NAA CEO Bob Pinnegar Addresses US Conference of Mayors in Boston
NAA CEO Bob Pinnegar, CAE, brought the industry’s message to Boston last week at the 86th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. The Conference is one of the largest gatherings of municipal officials in the nation. Attendees were afforded the opportunity to hear about the 4.6 million new apartments that research shows the U.S. will need by 2030 and the ways in which they can work together to achieve that goal.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan group dedicated to promoting the development of effective national city and metro-area focused policies, and providing mayors with the leadership and management tools that allow them to do their jobs better and make them more effective leaders. To that end, Pinnegar’s presentation hit many crucial points: He addressed the housing affordability crisis that is facing America today, the supply and demand imbalance that is fueling it and the solutions that can be instituted at the local and municipal level to unleash the apartment industry’s potential to meet that challenge.
As a former municipal employee himself, Pinnegar is uniquely positioned to understand the perspective of the nation’s mayors, and as the leader of a national grassroots-focused organization of over 73,000 members, he also has a breadth and depth of understanding the industry’s issues and how they can be solved. During the past three decades, not only have hard costs like land and materials risen sharply, but regulatory barriers to apartment construction have also increased significantly; things like zoning laws, land use restrictions, and onerous permitting requirements.
“Nearly 39 million residents call an apartment home,” he said. “That is almost 1 in 8 residents in America. The shortage of affordable rental housing is creating significant hurdles for them that ultimately hamper future financial success.”
“Unless public and private sector leaders take bold, innovative action today and in the years to come, the affordable housing crisis will become even more desperate.”
To that end, Pinnegar proposes that cities must “Prioritize, Plan, and Partner” with the help of their own local Apartment Associations; over 160 nationwide belonging to the NAA Network. Those words represent the need to prioritize apartment housing development, plan for a diversity of economic means in apartment housing and partner with your local NAA affiliate to reach the best results.
Grateful for the opportunity to address them, Pinnegar left the stage with a question for the nation’s municipal leaders: “If you were going to start from scratch and design a process, with the sole purpose of creating housing that is affordable for all your constituents – would it look like what you have now?”