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Industry Leaders Have Eye on Congress in Latest W&D Webcast

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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Inside The Story

Connect With The Real Estate Roundtable’s DeBoerConnect With NMHC’s BibbyConnect With MBA’s Broeksmit

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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