. Alford. “Before being elected to Congress, I owned a small real estate business, so I know firsthand the regulatory challenges that realtors face every day. I’m honored to be able to chair this Caucus and work together to solve real estate issues.”

As a former stakeholder in the commercial real estate space, Rep. Mann added, “Real estate businesses contribute to the growth and development of our local, state, and national economies. Overly burdensome regulation and economic challenges of high-cost materials only hinder a stable housing environment. As a former commercial real estate agent, I’m proud to join my colleagues as a co-chair of the Congressional Real Estate Caucus, and to serve as an advocate for the real estate industry in the halls of Congress. Real estate agents and developers should be empowered to provide housing options for all Americans, generate jobs, and offer top quality services for homeowners–not handcuffed by overreaching federal regulations from Washington, D.C.”

Supporting the Congressional Real Estate Caucus, 11 industry trade groups have voiced their backing of the new initiative, including:

  • National Association of Realtors (NAR)
  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
  • National Association of Home Builder (NAHB)
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA)
  • National Apartment Association (NAA)
  • American Property Owners Alliance
  • National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)
  • Nareit
  • U.S. Mortgage Insurers
  • Leading Builders of America
  • American Land Title Association (ALTA)

“Home ownership is a core tenant of the American dream, and the real estate industry helps make that dream a reality for millions of Americans every year,” said Rep. Pettersen said. “I’m proud to be a founding member of this caucus as we work to champion policies that will increase our housing supply and accessibility, make it easier to buy a first home or leave a home you’ve outgrown, and foster a market that is beneficial for all.”

The core four

The Caucus was founded by Rep. Alford, who will serve as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus. A former small business owner and former TV news anchor, Rep. Alford represents Missouri’s 4th District in Congress. He spent 25 years anchoring Kansas City’s top morning news show prior to his time in Congress. Over the years, Rep. Alford’s voice helped raise millions for charities both locally and nationally, and served dozens of boards, foundations, churches, civic organizations, families, and strangers. After being sworn into the 118th Congress as a freshman member, Alford was selected to the House Armed Services Committee, House Agriculture committee, and House Small Business committee.

Rep. Correa used his education to become a banker, attorney, and licensed real estate broker. His time in the private sector prepared him to compromise and find real solutions to everyday problems. In 1996, Lou ran for the California State Assembly, and lost that election, but returned in 1998 and won, serving as a voice for middle-class families in Orange County, California. Over the next decade, Correa would serve Orange County on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the California State Senate. In 2016, Correa was elected to the U.S. House Of Representatives to continue his work by representing the community he has spent the past 20 years serving. Over his term, he has worked to support public health and safety services, mental health care, and health and safety programs for children. He has championed affordable higher education and taxpayer equity, while protecting taxpayers by fighting “waste, fraud, and abuse.”

“Homeownership is an essential part of the American Dream, and represents a tangible pathway to the middle class,” Rep. Correa said. “As a former real estate broker, I saw firsthand the role real estate plays in uplifting Main Street and hard-working American taxpayers. Our Caucus will bridge the partisan divide and push Congress together to deliver real estate policy that will benefit soon-to-be homeowners across the country and help so many families get one step closer to fulfilling their own American Dream.”

Also serving as a founder of the Congressional Real Estate Caucus is Rep. Mann, who has represented Kansas in the House of Representatives since January 2021. An advocate for Kansas agriculture and conservative values, Rep. Mann is a fifth-generation Kansan, who was born and raised on his family farm, having grown up in the family farmhouse that his great-great-grandfather ordered from a Montgomery Ward catalog in the early 1900s. Prior to representing Kansas in the House of Representatives, Rep. Mann served as the 50th Lt. Governor of Kansas. Rep. Mann has worked in commercial real estate, and has served on the loan committee for First National Bank Syracuse.

Rounding out the Caucus is Rep. Pettersen, who served in the Colorado state legislature for a decade before being elected in 2022 to represent Colorado’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, where she serves on the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance and as the Vice Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions. Through her position on the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Pettersen works to increase consumer protections, improve housing affordability and accessibility, keep the nation on the cutting-edge of technological advances, and crack down on drug cartels and terrorist organizations utilizing financial institutions.

The industry reacts

The 11 industry trade groups have collectively applauded the Congressional Real Estate Caucus for sparking these meaningful policy conversations around the obstacles preventing the construction of new and affordable housing, and the barriers first-time buyers face breaking into the market.

