NAR President Vince Malta, left, joined the Trump administration to announce proposed environmental reforms Thursday.

Photo Courtesy of the White House

NAR President Vince Malta, left, joined the Trump administration to announce proposed environmental reforms Thursday.

NAR Vows Support for Trump’s Environmental Reforms

January 10, 2020

The National Association of REALTORS® is backing the Trump administration's proposal to reform the National Environmental Policy Act, which NAR President Vince Malta says could help modernize environmental standards while helping to alleviate housing shortages. Malta joined President Donald Trump and other officials at a White House event Thursday to announce the proposed NEPA changes, which would be the first in more than 40 years.

The Trump administration says the reforms will help streamline approval of infrastructure and housing projects, highways, and energy pipelines. The plan is still subject to public hearings before it can be approved. Malta says the reforms could reduce regulatory burdens while still retaining strong environmental quality standards. “NAR has long advocated for common-sense reforms to promote infrastructure development and streamline review processes without compromising on critical environmental protections,” Malta said in a statement. “Since NEPA was last updated nearly four decades ago, the housing industry has seen countless infrastructure modernization projects paralyzed by arbitrary delays and unreasonable cost increases.”

In recent months, NAR has intensified its calls for comprehensive reforms to the nation’s infrastructure. “The National Association of REALTORS® is confident that the reforms announced [Thursday] will remove the barriers standing in the way of infrastructure improvements that stimulate economic growth and create jobs,” Malta said. “We look forward to partnering with the White House as it works to implement these changes in the most responsible and effective way possible.”

NAR’s sentiment was echoed by other housing groups, including the National Association of Home Builders, which says the NEPA reforms could help spur new-home construction. “This proposal to modernize and reform the NEPA review process will streamline the permitting process and reduce unnecessary costs and delays for vital infrastructure projects that are needed to support residential land development projects,” says NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “For the housing industry, those uncertainties and delays create challenges for communities, businesses, and builders, and further exacerbate the current housing affordability crisis. We welcome the latest action by the administration to remove regulatory barriers that hinder housing and economic growth.”