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Call-to-Action Urges Legislators to Allow Real Estate as Life-Sustaining Industry

By: Kim Shindle on in  | 

Editor’s note: The call-to-action has been disabled as the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to approve Senate Bill 613 on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The bill now moves over to the Pennsylvania Senate for concurrence. Links to the call-to-action have been removed from this post.

Pennsylvania Realtors® are asked to contact their state representatives and ask them to vote “yes” on Senate Bill 613 (Mensch, R-Montgomery), as amended, to allow real estate service providers to be designated as a life-sustaining industry.

“Your rapid response to PAR’s call-to-action is critical. The state House of Representatives will be voting on this bill today. If it passes, the bill will need to return to the Senate to be voted on for a final time,” said Alex Charlton, PAR’s director of public policy. The Senate is expected to reconvene next week.

Since the call-to-action was launched Monday afternoon, more than 5,600 responses have been sent.

The amended legislation would require Pennsylvania to follow federal guidelines for Critical Infrastructure Workers as amended within the Critical Infrastructure Guidelines released on March 28, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Pennsylvania is one of just a handful of states that is prohibiting almost all real estate activities.

“The three essentials to life are food, clothing and shelter,” said PAR President William Festa. “Pennsylvania Realtors® are responsible for helping people achieve shelter, but the governor’s orders restrict us from being able to provide those services.”

The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® is not requesting a return to “business as usual.” Real estate professionals would be following guidelines developed using recommended guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the safety and protection of consumers as well as real estate professionals.

“Housing is an essential human need,” Festa added. “Respond to PAR’s call-to-action and ask your representative to vote ‘yes’ on Senate Bill 613 to give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to be able to have access to necessary shelter.”

Comments (27)


  • Linda Messinger   April 14, 2020 at 7:11 am

    Real estate is an essential business

    Reply to Linda Messinger
  • Todd McCarty   April 14, 2020 at 7:17 am

    As a Broker of a real estate company it has been difficult to watch the Real Estate industry come to a halt. I feel strongly that it was necessary to stop business as normal so we could do our part to help slow the curve. The past week or so however I have heard the consumers itching to see homes and sellers anxious to pull the trigger and get their homes on the market. Obviously very difficult with the restrictions put in to place. It has started to cause more issues with sight unseen offers. There is a way we can get back to work and do it safely, so I vote yes.

    Reply to Todd McCarty
  • Robert Pierce   April 14, 2020 at 8:05 am

    REP Shusterman’s office replied negatively to the vote…

    Reply to Robert Pierce
  • Cindy Boardman   April 14, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Please vote yes on senate bill 613. Realtors are essential.

    Reply to Cindy Boardman
  • Randall R. Berner   April 14, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I can’t support this. I know this is a contrary view in this industry but I wonder what part of “stay at home” and “social distancing” don’t Realtors and PAR understand? Is this truly about providing homes for buyers cast as poor waifs wondering the streets or is it about Realtors and their lost income? The virus doesn’t care about lost income. This is life and death. Corporal concerns carry no weight. When Realtors and/or their clients are gasping their last dying breath…their lost income is not going to do them much good.

    Reply to Randall R. Berner
  • Richard Wagner   April 14, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Please vote yes to Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Richard Wagner
  • Bud Tyson   April 14, 2020 at 8:42 am

    vote yes on Senate bill 613..

    Reply to Bud Tyson
  • Carmen DeStefano   April 14, 2020 at 9:12 am

    As a Realtor I have suffered along with all other Real Estate professionals. This is a tough enough profession without these additional restrictions. I am currently working with a client who wants to rent their home and it has taken more than a week to get the photos and description completed. The client is not a photographer but has done their best to get good photos. All of this would have been done in 1-2 days if I were allowed to take the photos etc. as I am also a professional photographer.

    Reply to Carmen DeStefano
  • Pat Worrell   April 14, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I do believe housing is an essential human need. Housing provides a healthy and safe environment in times such as these. The work of Realtors are critical at assisting and guiding potential homeowners, renters and businesses. Please vote for Realtors to be a positive force, and help people find a healthy and safe environment for their families.

