SIBOR members Diane Malagreca;  Laird K;ein, president of the Staten Island Board of Realtos;, Dawn Carpenter;  John Vernazza, and Richard Dunn gather on the roof deck of the National Association of REALTORS Building in Washington, D.C.

SIBOR members Diane Malagreca; Laird Klein, president of the Staten Island Board of Realtors; Dawn Carpenter; John Vernazza, and Richard Dunn gather on the roof deck of the National Association of REALTORS Building in Washington. SIBOR representatives not pictured are Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR; Richard Mohr, controller of SIBOR, and Realtors Sari Kingsley, George K. Wonica; Dil Gillani, and Diana Caughell.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (May 22, 20114) — Housing and private property issues were top of mind for more than 8,500 Realtors® who convened in Washington, D.C., last week during the 2014 Realtor® Party Convention & Trade Expo.

Among fellow Realtors® from across the country who attended the meetings and visited lawmakers on Capitol Hill were representatives of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR), including: Laird Klein, president of SIBOR; Dil Gillani, president-elect; Sandy Krueger, CEO; Richard Mohr, controller, and Realtors  Sari Kingsley; Dawn Carpenter; George K Wonica; Richard Dun; Diana Caughell, and Diane Malagreca.

A number of critical residential and commercial real estate issues took center stage at this year’s meetings. Sessions focused on pressing topics like protecting real estate-related tax policies, reforming the secondary mortgage market and the accessibility of mortgage credit and loan programs.

“As the leading advocate for homeownership and real estate issues, Realtors® want to make sure these critical issues are recognized by our country’s leaders and remain top of mind for them,” said Klein. “Homeownership and commercial investment play a critical role in the long- and short-term health of this nation.”

While in Washington, the SIBOR members met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to influence public policy decisions that will directly affect consumers’ ability to buy, sell and own real estate. They pressed for the reinstating of the   Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2013. The expired tax provision provided relief to individuals following a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure.

“With proposed legislation being debated in Congress this term that could have a significant impact on consumers and the real estate market, it was important for Realtors® to meet with lawmakers,” said SIBOR CEO Sandy Krueger. “Through the strength of the Realtor® Party, we clearly conveyed our position on key issues that affect home buyers, sellers and real estate investors right here on Staten Island.”

Throughout the week Realtors® participated in sessions with a number of government officials and industry experts who addressed many of today’s critical housing, mortgage finance and real estate investment issues. During one session, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a blueprint for greater consumer access to credit through a new FHA housing counseling program. Donovan said the agency is taking additional steps to expand access to mortgage credit for underserved borrowers.

Realtors® also heard from political strategists David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt who previewed the upcoming midterm elections and provided insights into the issues currently being debated in Congress and their impact on Realtors® and the real estate industry.

News anchor and political commentator Chris Matthews discussed the divided Congress and the Obama administration’s second-term agenda. Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc. (operator of®), shared his vision for how the company will continue to provide consumers with the best content, tools and professional expertise they need to find a home through the site and by working with a Realtor®.

National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shared his latest outlook for the economy and residential and commercial markets, and expects positive market improvements throughout 2014.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,700 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook and on Twitter.

 Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761