NMHC’s Government Affairs team has been the apartment industry’s voice in Washington since NMHC was founded forty years ago. However, the number of policies under debate that could impact multifamily has never been as substantial as it is today. At the 2018 NMHC Spring Board of Directors meeting, NMHC’s head of Government Affairs, Cindy Chetti, and team members gave an overview of just a handful of issues currently under debate.
First, NMHC’s Vice President for Construction, Development and Land Use Policy, Paula Cino, gave updates on Fair Housing as it relates to Disparate Impact Liability, Criminal Screening Guidelines and Emotional Support Animals. She also explained how NMHC supports the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is fully committed to creating communities that are accessible to people with disabilities, while focused on supporting legislation that would reduce the number of predatory lawsuits aimed at obtaining monetary settlements. Cino also went into detail on the development of the ICC 2021 national model codes and NMHC’s participation in all aspects of the code process - advocating for specific proposals of importance to the multifamily industry.
Second, NMHC’s Vice President for Government Affairs, Kevin Donnelly, explained how the personal information that owners and operators – and their third-party service providers – rely on to operate on a daily basis puts a big target on our industry for cyber crimes. NMHC is working with lawmakers on a Federal preemption of existing state data security, privacy and breach notification laws. Donnelly also went into depth on how NMHC is continuing to advocate for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and key multifamily specific reforms of the program, as many apartment properties need the NFIP for some or all of their flood insurance coverage.
Third, NMHC’s Vice President for Tax, Matthew Berger, gave an overview of how last year’s passage of tax reform will impact the industry and a description of what NMHC is continuing to work on regarding the law. For instance, NMHC is asking lawmakers to clarify the 30-year period for buildings in existence prior to 2018 to ensure depreciation rules do not harm multifamily. Berger also explained a new program, Opportunity Zones, that could be beneficial to the industry. Specifically, the new program is designed to drive investment in distressed areas.
Finally, NMHC’s Vice President for Capital Markets, Dave Borsos, gave an overview of a number of regulatory reforms underway regarding rules and programs that will impact the industry, including HVCRE, Davis-Bacon Wages and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
NMHC’s Government Affairs team is known for its policy expertise. But, our insights are amplified by having one of the real estate industry’s largest PACs. In NMHC PAC’s meeting at Spring Board the Committee discussed progress on this year’s fundraising goal of $1.5 million. PAC Chairman David Schwartz of Waterton Associates led the discussion recapping the PAC’s activities this year and also went into depth regarding NMHC PAC’s bipartisan Personal Dollar Campaign, which encourages NMHC executives to contribute directly to federal candidates who are supportive of the apartment industry.