    Reply to Pat Worrell
  • Linda Thomas   April 14, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Please voge ‘yes’ on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Linda Thomas
  • Carol Young   April 14, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Vote yes on Senate Bill 63 to give Pa the opportunity to be able to have access to necessary shelter.

    Reply to Carol Young
  • Barbara Maher   April 14, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Please vote YES on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Barbara Maher
  • Patty Patterson   April 14, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Food, Clothing and Shelter ! Vote YES!

    Reply to Patty Patterson
  • Janae L. Klick   April 14, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Shelter is a primary need for everyone!! We need to do our jobs to provide homes for everyone in need.

    Reply to Janae L. Klick
  • Mary Price   April 14, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Please approve Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Mary Price
  • Richard Xander   April 14, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Please let people in the real estate industry, including home inspectors and title companies, get back to doing their jobs. Some home sellers and homebuyers face ruin if the governor’s order is not lifted soon.

    Reply to Richard Xander
  • Lisa Montalvo   April 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Please vote YES on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Lisa Montalvo
  • Jon L Balsbaugh   April 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Shelter is essential……we should be working to make this possible

    Reply to Jon L Balsbaugh
  • Nancy Mathews   April 14, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Shelter is an important part of life.

    Reply to Nancy Mathews
  • Nancy Cloeter   April 14, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Please vote YES! I sold my house over a month ago and still don’t have a place to live after that! I can not look at houses because of this situation so I will be homeless in a couple of months!! This is an essential business for many of us caught in the middle of these transactions!!

    Reply to Nancy Cloeter
  • Jack Shoemaker   April 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Please vote YES on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Jack Shoemaker
  • Ryan Thomas   April 14, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    People who vote “no” need to stay focused. This is not about life and death. This is about the ability to support life in the midst of possible death. The intent of bending the curve is to keep our healthcare system from being overrun and not being able to take care of people. Just because you may not have a consumer who is in a very difficult housing limbo, doesn’t mean no one is as such. One on one showings are much safer than all these take out restaurants, lowes, and grocery stores. But we can’t shut it all down either. Some things are needed now. We aren’t trying to stop the spread anyway… we wouldn’t be able to do that. We are just trying to slow it! That means most of us will get it, just not now, just not all at once. So saying it’s life or death is not logical. A slow spread doesn’t mean less people getting it, it means we all still get it, just at a slower pace. I don’t know how else to say it. As things open back up, more people will be getting it, but that’s ok and expected, we just don’t want the healthcare system to be overrun.

    Reply to Ryan Thomas
  • Adina M Moore   April 14, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Vote Yes on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Adina M Moore
  • Eileen Solomon   April 14, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Vote Yes

    Reply to Eileen Solomon
  • Alyssa Graves   April 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Please vote YES on Senate Bill 613

    Reply to Alyssa Graves
  • Joe weaver   April 14, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    William Festa head of PAR quoted in this article as as saying ” the three essentials of life are food.. clothing .. shelter.. “.. Hate to point this out Bill but clothing stores across the country are almost all closed.. Food workers are getting sick and dying at record numbers.. Do not not about your area but in mine I have not seen a uptick of homeless people walking around since the shutdown.. Just wondering why a little more patience is not being considered before 5600 yes votes out of what is probably 35,000 PAR members force us back out on the streets to conduct business.. Cannot wait myself to get back to work but just question the lack of patience in the matter when every health provider says PA has not even hit its peek yet.. Once the market is opened I will be forced to compete and go back to work sans maybe a little to early.. Would also be interested if PAR officials consulted with any health experts before taking this plan of action.. Just honest questions that need to be addressed.. IMO.. Did the people who took part in this decision have MD after their name or just PAR.. As a long time dues paying member of PAR (over 20 years ) I feel some response is warranted.. Thank you.. Stay safe..

    Reply to Joe weaver
  • Diane Cifuni   April 15, 2020 at 7:38 am

    In NJ my granddaughter is looking at homes under Covid guidelines. The virus is much worse in Jersey. Why can’t we do this in Pa? Especially when I go into Walmart and about half the staff isn’t wearing masks? As an RN I always practice universal precautions. It’s time now to allow limited showing of homes under precaution and get on with life. Vote yes on bill 613!

    Reply to Diane Cifuni

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