Realtors from across the country are meeting with legislators, public policy makers and industry leaders this week in Washington, D.C., to address pressing concerns and issues that affect home owners, aspiring home owners and real estate investors everywhere as the Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo begins.

“As leading advocates for home ownership, housing issues and private property rights, realtors know that the time for action is now,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

More than 8,000 Realtors and guests are expected to attend the meetings, which run today through May 14. During the week, realtors will meet with legislators on Capitol Hill to urge action toward streamlining short sales, ensuring access to affordable financing, and preserving the tax benefits associated with home ownership.

Realtors will also participate in sessions with a number of government officials and industry experts, including representatives from the Federal Housing Administration, National Economic Council, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, Center for Responsible Lending, and the National Urban League.

“The issues facing our industry – like the mortgage interest deduction, foreclosures and short sales, affordable financing and available credit – don’t just affect people who own a home,” said Phipps. “Home ownership shapes communities and strengthens the nation’s economy.”

For more information about the Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, visit www.realtor.org/midyear.nsf/pages/homepage.