National Multifamily Housing Council Responds to Biden’s State of the Union Address

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Special to the Vanguard

Washington, DC – National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) urges lawmakers at all levels of government to enact policies and programs that will expand housing supply, which experts agree is the solution to broadening housing opportunity and making housing more affordable. We applaud efforts such as the Biden Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan that demonstrates a focus on increasing housing supply, including support for expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the newly announced additional Federal investments in increasing housing supply.

On the other hand, we are very disappointed that the Administration has, at the same time, chosen to focus on creating a heightened regulatory regime that will reduce consumer choice by limiting fee-for-service arrangements. These efforts are concerning because they will hurt renters by undermining the Administration’s objectives of lowering housing costs, driving new housing development and creating more affordable rental housing.

Research found that the U.S. needs to build 4.3 million more apartments by 2035 to meet the demand for rental housing, according to a study conducted by Hoyt Advisory Services and Eigen10 Advisors, LLC. At the same time, research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and NMHC found that regulations imposed by all levels of government account for an average of 40.6% of multifamily development costs.

The election year rhetoric in the President’s speech implying that the nation’s housing providers are at fault for our housing affordability crisis is unfounded. Our current situation has been years in the making and the result of decades of failed government policy. Even the progressive Urban Institute in its recent article “Place the Blame Where It Belongs” states, “The only solution to the [housing] supply shortage is more supply. The U.S. needs coherent federal policy to produce this.”

Disparaging housing providers, the very people who can help create the needed housing, with unproven allegations of price fixing and fee inflation will not make housing more affordable and is counterproductive. The increased Federal investment in housing supply as the President proposes and a regulatory environment which incentivizes more investment in rental housing will make a difference.

Looking ahead, NMHC will continue to work with the Biden Administration and lawmakers from both parties at the national, state and local levels to put in place policies that address housing affordability challenges and encourage the creation of new and much needed housing.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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