NMHC spearheaded a broad coalition letter signed by ten housing providers following a request from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to provide comments on a directive that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Enterprises) to implement revised radon testing protocols. The directive came in response to changes the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) adopted in December 2020 as part of revisions to the Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) guide.
While expressing support for measures that protect the health of multifamily residents, the coalition questioned whether there was sufficient capacity for the Enterprises to implement the expanded testing requirements given that the MAP guide requirements became effective just recently at the end of March 2021. The process for vetting these revisions to the radon sampling protocol were not subject to the typical constraints of a federal rule making process and relied upon a study that has not been made available to the regulated community.
Given the lack of field experience in implementing the HUD requirement that 100 percent of ground floor units, plus 10 percent of units on remaining floors be tested (the prior requirement was for 25 percent of ground floor units and 10 percent of units on other floors), there is no data on the infrastructure necessary to implement a significant revision to the current testing protocol including availability of trained radon sampling workforce capacity and certified laboratory capacity. The coalition urged FHFA to conduct an analysis of the feasibility, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the proposed revisions.
In offering specific suggestions for FHFA to consider, the coalition indicated its willingness to work with the Agency to establish a reasonable and transparent process for consideration of a new radon testing protocol for the Enterprises. NMHC will keep members informed of any ongoing activity related to this matter. To stay up to date on all NMHC advocacy actions, please visit our advocacy webpage.
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