NMHC: Three Ways Policymakers Can Reduce Barriers to Housing Development

November 30, 2022

Despite insufficient housing supply, vacancies are increasing, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reports in a recent post. “Households are doubling up, moving back home, or deciding not to create new households at all,” according to NMHC, citing RealPage data showing annual rent growth from the first quarter of 2022 through the third moderated from 15.3% to 10.5%, while rents decreased for the past two consecutive months.

However, they caution, this doesn’t mean we should ignore the desperate need for housing nationwide. “Long-term, however, apartment demand is expected to rebound with improved economic confidence, which means we need to keep building new housing despite this temporary lull if we want to avoid large rent increases in the future.”

The group urges long-term thinking beyond quick fixes like rent control and eviction moratoriums, which the post’s authors point out don’t address the underlying supply shortage. To affect real change, landlords and lawmakers must work together, they remind, suggesting the federal government can encourage development to meet the housing shortage by:

  • Expanding and enacting federal tax credit programs that ease development affordability, like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Middle-Income Housing Tax Credit;
  • Reforming and increasing funding for subsidy programs that address housing affordability, including HOME, Section 8, FHA Multifamily and CDBG; and
  • Providing regulatory relief to reduce development and operating costs by tying other federal dollars (like transportation funding) to incentivizing localities to reduce parking and other land use requirements, streamline the development and approval process and restrict the use of rent control and mandatory inclusionary zoning.

Read the full post at NMCH.org