July 30, 2020
As the full extent of the economic impact from COVID-19 and the shutdown became clear in May, Congress moved swiftly to enact a series of relief measures. “The bipartisanship shown early on was pretty breathtaking,” Jeff DeBoer, president and CEO of the Real Estate Roundtable, said during the latest Walker & Dunlop webcast.
Unfortunately, as federal lawmakers consider follow-up legislation, the partisanship has returned to the proceedings. With Democrats and Republicans representing different priorities, neither DeBoer nor his fellow panelists—Robert D. Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council—were optimistic about passage of the new relief packages by the end of this month.
Walker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker gathered the three industry leaders together, via Zoom, to discuss negotiations in Washington, what each of their organizations is pushing for and the potential impacts on commercial real estate.
Those impacts may arise from what is or isn’t in the stimulus legislation that Congress eventually passes, or from a Joe Biden presidency, which DeBoer, Broeksmit and Bibby all said was likely.
The panelists were in agreement about the importance of continuing to provide renter assistance, possibly including similar provisions for commercial tenants. Yet the consensus was that a continuation of the moratorium on evictions shouldn’t be a part of the package, since it deprives landlords of recourse against tenants whom they have legitimate cause to remove.
“If you’ve got the money, you’re going to pay the rent,” said Broeksmit.
Although Bibby believes that some sort of interim measure will be necessary until Congress can reach an agreement on the next stimulus package, all three industry leaders predict that we’ll see that package enacted in August. Broeksmit and Bibby both predicted passage by August 15 of a $1.75-trillion package, while DeBoer expects that it’ll get done by August 8, and with a slightly higher price tag.
Replays of the July 29 webcast are available by clicking here.
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