WASHINGTON, D.C. — Statement from the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) on today’s Congressional testimony before the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee by Sue Ansel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gables Residential and Jim Schloemer, Chief Executive Officer, Continental Properties Company, Inc.

Government regulation accounts for an average of 32.1 percent of multifamily development costs, according to research by NMHC and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In fact, in a quarter of cases, that number can reach as high as 42.6 percent.

Today’s hearing was an important opportunity to highlight the significant costs driven by rules and regulations and explain to lawmakers how such barriers lead to higher rents and can even forestall development of affordable housing altogether.

“It’s not easy to build apartments,” explained Ansel. “It can take up to a decade to just break ground. Outdated zoning laws, unnecessary land use restrictions, arbitrary permitting requirements, inflated parking requirements, environmental site assessments, and more, discourage housing construction and raise the cost of those properties that do get built.”

“During my career I have experienced widespread and recurrent impediments to cost-conscious apartment development and am all-too-familiar with the consequences of needless delay and regulation,” said Schloemer. “It is important to note that some commonplace hurdles are deliberately intended to deter multifamily development and further NIMBY (“Not In My Back Yard”) policies, which explicitly oppose new apartment development in many communities.”

The National Multifamily Housing Council and National Apartment Association estimate that we need to build 4.6 million new apartments by 2030 to meet demand. Meeting that demand will require both revamping how we build apartments and the courage of policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to implement inventive policy ideas, provide incentives and reduce impediments.

Sue Ansel’s testimony can be found here and Jim Schloemer’s can be found here.

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For more than 20 years, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) have partnered on behalf of America’s apartment industry. Drawing on the knowledge and policy expertise of staff in Washington, D.C., as well as the advocacy power of 160 NAA state and local affiliated associations, NAA and NMHC provide a single voice for developers, owners and operators of rental housing industry. Apartments and their 39 million residents support more than 12 million jobs and contribute $1.3 trillion to the economy.