GHAR has adopted numerous policy statements on issues that impact you and your business. These position statements have been adopted by the Associations Board of Directors.
GHAR supports standardizing the property assessment process to ensure consistency and fairness to all property owners. GHAR opposes any county and municipal policy that would provide for biased assessments, such as “spot assessments” when properties are sold.
Comprehensive Land Use Planning
GHAR supports the Comprehensive Land Use Planning Policy adopted by the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS on May 10, 2000. GHAR specifically endorses the following components included in PAR’s adopted policy:
In General: GHAR supports legislation that provides municipalities and counties with the tools they need to plan responsibly for growth so that development occurs in a way that is consistent with an improving quality of life that benefits all landowners in a municipality. GHAR believes that any land-use planning legislation must:
- Respect the rights of individual property owners.
- Take into consideration the need for livable communities in Pennsylvania.
- Create and maintain environmental conditions supportive of property values.
- Create and maintain affordable housing opportunities.
- Allow the free market to be the principal way in which the use of land is determined.
- Recognize and respect the great diversity in land-use planning and zoning practices in Pennsylvania.
- Encourage a more efficient and streamlined permitting process for new development projects.
- Balance the need for housing, growth and economic development with the need to protect natural resources and preserve open spaces.
GHAR adamantly opposes counties and municipalities using their powers of eminent domain to transfer property based on economic redevelopment plans. GHAR acknowledges that there are instances when local governments need to seize private property for public use. However, GHAR will work actively to protect the rights of all private property owners and to ensure that local governments are using their powers appropriately.
Point of Sale
While GHAR supports the availability of quality housing stock, we believe that point of sale inspections are inequitable, are inefficient, are counterproductive to maintaining an affordable housing stock, add complications to the real estate transaction, and create unknown expenses for both buyers and sellers.
GHAR believes that existing law which requires a seller to disclose material defects at the time of sale, and which encourages buyers to obtain a home inspection before purchasing a property, provide self-improvement of current housing stock and negate the effect of point-of-sale requirements.
Private Property Rights
GHAR adamantly supports an individual’s right to ownership of real property. GHAR will oppose any governmental action to weaken this right. Additionally, GHAR recognizes that governments have responsibilities to the public which may necessitate the need for land for “public use”. However, GHAR will work to ensure that the government’s right detailed under the “Takings Clause” of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is not abused.
Realty Transfer Tax
GHAR opposes an increase in, or appropriation from, the realty transfer tax because it would have a negative impact on housing costs and the industry as a whole.
Rental Property Inspections
GHAR supports working with local municipalities to draft ordinances to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all residents and property owners. GHAR believes that municipalities can enact legislation to ensure resident safety while not placing an undue burden on a select portion of the population, such as rental property owners and renters.
GHAR opposes any county or municipal ordinance that would restrict or hinder REALTORS® from placing signs on a “for sale” property or from placing directional signs to navigate potential buyers to a “for sale” property.