On Monday, July 31, NAR submitted its response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Request for Information (RFI) on tenant protections in Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed multifamily rental properties. This is in addition to a coalition comment letter that NAR joined with other housing provider groups, including the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) in response to the same RFI. The RFI is a continuation of the Administration’s “Blueprint for a Tenant’s Bill of Rights,” a project announced in January in which the White House and federal agencies are examining existing rental housing policies. NAR previously provided comments on an RFI about tenant screening practices to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The RFI asked about a range of tenant protections in GSE-backed multifamily properties, including eviction practices, rent increases, and notice requirements. NAR stressed in its response the need for policies which address the root causes of high rents, including removing barriers to constructing new affordable housing, incentivizing participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program, and funding existing HUD programs. NAR also highlighted the dangers of further regulation on GSE-backed properties, which comprise an estimated 26% of the multifamily rental market in the U.S. Rental housing policies are the purview of state and local governments, which are closest to the needs of their communities. An additional layer of federal regulations will only serve to create confusion among housing providers, lenders, and renters. Further, policies such as rent control are not solutions to high rents and low inventory, but rather reduce property values, disincentivize new development, and favor current residents over future ones. This so-called “solution” would actually make rental housing more scarce and ultimately more expensive.
As the Administration continues to examine rental housing policies, NAR will continue to provide information and feedback stressing commonsense solutions that speak to the heart of the issue – our housing supply and inventory shortage – while advocating for private property rights and housing providers everywhere.
For more on rental housing issues, visit the NAR Rental Housing Issues page.