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Creation Of Housing Caucus Coincides With Growing Federal Interest In Real Estate

With a list of investigations into potential wrongdoing at real estate organizations and a nationwide housing crisis worsening by the day, real estate advocacy organizations are stepping up their efforts in Congress. 

Eleven industry groups supported the creation of a new caucus on Capitol Hill, the Bipartisan Housing Caucus, to "deliver real estate policy that will benefit soon-to-be homeowners across the country," according to a statement.


"There isn’t anybody on Capitol Hill that isn’t talking about housing — housing is top of mind," National Multifamily Housing Council Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Cindy Chetti told Bisnow. "I'm excited about the fact that there seems to be so much focus on the shortage of supply and the need to address this housing problem that this country has."

The NMHC is among the 11 industry groups listed in support of the real estate caucus. The list also includes the National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders and Mortgage Bankers Association.

The caucus's formation comes as the federal government increasingly involves itself in the real estate business, especially as it relates to housing.  

President Joe Biden made housing affordability a key element of his State of the Union speech in March and laid out a suite of measures aimed at that goal. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has also moved to restrict rent increases in federally funded affordable housing.

The Department of Justice has also weighed in on litigation accusing real estate tech company RealPage of fixing rents

For-sale housing is also in the spotlight at a federal level. Lawmakers are targeting single-family rentalsseeking to bar investors from purchasing homes amid concerns that they are driving up the prices and pushing out first-time buyers and other owner-occupiers. A jury last year found the NAR inflated commissions and is on the hook for nearly $2B in liabilities. The DOJ said last month it would reopen an antitrust investigation into NAR

It is early days for the new caucus, with no announced policy platform or specific legislative priorities, but tenant advocacy groups raised concerns last week. The National Housing Law Project issued a release highlighting campaign contributions to three of the four founders of the new caucus.

The National Association of Realtors and Orange County, California-based developer Sanderson J. Ray are among the top contributors to political action committees supporting Rep. J. Luis Correa of California over his career. Rep. Tracey Mann of Kansas has received more than $27K in PAC contributions from NAR over his career. Major donors to Rep. Brittany Pettersen of Colorado include NAR and healthcare and multifamily lender Capital Funding Group.

Rep. Mark Alford of Missouri doesn't have any real estate companies in his top 10 donors, according to, but he did own a real estate business. 

All four members of Congress were open about their connections to the real estate industry in the release announcing the caucus, including owning rental property and having worked in the industry. None responded to requests for comment from Bisnow last week.

"[The industry groups supporting the real estate caucus] have a real financial stake in the system operating in a particular way that benefits the bottom line for their association membership," National Housing Law Project Executive Director Shamus Roller said. "And that bottom line may be in line with what's right for the American public, but often it is not.

"We need people to develop real estate," Roller added. "We need people to be in that industry and to be developers. But I'm not going to ask them to design housing policy for the country."

Real estate, along with what classifies as the finance and insurance industries, is the largest donor by industry to political parties, candidates and outside groups that report to the Federal Election Commission. is a nonprofit that tracks money in politics.