Government Affairs Corner


Local Update:
     Lack of affordable, attainable, workforce housing is unquestionably a crisis. The members of Clarksville Association of REALTORS® have recently taken a hands-on approach to finding a solution. A few passionate, community minded members have taken the initiative to establish a public-private partnership with the Clarksville Housing Authority to establish a way to bridge the gap for tenants transitioning from Public Housing to Section 8 housing.
     This partnership includes education for fellow Realtors® about the Housing Authority and Section 8 programs, assisting property owners in becoming Section 8 certified, and eliminating stigmas that may exist as intangible barriers to attainability. Currently, there are no available Section 8 rentals in Clarksville. This partnership is working to change the system one step, one process, one rental, and one family at a time. Resources available through HUD are being utilized to provide guidance, and resources include precedent for incentives for property owners who participate in the program.
     If you have any questions, reach out to, Bethany Sigler Public Affairs Coordinator at the Clarksville Association of REALTORS®.

State Update:
     On October 27th, the legislature convened another Special Session regarding COVID-19 issues and after hours of debate, adjourned on Wednesday, October 30th at 1:15 AM. The General Assembly passed multiple pieces of legislation, among those pieces of legislation was the Omnibus COVID-19 bill.
     This bill includes various COVID-19 measures, most notable are: the bill prohibits COVID-19 vaccines mandated by governmental entities, schools and local education agencies and employers with some exemptions for healthcare facilities, airport authorities and entities that can show their federal funding would be harmed by noncompliance. Businesses can no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccine for services. Entertainment venues including sports facilities can allow attendees the option of showing proof of COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test. Businesses can still require masks to be worn and homeowners can still set requirements for their own home.The legislation allows persons who left their job based on refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine to receive unemployment compensation benefits. 

     The other pieces of legislation that passed during this Special Session include the state’s six independent county health boards — which oversee public health actions in the most populous counties, including Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Shelby, Madison and Sullivan — can no longer issue their own preventative health orders during a pandemic. Instead, the state health department will hand down those decisions. Also, school board elections can now be partisan under legislation allowing local political parties to choose to nominate school board candidates — thus allowing the candidates to campaign as that party’s nominee. The races are currently nonpartisan.
    This legislation is permissive, rather than mandatory, which was contemplated in the bill as filed. The timeframe for a state of emergency under a governor’s executive order was trimmed down from 60 days to 45 days. Finally, legislation allowing the Attorney General’s office to petition a court to replace district attorneys who “peremptorily and categorically” refuse to prosecute certain laws was passed.

Federal Update:
     NAR recently announced a major housing investment in the Build Back Better plan. It is likely the House will take a vote on the bill this week. Congressional leaders released a long-awaited framework for President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better plan, proposing a top-line price tag and an outline of new social programs. The $1.75 trillion framework includes hard-fought NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down-payment assistance and spares real estate investment from the most feared taxes. Continue Reading


RPAC Corner
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