NMHC/NAA Viewpoint We support infrastructure policy that drives new investment in housing, promotes transit-oriented and high-density development and funds community-level infrastructure needs.
Changing demographics, economic factors and lifestyle preferences are spurring historic demand for apartment homes and uprooting the housing development patterns of the past 50 years. Recent NMHC/NAA research finds that we need to build 4.3 million new apartments by 2035 to meet the nation’s housing needs. The apartment industry stands ready to meet America’s demand for rental housing, but our ability to succeed depends on robust and reliable infrastructure. Any major investment in the nation’s infrastructure should, therefore, recognize this relationship and seek to remove barriers to housing development and rehabilitation.
A cooperative approach to housing development and infrastructure planning maximizes community benefit and promotes efficiencies in transportation, land use and public works. As policymakers consider infrastructure initiatives, we urge the inclusion of measures to support housing including those that would:
- Ease regulatory barriers to apartment construction and provide the resources necessary to update zoning laws, eliminate counterproductive land use restrictions, right-size parking requirements and streamline permitting;
- Leverage federal spending to spur private sector investment through publicprivate partnerships and other programs;
- Promote multi-modal transportation options and encourage transit-oriented, high-density and infill development;
- Invest in rehabilitating existing communities;
- Promote improvements in affordable housing and stimulate new affordable development through density bonuses, fast-track review and by-right development; and
- Upgrade municipal infrastructure to accommodate growth and facilitate remediation of safety and environmental hazards that burden housing and new construction.
By 2025, the economy can lose almost $4 trillion in GDP if the nation’s infrastructure gap is not addressed according to research from the American Society of Civil Engineers.