Industry Meets with FHFA as Agency Considers Rent Control

Housing providers emphasized the harmful realities of rent control on affordability. 

By Nicole Upano |

2 minute read

On December 20, 2023, industry leaders met with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Sandra Thompson. The FHFA continues to engage with stakeholders as they consider whether additional landlord and tenant requirements should be imposed on enterprise-backed multifamily properties through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Through its commitment to the White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights, the Agency is exploring limits on egregious rent increases for future investments. Industry leaders urged the Agency to take a balanced approach to federal policymaking that weighs the needs of all stakeholders equally, as well as broader market considerations. 

During the meeting, National Apartment Association (NAA) Board Member and 2017 NAA Chair Cindy Clare, Chief Operating Officer, Bell Partners, shared the significant acquisition challenges for developers where rent control is imposed locally as well as operators’ barriers to sustainably manage quality rental housing in these environments. These policies depress housing markets and severely limit quality, affordable rental options for renters. 

NAA Board Member and Past President of the Florida Apartment Association Bonnie Smetzer, Executive Vice President, Asset Living, elaborated on the benefits of the Live Local Act for Floridians, the largest investment in housing in Florida’s history. The Act also closed the loophole in the state’s rent control preemption law to ensure that local governments resist the urge to adopt this harmful policy. 

NAA continues its federal advocacy efforts as the exploratory phase of the White House Blueprint priorities come to a close, including FHFA’s consideration of federal landlord and tenant requirements. We appreciated the opportunity to share statutory insights on relevant topics with FHFA which included perspective on just cause eviction, notice of rent increase, notification of renters rights, rent control, requirements related to nonpayment of rent and warranty of habitability. NAA continues to utilize every opportunity to engage with the Biden Administration to positively influence final policy outcomes until they are announced.