September marks eight years since the federal government placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship. It was an aggressive and controversial move predicated by fear that the magnitude of the economic catastrophe would grow if the two mortgage giants fully collapsed.
Since then, NMHC has worked with lawmakers, regulators, and administration officials on a broad range of solutions that could ensure liquidity, stability, and affordability in the housing market-especially for multifamily, which has been a growth engine for the housing market during the economic recovery.
(A full recap of the latest news, advocacy efforts and resources related to the GSEs’ and housing finance reform is available here.)
While there’s consensus that the current housing finance system cannot remain in flux indefinitely, reform efforts have come in fits and starts. However, Freddie Mac’s $354 million 1Q 2016 net loss is rekindling efforts on Capitol Hill to overhaul the nation’s housing finance system and sparking fierce debates over the Treasury’s authority to sweep the mortgage giants’ profits.
As the next round of collaboration begins, NMHC’s message remains simple:
Without reliable financing sources for multifamily properties, our industry cannot serve the 38 million people who currently live in apartments, much less provide new housing options for the estimated 4.4 million additional renter households that are expected to form in the next decade.
According to analysis from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, even without further homeownership rate declines, demographics will drive up the number of renter households over the next decade. The aging of the millennials, growth in minority households and more senior renters will largely drive that growth in renter households.