As work in Washington wound down for the election this week, congressional committees in both the House and Senate held hearings on affordable housing and a range of other related issues that impact multifamily. Ultimately, when it comes to the future of the apartment industry NMHC and NAA support effective housing solutions that will preserve programs that work, stem the loss of additional housing stock and promote the development of new units.
A Senate subcommittee hearing focused on housing vulnerable families. Subcommittee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) emphasized that the goal was to focus on whether the place-based rental assistance of the current public housing and project-based Section 8 programs still has a beneficial role to play. During the hearing they discussed, in part, whether or not limited federal resources should be directed to tenant-based Section 8 vouchers and existing projects converted to vouchers. In addition, another subcommittee hearing looked into HUD inspection process oversight with Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) testifying about the poor living conditions at a housing community in their home state.
Activity in the House was dedicated to concepts outlined by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), released in the GOP’s “A Better Way” plan, which is focused on addressing some of the biggest challenges of our time from poverty to tax reform to health care. The future of housing in America was discussed in a House subcommittee hearing that detailed ways to better increase efficiencies for housing vouchers and create upward economic mobility. Additionally, the House Budget Committee held a hearing on restoring the trust for families and working-age Americans addressing the need to thoroughly review our nation’s fiscal policies to ensure economic security and the impact that government centric policies have on housing.
NMHC/NAA continue to work closely with lawmakers on affordable housing and the related issues outlined above. We submitted the affordable housing testimony delivered by Clyde Holland, chairman and CEO of Holland Partner Group, from earlier this year to the Budget Committee outlining the main reasons why America faces a growing workforce housing affordability problem - including stagnant wages, a supply-demand imbalance and numerous hurdles and regulations in developing new apartments - along with potential solutions.
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