NAA/NMHC Statement on Confirmation of Mel Watt as FHFA Director

Contact: Carole Roper, NAA at 703-797-0616 or Jim Lapides, NMHC at 202-974-2360

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2013 – Statement from the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) by Cindy Chetti, NMHC Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, in response to Representative Mel Watt’s confirmation as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA):

“Representative Mel Watt’s confirmation comes at a critical time for the multifamily industry. We understand that it is important that the Federal Housing Finance Agency have a confirmed director, especially during this period of continued conservatorship and heightened focus on reforms to the mortgage finance system.

“With private multifamily mortgage capital sources back in the market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s share of mortgage capital is returning to pre-recession levels. However, they continue to serve as a critical source of debt to ensure that the demand for rental housing is met through both reinvestment in existing supply and the creation of new rental housing.

“In light of the multifamily mortgage origination limitations imposed in 2013, we urge Director Watt to undertake a deliberate and thoughtful review of the comments submitted on the 2014 Scorecard for the multifamily programs. The overwhelming response was not to interfere with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s multifamily activities, especially in a way that would limit products, credit and other specific activities. 

“We are looking forward to working closely with Director Watt on actions that support a strong credit performance and effective mortgage financing delivery system that addresses the unique needs of the multifamily industry and the millions of American families nationwide who depend on us for their housing.”

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For more than 20 years, NAA and the National Multi 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 170 NAA state and local affiliated associations, NAA and NMHC provide a single voice for developers, owners and operators of multifamily rental housing. Apartments and their 35 million residents support more than 25 million jobs and contribute $1.1 trillion to the economy.