This PowerPoint, based on a keynote speech given by NMHC President Doug Bibby to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors on April 28, 2009, is a powerful advocacy tool NMHC is making available to the industry.
The presentation makes four key points:
- America wants rental housing.
- America needs rental housing.
- Renters-be they affordable renters or lifestyle renters-are not second-class citizens.
- There is a growing disconnect between America's housing needs and its current housing policy.
- The U.S. is on the cusp of a fundamental change in our housing dynamics as changing demographics and changing housing preferences drive more people away from the typical suburban house and toward the type of housing that rental housing offers.
- Married couples with children, the demographic that has driven America's housing industry for 50 years, now account for 25 percent of households and they are declining.
- By 2015, there will be 67 million people aged 20-34, in other words, people in their prime renter years.
- A number of macro factors are converging to make rental housing not only desirable, but necessary. They include a projected 33 percent surge in population by 2030, a worsening affordable housing shortage and a growing desire to accommodate our population growth in a fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner.
- One leading academic calculates that as a result of this population growth, in order to meet emerging housing demands, one-half of all new homes built between now and 2020 will have to be rental units.
- Experts at the Urban Land Institute say if we can shift 60 percent of our coming growth to compact, walkable neighborhoods-the kind that apartments offer-we would save 85 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually by 2030. That equals a 28 percent increase in federal vehicle efficiency standards.
- Growing more compactly can save the U.S. over $100 billion in infrastructure costs over the next 25 years because we won’t have to extend water, sewer, electric, highway, police and fire protection farther and farther out.
- We have an unprecedented opportunity to move from the status quo to a more effective and responsible housing policy because nearly half of the buildings that will exist in 25 years have not been built yet.
Getting From The Status Quo to a New Housing Policy
- Change the Dialogue: Renters are Not Second-Class Citizens and Apartments are not the Housing of Last Resort.
- Change the Dialogue: Housing is Shelter, Not an Investment.
- Change our Housing Policy Paradigm: No New Homeownership Incentives.
- Change the Regulatory Climate: Remove Obstacles to-and Create Incentives for-Compact Development.
- Change the Economic Climate: Creative Incentives are Needed to Bridge Gaps Between Construction Costs and Affordable Rents.
- Enact and Improve Meaningful Federal Policies: Section 8 Reform, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Exit Tax Relief.