  • National Association of Realtors: “Lawmakers from across the political spectrum are in overwhelming agreement that this nation is facing a housing affordability crisis. Homeownership is a bipartisan issue, and we applaud these members of Congress for forming a caucus to work across the aisle to make housing more accessible. We look forward to working closely with this group to further advance our advocacy efforts to increase the housing supply and help individuals from all backgrounds find a path to homeownership.”
  • National Association of Home Builders: “NAHB commends House lawmakers for making housing a national priority and establishing the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus. Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to tackle the nation’s housing affordability crisis, and we look forward to working with the caucus to promote policies to increase the nation’s housing supply in order to ease stubbornly high shelter inflation, bend the housing cost curve, and provide more homeownership and rental housing opportunities for all Americans.”
  • Mortgage Bankers Association: “MBA applauds Representatives Mark Alford, Lou Correa, Tracey Mann, and Brittany Pettersen for stepping up to co-lead the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus. This caucus will help advance housing policy–for both renters and prospective homeowners–and develop opportunities for Congress to take action to ensure healthy real estate markets and identify solutions to alleviate the housing affordability crisis our country is facing. MBA looks forward to working with this bipartisan group to help more Americans achieve their dream of housing choice–be that sustainable homeownership or affordable rental opportunities.”
  • American Land Title Association: “We commend the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Alford, Correa, Mann, and Pettersen in forming the Congressional Real Estate Caucus. Title industry professionals in every county nationwide work on a daily basis to protect property rights and ensure the integrity of each real estate transaction. At the core of those efforts is expanding the dream of homeownership and enhancing housing affordability and opportunity for all Americans. We look forward to working with the Caucus in advancing commonsense policies to support this critical need.”
  • National Apartment Association: “As the nation continues to grapple with housing affordability, NAA applauds these lawmakers for seeking common ground and uniting around an issue that affects every American family. Housing has no political party, and it is time to bring commonsense, bipartisan solutions across the finish line. Rental housing and its creation are the cornerstone to easing affordability challenges, and NAA looks forward to working together to ensure the nation has a robust supply of rental housing at all price points for generations to come.”
  • U.S. Mortgage Insurers: “USMI welcomes the creation of the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus, and we look forward to working with its members to address barriers to homeownership, promote policies that increase access to affordable and sustainable low down payment mortgage credit, and ensure safety and soundness in the housing finance system.”
  • National Multifamily Housing Council: “Housing is now a kitchen table issue for Americans in every community across the country. This is the time for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to roll up their sleeves and enact policies that will expand the supply of needed housing for all. NMHC applauds the members of the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus for prioritizing housing, and we look forward to working with them on real, actionable solutions to our housing crisis.”
  • Asian Real Estate Association of America: “Owning a home has been an important part of the American Dream for generations as so many have benefited from the security it provides. Yet far too many, including those in the AANHPI community, are facing affordability concerns making access to homeownership extremely challenging. We applaud Congress on the creation of the Caucus that will hopefully bring new ideas and solutions to address the affordability issues we face today.”
  • Nareit: “Insufficient housing supply is a critical issue for the United States, and we greatly appreciate that the Bipartisan Real Estate Caucus seeks to help address this national challenge and lead the way in Congress on other real estate-related initiatives aimed at strengthening the economy and people’s lives. Our member REITs are playing a transformative role in our nation’s real estate economy, enhancing the lives of millions of individuals and improving thousands of communities. Nareit looks forward to continuing its work with the Caucus to help achieve its policy priorities.”
  • American Property Owners Alliance: “Current and aspiring property owners have long called for solutions that will curb today’s housing affordability challenges and safeguard the future of property ownership in America. We thank our congressional allies for their work to address these issues by getting to the root of the problem: increasing housing supply. We look forward to working together with the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus to advance pro-housing policies that will open the door for more Americans to access housing that meets their needs and budget.”
  • Leading Builders of America: “The time has come to make housing a national priority. We must work across party lines to support policies that allow the industry to develop land, build homes, and offer to sell homes that are affordable for middle-class families.”
  • National Association of Real Estate Brokers: “The National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. is committed to increasing Black home ownership and is in support of efforts that open the doors to opportunities and access for Black Americans to purchase real estate. Therefore, we are optimistic about the newly formed Congressional real estate caucus and hopeful that the work of the caucus will help to increase Black homeownership.”
  • National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals: “NAHREP applauds the formation of the Bipartisan Congressional Real Estate Caucus. This timely initiative aligns with our core mission to increase sustainable homeownership opportunities, especially for the Latino communities we serve. We see this as a critical step to address the housing affordability crisis and promote wealth-building for families across America. NAHREP is eager to work with the Caucus on meaningful solutions that will remove barriers to homeownership.”

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Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for
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