On May 22, 2024
Local News

Realtors met with legislators on capital hill to advocate for more, affordable housing in Vermont

Submitted—Killington broker Kyle Kershner joined others from the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C., to advocate for more housing, including affordable housing. Pictured, back row (l-r): Mark Montross, Steven Foster, Kyle Kershner, U.S. Senator Peter Welch and TG Glazier. Front row (l-r): Michael Hickey, Peter Tucker, Leslee MacKenzie and Jennifer Hoffmann.

Realtors from across Vermont, including Kyle Kershner, broker/owner at Killington Pico Real estate, met with members of the U.S. Congress on May 7 to advocate for private property rights, fair and affordable housing and the American dream of home ownership. 

Kyle Kershner is the National Association of Realtors federal political coordinator to Sen. Peter Welch and led the meeting with Senator Welch. The primary focus of the meeting was to present solutions to the affordable housing crisis in both Vermont and throughout the country. Addressing housing affordability begins with adding to the nation’s severely limited inventory. According to Kershner, there is currently a 5.5 million unit shortage of housing in America due to more than a decade of under building. 

Kershner and his advocacy team asked Congress to support a number of bipartisan housing bills that would provide tax credits to builders who build and renovate affordable homes for low and moderate income homeowners, as well as for those who build affordable rental housing. 

“To free up existing inventory, we are also asking Congress to double the exclusion on the capital gains tax for the sale of a primary residence,” Kershner stated. “When you sell your home, there is no capital gains tax on the first $250,000 for a single person or on the first $500,000 for those filing jointly. This cap has been in place since the inception of the policy in 1997. Real estate prices have appreciated considerably since then, but the cap on the exemption has never been adjusted. The problem is that many older Americans, who might be ready to downsize to a smaller home or move into a retirement community, are holding onto their homes to avoid paying enormous taxes on what for many, is their most valuable retirement nest egg. Increasing the cap on the exclusion and tying it to inflation going forward, could free up thousands of homes to help bridge the gap in inventory.”

The Realtors also shared several other ideas with their members of Congress to increase access to homeownership and met with Congresswoman Becca Balint, who has already championed important affordable housing issues in her first year on the job and with staff members of Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

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