Empowering Homeownership and Protecting Property Rights: VCCAR Delegation Amplifies Voice in Sacramento
A total of 23 Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS® members and staff headed north to Sacramento recently to participate in the annual California Association of REALTORS® Legislative Day, where they had the opportunity to hear from government leaders and to meet with and educate area legislators about issues affecting homeownership opportunities and property rights.
They joined more than 2,300 other REALTORS® from around the state to meet with their elected officials and discuss two key issues:
1) Expanding the California Dream for All program, a shared-equity program that offers loans to first-time homebuyers for down payments. Buyers repay the loan and a portion of any appreciation when they sell or refinance the home. $300 million was allocated for the program this year, and the funds were spoken for in just 11 days.
2) Opposing legislation that would dramatically expand the number of properties subject to extreme rent control.
“Days like this when REALTORS® arrive in large numbers to meet with their elected officials are effective ways to remind them of the importance of homeownership and private property rights,” said VCCAR President Juliet Esquibias. “More than anyone, REALTORS® understand the benefits of homeownership, and because of that our elected officials listen to us.”
One person the REALTORS® didn’t have to meet with was Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, who addressed the assembled members and reminded them of her unequivocal support of the Dream for All program.
“Everyone should have access to homeownership. It is the American Dream – it is the California Dream,” Atkins said, thanking REALTORS® for their strong support of legislation last year that created the program. “It is the way to build generational wealth for our families now and for those who come after them.”
She added that dream was even more out of reach for today’s homebuyers than ever before, and that the state needs innovative solutions to tackle the crisis. To that end, Senate Democrats are proposing that this year’s budget include $200 million from last year’s Dream for All program that hasn’t been released by the Department of Finance, and an additional $800 million in new funding. That $1 billion would help countless families around the state overcome the difficult barrier of saving up a down payment in today’s market.
“With your continued partnership, we will build on this pathway for more Californians to own a home and realize that California dream,” Atkins said. “We’ve got more work to do – let’s get it done.”
The VCCAR Traveling Team met with Assembly Members Steve Bennett, D-Ventura, and Jacqui Irvin, D-Thousand Oaks, along with Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara. Members participating in this year’s trip were Ashley Anderson, Jeri Becker, Salena Bracamontes, Mark Chacon, Jorge DeLeon, Cindy Diaz-Telly, Janet Dorsey, Lyle Elliott, Rebeca Elliott, Juliet Esquibias, Monica Garcia, Cindy Graves, Jennifer Greule, Charles Hamm, Sher Heard, Cami Pinsak, Janet Sprissler, Carolyn Triebold, and B.J. Ward. Austin Reimers was the member selected to receive the C.A.R. Legislative Day Scholarship.
Demonstrating an even stronger commitment to advancing the interests of REALTORS®, nine of the team members are also serving as C.A.R. directors – Ashley Anderson, Jeri Becker, Cindy Diaz-Telly, Lyle Elliott, Rebeca Elliott, Juliet Esquibias, Cami Pinsak, Carolyn Triebold and B.J. Ward. In addition, Sher Heard will serve next year as first vice president for the California Women’s Council of REALTORS®.