NMHC Chairwoman Sue Ansel testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs during a hearing entitled Chairman’s Housing Reform Outline: Part 1 on March 26. Testifying on behalf of NMHC and NAA, Ansel provided the Committee insight into how potential housing finance reform could impact the multifamily industry and stressed the importance of recognizing the unique characteristics of the industry.
“A one-size-fits-all solution will not work,” Ansel explained in her testimony. “The two sectors operate differently, have divergent performance records and require distinct reform solutions.”
The housing finance reform debate comes at a time when demand for rental housing is at historic levels. As outlined in Ansel’s testimony, many factors influence the apartment industry’s health and ability to meet the nation’s rising demand for rental housing, but the availability of consistently reliable and competitively priced capital is the most essential. And as thousands of renters nationwide struggle to find affordable apartments, it’s more important than ever to get housing finance reform right.
“Failure to ensure sufficient liquidity for all types of apartments will have a spillover effect that could be disastrous for America’s renters,” said Ansel.
In addition to highlighting the direct link between housing affordability and potential housing finance reform, Ansel made several recommendations to the committee on behalf of the apartment industry. Among her recommendations, she stated that the goals of a reformed housing finance system must be to:
- Maintain an explicit federal guarantee for multifamily-backed mortgage securities available in all markets at all times and paid for by all users;
- Recognize unique multifamily risk management characteristics when crafting reform legislation; and
- Retain the successful components of the existing multifamily programs in whatever succeeds them.
NMHC and NAA believe that should the committee take Chairwoman Ansel’s recommendations, lawmakers can succeed in “doing no harm” to the apartment industry.
Click here to read Ansel’s full testimony.