Apartment Industry Responds to FHFA’s Regulatory Plan for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Contact: Jim Lapides, NMHC, at 202/974-2300 or Carole Roper, NAA, at 703/797-0606

WASHINGTON, March 5, 2013 – Statement from the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) Joint Legislative Program by Cindy Chetti, NMHC Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agencies (FHFA) 2013 scorecard outlining its regulatory goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the current year. 

“NMHC/NAA support returning to a more robust private capital market, but we believe that should be achieved through market-driven solutions and not the arbitrary 10 percent reduction, or more than $6 billion, in multifamily lending volume imposed by the FHFA 2013 scorecard.

“The need for such a volume cap has not been demonstrated. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already reduced their share of the multifamily mortgage market from 90 percent during the peak of the financial crisis to just 45 percent today. But there is no evidence that private capital is willing or able to meet the broad liquidity needs of the apartment industry in all markets and at all times.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been a critical backstop to ensuring sufficient liquidity and stability for the apartment industry – providing capital in markets and for products that haven't historically attracted private capital. Importantly, the very successful multifamily programs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not part of the meltdown and have actually generated more than $10 billion in net profits to the government since conservatorship.

“That backstop has been critical to our industry’s ability to meet the growing demand for rental housing. Up to half of all new households formed this decade could be renters, and an artificial limit in multifamily lending by the Government-Sponsored Enterprises will harm our ability to meet that demand.

“We continue to call on lawmakers to take a comprehensive approach to housing finance reform legislation. That reform should also explicitly recognize the unique needs of the multifamily sector to avoid disastrous consequences for the nation’s supply of workforce housing."

For more than 20 years, the National Apartment Association (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. To learn more about apartments, visit www.weareapartments.org.