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Mississippi Realtors joining in DC rally to spotlight homeownership policies

Realtors from Mississippi and elsewhere across the country will gather in front of the Washington Monument May 17 to express disappointment and frustration with federal home ownership policies.

Dubbed “The Rally to Protect the American Dream,” the idea is to assemble a sea of 10,000 blue-shirted Realtors to push Congress and the White House to begin paying attention to the diminishing hope many Americas have for owning a home in the wake of the Great Recession and housing market meltdown. The Realtors will also be pleading with Congress to reject  proposals to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction.

Fears have been raised that Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan approved by the House  could set the stag for getting rid of the deduction. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican,  has answered the speculation by stating he would leave the deduction details to the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Jo Usry, CEO of the Jackson Association of Realtors, will be one of dozens of Mississippi real estate professionals taking part in the rally. At least seven will come from the Jackson association, she said.

“It’s huge,” Usry said of the rally plans and the issues that make it necessary.

Her goal, she said, is to raise awareness of government polices on home ownership, including the declining prospects for Americans to realize the dream of home ownership. Taking away the mortgage interest deduction would be “an attack on homeownership,” she said.

The rally also will address what many believe is President Obama’s inattention to housing policy, especially the crushing foreclosures across the country. “That’s why we’re doing this,” Usry said.

Further, the rally will emphasize the important role housing plays in the economic recovery, organizers say.

The National Association of Realtors says issues like the mortgage interest deduction, foreclosures and

short sales, affordable financing and available credit don’t just affect people who own a home — homeownership shapes communities and strengthens the nation’s economy.

The rally is also part of the National Association of Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo taking place in Washington May 14-19.




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