The White House today announced an executive action that it said is designed to "protect renters and promote rental affordability," but NAHB called this "the wrong strategy" to confront the nation's housing and rental affordability crisis.
In an official statement issued to the media in response to President Biden's executive action, NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter said: "While not as bad as it could have been, the White House rental executive action is the wrong strategy, centering on rental protections instead of market-based solutions that will truly ease the nation's housing and rental affordability crisis by spurring the production of badly needed affordable housing. Strengthening successful programs like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is the right way to proceed if we are to bring down rising home and rental prices."
Key items in the executive action include:
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require public housing authorities and owners of project-based rental assistance properties to provide at least 30 days' advanced notice before terminating a lease due to nonpayment of rent.
- The Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will seek information on a broad range of practices that affect the rental market, including the creation and use of tenant background checks, the use of algorithms in tenant screenings, the provision of adverse action notices by landlords and property management companies, and how an applicant's source of income factors into housing decisions.
- The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it will launch a new public process to examine proposed actions promoting renter protections and limits on egregious rent increases for future investments.
The White House also announced what it calls a "Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights" that, while not binding, seeks to offer enhanced protections for renters to make sure they are not evicted and also advocates for tenant organizing rights.
"While a key part of the Biden plan focuses on ensuring landlords help tenants who are behind in their rents, it is important to note that millions of small business multifamily property owners have already been working together with their tenants to keep them in their homes and make sure they are not evicted," said Konter. "And they were doing this during the height of the pandemic when renters were most vulnerable.
"If the administration is truly committed to help America's renters, it will champion solutions that will enable builders to construct more apartments and homes to reduce the nation’s deficit of 1.5 million housing units," he added.Learn more about the LIHTC program and NAHB's efforts to address housing affordability, including the Creating Housing for All Toolkit.