Government Affairs | National Apartment Association

Government Affairs

Your safety net for your business and the industry at large is engagement in public policy activities.

Government Affairs

Your safety net for your business and the industry at large is engagement in public policy activities. At the federal level, we partner with NMHC to advocate for a supportive legislative and regulatory climate to protect your business. At the state and local levels, we analyze legislation, conduct research and provide resources to help build your and your fellow members' strength and influence.

Recent News

Fed Officials: No More Blanket Criminal History Exclusions - HUD issued fair housing guidance on April 4 that extends protections for individuals with criminal histories. The new guidance prohibits the use of arrest records to deny residency and denials based on convictions must consider the nature and severity of the incident. Overall, the guidance seeks to end blanket exclusions of prospective residents based on criminal history in favor of a more individualized approach that is more narrowly tailored to achieve property safety and security goals. 

HUD Issues Final Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Rates – HUD has issued the final rules cutting the FHA multifamily mortgage insurance rates to spur the financing of affordable housing and energy-efficient apartments. The decision is anticipated to result in the rehabilitation of an additional 12,000 units of affordable housing each year.

Join Us: Fair Housing Webinar on April 28 - NAA and NMHC will host a webinar on our new white paper, “Fair Housing: Familial Status and Occupancy,” on Thursday, April 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT. This in-depth white paper discusses fair housing protections for families and reviews seemingly routine business practices that could give rise to Fair Housing Act complaints.

HUD Kicks Off Fair Housing Month, Launches National Media Campaign - On April 1, HUD kicked off Fair Housing Month 2016 with the launch of a new national media campaign. Every April, HUD, local communities, fair housing advocates and fair housing organizations nationwide commemorate Fair Housing Month by hosting a variety of activities aimed at raising awareness of fair housing rights and the importance of ending housing discrimination.

Flood Insurance Rates on the Upswing - The National Flood Insurance Program experienced a scheduled rise in rates on April 1 as a result of reforms enacted by Congress.

Check the 2016 Area Median Income Limits - HUD recently released its fiscal year 2016 Area Median Income Limits. AMIs are used to set eligibility thresholds for several federal subsidy programs, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Section 8 programs.

House Committee Says It’s Time to Privatize Flood Insurance - The House Budget Committee report on March 23 has recommended privatizing flood insurance as part of its Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal as a way to cut Federal Government costs. The report outlined that there was “little to no” private sector alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program, which places the cost on taxpayers.

Holland Testifies on Affordability - Clyde Holland, chairman and CEO of Holland Partner Group, testified on Capitol Hill on March 22 in front of the House Committee on Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee on the challenge of meeting the increasing demand for multifamily homes for millions of working Americans.

Leading Experts Call for Merging Fannie and Freddie -  A group of leading experts on housing finance and domestic economic policy on March 23 released a paper entitled, “A Promising Road to GSE Reform,” outlining a path forward for reform of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Banks Tap the Brakes on Apartment Construction Loans - Apartment housing industry developers nationwide are starting to experience a more cautious approach to construction lending offered by both national and regional lenders. This is resulting in higher rates, lower proceeds, more demanding completion guarantees and, in some instances, an outright turndown of a loan request.

Industry Takes ACTION on LIHTC - NAA/NMHC are encouraging lawmakers to enhance the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by increasing program resources to promote the production of more affordable housing. The nation is short 3.9 million affordable units for extremely low-income households.

Senate Bill Aims to Curb Costly Drain of Patent Trolls - Introduced in the Senate in March, the “Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016” aims to help address the rise in patent infringement claims against end user businesses like apartment firms.

Industry Follows Up on Fannie, Freddie Duty to Serve Plans - NAA/NMHC have provided in-depth feedback to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on the agency’s draft “Duty to Serve” proposal on March 17. The proposal focuses on boosting mortgage finance by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) in underserved markets for very low, low and moderate income families.

Emotional Support Animal Member Toolkit – To assist property owners with the increase in reasonable accommodation requests for emotional support animals, a NAA working group has developed a resource toolkit for members with practical guidance on this emerging issue. (New Resource)

House Goes Big on Broadband Deployment - The full House has unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that would exempt small internet service providers from enhanced transparency requirements in the FCC's new Open Internet  or ‘net neutrality’ rules.

Congress Steps Up Actions to Keep Kids Lead-Safe - Spurred by the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Congress is focusing attention on lead hazard control with the “Lead-Safe Housing for Kids Act of 2016” introduced in the House and Senate.  

Fannie, Freddie Contribute $186M to Housing Trust Fund - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) recently made their first contribution to the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) – totaling $186 million – for the production and preservation of affordable housing for low-income families nationwide.

Key Consumer Protection Bureau Jumps into the Data Security Fray - For the first time, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has entered the data security enforcement arena, announcing that it took action against online payment platform Dwolla.

Committee Passes Flood Reform Bill in a Big Way - In overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, the House Financial Services Committee voted 54-0 to support the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act” on March 2. NAA and NMHC have long called for the legislation’s passage. 

Industry Weighs-In on Multifamily Mortgage Insurance Rate Cut - NAA/NMHC have responded to HUD’s recent decision to cut the FHA multifamily mortgage insurance rates in order to spur the financing of affordable housing and energy-efficient apartments.

Senate Presses Forward on Telecom Path - The Senate Commerce Committee continued its focus on expanding broadband access and overall telecommunications policy recently in two significant moves.

New Resource: White Paper on Fair Housing: Familial Status and Occupancy - NAA/NMHC commissioned a white paper concerning fair housing familial status issues. This white paper helps clarify what is allowed under the law and includes recommendations for owners on how to create on-site policies. (member login required)

Policy Resources:

2016 NAA and NMHC Policy Priorities

2015 NAA and NMHC Accomplishments

Policy Articles:

In a Nutshell: Multifamily and the President’s Budget Proposal (Article) - President Obama released his final budget proposal for the 2017 fiscal year on Feb. 9. Although the President’s budget as a whole has little chance of being enacted, it’s not unusual for the budget’s individual provisions to be enacted as part of other legislation proposals.

Apartment Industry Emphasizes the Vital Importance of Balanced Housing Policy (News Release) - In response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Jan. 12, NAA and NMHC took the opportunity to release a detailed statement outlining the apartment housing industry’s top policy priorities for the year ahead.

In a Nutshell: Apartment Housing and FY 2016 Omnibus Funding  (Article) - The Omnibus legislation funding the federal government for Fiscal Year 2016 that was approved by Congress and signed by President Obama included wide-ranging provisions that touched many aspects of the industry from housing finance reform to assisted housing to research-related Census data.

2015 = Success (Article) – NAA and NMHC's hard work in 2015 resulted in critical changes that will benefit the industry. They include securing the extension of key expired tax provisions, successfully advocating for vital Section 8 Housing Voucher Program reforms and helping ensure beneficial changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act.

Apartment Industry News:

For the latest in apartment industry policy and advocacy news, read the Apartment Advocate, NAA Government Affairs' flagship publication.