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National Realtors make proposals to candidates.

One of the highest national priorities must be to increase home ownership and investment in real estate, the National Association of Realtors recently said in recommendations to the Democratic and Republican Platform Committee.

"Property ownership in general, and home ownership in particular, deserve a preferred place in our system of values," said NAR President Dorcas T. Helfant. "We believe it is most important for the federal government to make is easier for families to buy their first home, to change tax policies that have discouraged private investment in housing and real estate and to strengthen our nation's financial system."

Helfant said the association hopes to convince both parties to include specific references to housing and real estate in their policy statements.

"We are concerned that home ownership has declined in recent years, especially among younger households, the association's platform statement said.

"Young families find it more and more difficult to save money for a down payment and to make high mortgage payments. Without the opportunity for home ownership, future generations of Americans may not even enjoy the quality of life we have now," the association's statement continued.

Among the measures NAR is calling for are: * Provisions to allow families to use funds from their Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) plans for down payments on a first home * Increasing the loan limits on mortgages insured and guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Farmers Home Administration to make the programs useable in high-cost areas * Vigorous enforcement of the federal Fair Housing Act, will prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of homes * Repeal of discriminatory tax provisions that limit deductions for passive losses on investments in real estate * A reduction in the capital gains tax rate and indexation of capital gains * Preservation of the mortgage interest deduction * Strong opposition to all forms of rent control * Incentives for the private sector to build and maintain affordable housing for low-income families and individuals including a permanent extension of the tax credit for investment in low-income housing * Legislative and regulatory efforts to strengthen financial institutions and ensure a stable supply of credit * Land use policies that fairly balance the need for economic growth and protection of property rights with the preservation of wetlands, agricultural lands, wilderness, open space and historic sites * Development and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to assist America's cities in revitalizing their economies, improving their infrastructure, reducing crime and recapturing their desirability urban centers in order to attract expanded commercial investment and private residential property ownership.

Helfant said NAR is pleased with the Democratic Party's recent addition to it's platform, which expresses support for housing.
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Title Annotation:National Association of Realtors; Democratic and Republican political candidates
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 5, 1992
Words:442
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