BOMA International Increases Coalition Engagement

October 28, 2021 • Pearce Crosland

Over the last several months, BOMA International, along with industry partners and coalitions—the Business Continuity Coalition and the Building Resilience Action Coalition—have been working with members of the United States Congress to ensure the interests and needs of the commercial real estate industry are heard and included in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. Below is an overview of several letters BOMA has signed on to and pieces of legislation we are actively engaging on.

Business Continuity Coalition
Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2021

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) will be introducing the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2021 on November 2, 2021. BOMA International, along with our partners in the Business Continuity Coalition (BCC), has worked with Rep. Maloney’s office to draft the legislation, and BOMA International has endorsed the policy. The PRIA would create a federal backstop that ensures the availability of pandemic risk coverage in all critical commercial lines of insurance. The legislation would require insurers to offer coverage in return for a government indemnification of 95 percent of insured losses arising from any future pandemic that results in a public health emergency. The PRIA addresses the unavailability of coverage in other crucial lines of insurance, such as event cancellation, production insurance and liability.

Building Resiliency Action Coalition
Buildings Are Infrastructure Letter to Congress

As the leading association representing the commercial real estate industry, BOMA International joined the Building Resiliency Action Coalition (BRAC) to send a letter to Capitol Hill urging members of Congress to include investments in resilient buildings in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. BOMA International joined the coalition to educate Congress and advocate that buildings need to be a critical element of any measure moving through Congress. Disaster mitigation is effective and saves taxpayer dollars. A recent study from the National Institute of Building Sciences shows that federal mitigation grants save $6 for every $1 spent and private sector building retrofits save $4 for every $1 spent. Coalition members noted that building sciences, design approaches and technology continue to make buildings more resilient. The BRAC urged that Congress include in the infrastructure bill grants to enable seismic retrofits, wildfire mitigation, federal flood mapping and other pre-disaster mitigation projects in our nation’s critical buildings. The infrastructure package represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fortify communities with the contemporary planning, building materials, design, construction and operational techniques that will improve resilience to all hazards.

Historic Preservation Easement Protections
Letter to Senate Finance Committee

BOMA International sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee on October 26, 2021, supporting the protection of Historic Preservation Easements in the upcoming reconciliation package. These voluntary agreements between property owners and preservation non-profits allow BOMA International members to preserve historically significant and iconic buildings for future generations. Historic preservation easements provide the preservation community with a tool to attract private sector investments that rebuild historic urban neighborhoods and create countless local jobs. These investments often fund affordable and workforce housing, new employment centers and other forms of much needed economic stimulation in underserved communities. BOMA International asked senators on the Finance Committee to support an exclusion for historic properties in the conservation easement provisions of the Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill.