As Congress considers major policy decisions this year, they must take care not to lose sight of the one-third of the country that rents and the $1.1 trillion economic impact the apartment industry and its residents contribute to the economy annually. This is the key takeaway from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) 2014 legislative and regulatory priorities released today.
Beyond key issues like housing finance reform, tax policy and immigration, the NAA and NMHC joint legislative priorities include a wide range of policies covering multifamily business and property operations, environmental initiatives, building codes and dozens of other areas - all of which directly affect the industry’s ability to house millions of Americans and create jobs.
“The apartment industry continues as not only a bright spot in housing, but the economy at large. We strengthen communities and grow local businesses. In fact, apartments and our residents support millions of jobs across the country,” said NAA President Douglas S. Culkin, CAE.
“More than 100 million Americans rent and up to half of all new households formed this decade could live in rental housing,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby. “Everything that happens in Washington can affect our ability to meet this demand for apartments, and it’s important that lawmakers understand the unique needs of the multifamily industry when it comes to housing finance reform or any number of policies under consideration.”
As part of the industry’s top legislative priorities announced today, the apartment industry urges Congress to:
- Develop housing finance reform legislation that ensures capital is available in all markets at all times and includes a federal guarantee for multifamily mortgages, whether or not Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are maintained.
- Create pro-growth tax reform that does not disadvantage apartment owners and renters relative to other asset classes.
- Enact comprehensive immigration reform to address the current patchwork of state and local laws that impose additional responsibility on apartment firms to verify the immigration status of employees and apartment residents beyond federal requirements.
More than 350 apartment industry professionals will meet with members of Congress on March 12 to discuss these and other important issues as part of the NAA Capitol Conference. To view the industry’s full 2014 priorities, or to see how policy intersects with apartments, visit www.nmhc.org/2014Priorities or www.naahq.org/governmentaffairs.
Visit www.weareapartments.org/map to learn more about apartments on a state or district level.