Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®(VPAR) Announces Endorsements in Upcoming Hampton and Newport News Elections

APRIL 23, 2018

Hampton, Virginia — The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS® (VPAR) announces today the following endorsements in the upcoming Hampton and Newport News City Council and Mayoral election that will be held on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

Receiving the endorsement of the Association are the following candidates:

James Gray
Teresa Vanasse Schmidt
Eleanor Brown
Steve Brown

Dr. McKinley Price

Sharon Scott, North District
David Jenkins, Central District
Dr. Saundra Cherry, South District
John Eley, South District

The endorsements were based on in-depth written surveys submitted by the candidates. The surveys covered a broad range of issues relevant to the housing and real estate industries, the business community in general and the quality of life in both Hampton and Newport News and here on the Peninsula. Specific topics included providing for increased housing opportunities and relevant pro-housing policies that will produce housing options at a variety of prices, protecting our communities from rising seas and subsiding lands, improving access to quality education — a major driver in housing choice, strengthening our economic base, protecting our military and federal installations, redevelopment and reuse of vacant properties, and rental inspection programs.

In addition to the written questionnaires, candidates participated in 30-minute individual, personal interviews conducted by VPAR’s Public Policy Committee, a highly respected Association all-volunteer Committee that is comprised of well informed and well-connected REALTOR® professionals who are engaged at all levels of government. The vast majority of candidates in both cities participated in the interview process.

“It is the Association’s distinct pleasure to endorse these capable, hard-working and supportive candidates for local office,” said Carl Burt, President of the Association. “VPAR has very strong relationships with all of our elected officials, and that relationship begins at the time when a candidate first appears before the Committee. Our outreach and advocacy efforts with them lead to more informed decisions being made at the City Council level. We provide a resource in the form of data and policy information that no other organization can generate, and that leads to good public policy outcomes for all of us as residents.”

“The Public Policy Committee takes the matter of interviewing and endorsing candidates very seriously,” stated Committee Chairwoman Lori Carlson. “Every Committee member has a vested interest in the outcome of these important election endorsements, both as REALTORS® who sell the region, and as members of the community who live here. They know the issues. They know the people. They know the Cities. They know that endorsing candidates is perhaps the single most important task that they undertake as a Committee.”

Burt added, “This is the strongest slate of candidates in both Hampton and Newport News that we have seen in many, many years. We applaud all of the candidates who are running for Mayor and for Council. Their willingness to step up to the plate and serve the public is to be commended.”

“It is a rare occasion, and this may be the first time ever, that VPAR has endorsed more than one candidate in a district, or has endorsed more candidates than there are seats. But this is a strong field of both incumbents and challengers, and we are excited about the prospect of working with everyone, both those who serve now, those who want to serve and those who at some point may be elected. We hope to work with them to increase their understanding of housing and real estate issues, business issues and economic development issues both now and into the future.

“The Peninsula is in very good hands moving into the next generation of leaders. We all should be proud of the many men and women who are willing to take on their roles as elected officials and decision makers.”

Endorsements include campaign contributions from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) of Virginia. Funding and endorsement decisions are based on support of the housing and real estate industries only; political party affiliation is not considered.

The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS, Inc. (VPAR) is a professional trade association representing the real estate profession and housing industry in the Cities of Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson as well as the Counties of Isle of Wight and York. The Association is one of many local REALTOR associations throughout the country affiliated with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, one of the nation’s largest professional associations and the cornerstone of one of the strongest Political Action Committees in the United States.

Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®
1001 N. Campus Parkway
Hampton, Virginia 23666
(757) 599-5222

MEDIA CONTACTS: James Wetzel, CEO (757) 599-5222
Susan S. Gaston, Legislative Consultant (757) 871-1445

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House Passage of Flood Bill Critical Step Toward Reauthorization, Reform

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2017) – With less than a month left before the National Flood Insurance Program expires, the National Association of Realtors® is applauding the House of Representatives for passing what NAR believes is smart, much-needed support for the program.

“Realtors® know first-hand what happens when the NFIP expires, and it isn’t good for consumers, businesses or our communities” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty. “We appreciate the leadership that members of Congress have shown passing sound reforms, which will strengthen the program, protect property owners and deliver good results for taxpayers.”

The NFIP is responsible for providing the vast majority of flood insurance policies in over 20,000 communities nationwide. Without it, most consumers would be unable to purchase the flood insurance that’s required on mortgages in a flood plain. In the past, NAR has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month when the program is unavailable.

H.R. 2874, the “21st Century Flood Reform Act,” reauthorizes the NFIP for five years, while taking steps to reform the program. These reforms include:

  • Authorizing $1 billion to elevate, buy out or mitigate high-risk properties
  • Capping flood insurance premiums at $10,000 per year for homeowners
  • Removing hurdles to the private flood insurance market, which often offers better coverage at lower cost than the NFIP.
  • Providing for community flood maps and a homeowner’s ability to appeal their flood designation
  • Better aligning NFIP rates to match a property’s true risk, particularly for in-land and lower-value properties
  • Improving the claims process for flood victims
  • Addressing repeatedly flooded properties, which account for 2 percent of NFIP policies but 25 percent of claim payments

These changes, Mendenhall said, would improve the NFIP’s financial health, put consumers on a stronger footing, and deliver certainty to current and prospective homeowners.

“The conversation happening in Washington on this issue is fundamentally about how we deliver the best results for consumers and taxpayers, and that’s a good conversation to have,” Mendenhall said. “Realtors® are simply asking that Congress swiftly deliver on the promise of this program so buyers can move forward without interruption and homeowners know their most important asset is protected. With December 8 around the corner, we’re hopeful the Senate will now step up to the plate and do their part by passing a flood reform and reauthorization package without delay.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.