Apartment Industry Response to the State of the Union

 The National Multifamily Housing Council and National Apartment Association had some positive comments on President Obama’s State of the Union address this week.

The groups praised Obama for highlighting housing finance reform, immigration and tax reform in his State of the Union address. “The apartment industry and our 35 million residents are a robust, $1.1 trillion economic engine that supports 25 million jobs. These issues directly affect our ability to provide homes to millions of Americans, including student housing, seniors housing, affordable housing and military housing,” Cindy Chetti, NMHC Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, explains.

That said, the groups are quick to point out that housing preferences are changing and a growing number of American households are choosing to rent for both lifestyle and financial reasons. The number of renter households grew by almost five million from 2007 to 2012, with this trend continuing over the next decade.

For that reason, housing finance reform must avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach,” Chetti continues. “The multifamily market uses commercial mortgage debt products, and imposing single family reforms would jeopardize our ability to meet the nations need for millions of new rental homes over the next decade.”

The groups also encourage the President and Congress to enact pro-growth tax reform that encompasses the individual and corporate side of the tax system. Comprehensive reform should promote economic growth and investment in rental housing without unfairly burdening apartment owners and renters relative to other asset classes.

In addition, we need comprehensive immigration reform to address the current patchwork of state and local laws. Immigrants are a key driver of apartment demand and an important force in apartment construction and operations,” Chetti said.

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