NAA Shares Feedback with White House on Renters’ Bill of Rights

As the White House seeks to advance its housing agenda, NAA is representing the industry to share concerns and advance responsible solutions to affordability challenges. Here’s what you need to know.

By Nicole Upano |

July 19, 2022 |

Updated July 19, 2022

3 minutes

As part of the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) ongoing advocacy and engagement with the Biden Administration, NAA’s President and CEO, Bob Pinnegar, participated in the White House Housing Provider Listening Session on May 31, 2022. The White House invited stakeholders to share feedback on priorities as well as the gaps in renter protections and housing provider needs that could be addressed through an Administration-wide effort. 

To provide some direction to the conversation, White House officials highlighted President Biden’s housing platform during the campaign, in which he expressed support for expanded renter protections through a federal bill of rights and legislation that would prohibit housing providers from discriminating against renters receiving federal housing benefits, also known as “source of income” protections.

During his remarks, Pinnegar emphasized that rental housing is already regulated by every branch and level of government, while most housing policies that govern the landlord and tenant relationship are developed at the state and local level – and for good reason. They are highly dependent on local conditions, policy priorities and the needs of the local housing market.

Renters’ bill of rights laws create a confusing patchwork of requirements on housing providers that can circumvent or, in some cases, conflict with the lease agreement which governs rights and the responsibilities that both parties agree to during the lease term. Pinnegar cautioned officials that “creating artificial confusion by overlaying a federal bill of rights over state and local laws and the leasing contract itself will drive providers from the industry and further hurt affordability and renters.” 

Much like federal eviction moratoria and the CARES Act’s “notice to vacate” requirement that remains effective today, federal regulation of the landlord and tenant relationship can be confusing and untenable. During the listening session, Pinnegar also provided insights into why some housing providers choose not to take Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers for legitimate business reasons.

Instead, NAA’s President and CEO reiterated the need for responsible and sustainable solutions to address the nation’s housing affordability challenges and thanked President Biden for his Housing Supply Action Plan, which could play a critical role in closing the housing supply gap. The lack of supply of rental housing at all price points is the core issue connecting myriad housing affordability issues. 

NAA looks forward to continuing the conversation and working with the Administration on these shared goals. Read more about our real estate coalition efforts here.

We continue our federal advocacy efforts to ensure that the industry’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C. For more information on NAA’s advocacy with the Administration, contact Nicole Upano, AVP of Housing Policy & Regulatory Affairs.