On March 9, 2011, the Senate Banking Committee held the first of several hearings examining the state of the housing market to “set the stage for a discussion of the future of housing finance,” according to the Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). While the hearing focused almost exclusively on the single-family sector, NMHC/NAA submitted a statement to ensure that lawmakers understood the stark differences between single-family and multifamily performance.
Our statement told the Committee that the apartment industry was a collateral victim of the single-family meltdown. We did not overbuild during the housing boom, yet the freezing of the capital markets rippled through our industry. We also told lawmakers that as they address the problems in single-family housing, they should be mindful not to do so at the expense of the multifamily sector. Without reliable access to affordable capital, the apartment industry cannot meet the nation’s growing demand for rental housing.
Jeff Lubell, Executive Director of the Center for Housing Policy, testified at the hearing that “one thing [the GSEs] are doing is helping to ensure the availability of credit for affordable rental housing, particularly at a long-term fixed rate of interest, which is extremely important.”
A webcast of the hearing and the written testimony of the witnesses is available at http://1.usa.gov/hhm2lt.