REALTORS® from across the country urged members of Congress to keep housing first on the nation’s public policy agenda last week during the National Association of REALTORS® 2011 Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. REALTORS® from Illinois were among those meeting with lawmakers to communicate the issues critical to Illinois businesses, communities and consumers.

At the top of the agenda, was the push for increasing loan limits in the Chicagoland region. Raising lending limits in six Chicagoland counties would help increase liquidity and allow a great number of qualified homeowners to enter the market for higher-priced homes, ultimately benefiting both the housing market and larger economy.

REALTORS® made lawmakers aware of how important it is to ensure that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home can do so, now and into the future.

Below are some photos from important meetings held last week. In talking with lawmakers, REALTORS® focused on these key issues for the Illinois real estate market: 1) ensuring access to affordable mortgage products for potential homeowners, 2) reforming the secondary mortgage market so that a continual flow of mortgage liquidity is available in all markets, and 3) preserving tax benefits for homeownership, including the mortgage interest deduction.

IAR leadership talk with U.S. Senator for Illinois and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin about preserving the mortgage interest deduction, improving liquidity in the lending market and other issues important to the real estate industry.

REALTORS® from the Chicago suburban region.

llinois REALTORS® with U.S. Representative for Illinois Bob Dold, Jr.

NAR President Ron Phipps, commended REALTORS® efforts on Capitol Hill: “Members of Congress were reminded last week that NAR is the leading advocate for homeownership, housing issues and private property rights. REALTORS® are working together to make sure the housing issues that matter most to consumers throughout the country are addressed in our nation’s capital.”