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Real Estate News in Brief: NAR supports 21st Century Internet Act, $43 million HUD grant and more

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Last week, the National Association of Realtors shared its support for the 21st Century Internet Act introduced by Rep. Mike Coffman. The act seeks to take net neutrality out of the hands of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and reinstate the protections it offers at the national level.

Realtors have been vocal opponents of the FCC’s recent decision to end net neutrality as a federal rule. The National Association of Realtors argued net neutrality ensured equal access to listings for clients and marketing avenues for agents. With the protections of net neutrality gone, ISPs are legally able to throttle speeds and limit website use behind price gates, potentially making internet users pay more for the speeds and content they had access to previously.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall issued a statement in support of Coffman’s 21st Century Internet Act.

“Nearly all of America’s 1.3 million Realtors depend on open access to affordable, high-quality internet service to adequately serve clients, market properties and conduct business. Rep. Mike Coffman’s 21st Century Internet Act is a much-needed response to the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality regulations and preserve equal, unencumbered internet access for small businesses and consumers across the country,” Mendenhall said in a press release.

In May, the Senate passed a bill to restore net neutrality, and with the support of Republican congressmen like Coffman, the act may see support from both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives.

Other news this week:

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a grant of $43 million to 11 communities to help end youth homelessness. The communities selected are:
    • San Diego: $7.94 million
    • Louisville, Kentucky: $3.45 million
    • Boston: $4.92 million
    • NW Minnesota (Rural): $1.41 million
    • Nebraska (Rural): $3.28 million
    • Northern New Mexico: $3.37 million
    • Columbus, Ohio: $6.07 million
    • Nashville, Tennessee: $3.54 million
    • Vermont (Rural): $2 million
    • Washington (Rural): $4.63 million
    • Snohomish, Washington: $2.39 million
  • The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) has requested immediate changes to the Consumer Complaint and Consumer Inquiry Handling Processes by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Extensive issues with mortgage brokers have been reported by the bureau. However, when looking at the complaints, 90 percent were registered against lender and bank loan officers. The NAMB also has requested that complaint information not be released unless the responsible party has been properly identified.
  • In September, NAR is releasing the unrestricted, top-level domain name .realestate. With the release of this domain, NAR hopes to bring an added specificity to the areas of expertise that agents focus on. The pre-sale begins September 18, and domains are only available for Realtors with .realtor domain names.

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