INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Multifamily Lenders Council (MLC), a trade group representing longtime companies that originate and service FHA-insured financing for affordable rental housing, released the following statement today in response to the President's Phoenix announcement about US housing policy changes:
"MLC is pleased that today's announcement indicates the President and policymakers recognize that more needs to be done to restore the US housing market, and allow real estate and housing to contribute to the nation's recovery while helping families find a decent place to live. While MLC commends the White House for this renewed focus on housing affordability, we remain concerned that not enough attention has been paid to the affordable multifamily side."
A recent Bloomberg article stated that rents surged over $20 billion dollars in 2014, with most of the new construction targeted toward wealthier households, which, as the article states: "Is limiting landlords’ ability to raise rents at the high end of the market while doing little to ease prices for tenants at the low end."
A Marketwatch report found that "landlords have ramped up rents by the fastest pace in six years, with national vacancy rates the lowest in two decades, according to government data."
MLC has previously stated its concerns to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that this agency has tightened rental programs targeted to the middle class unnecessarily, as these programs have not shown weakness during the downturn, but have been tightened nonetheless. Despite MLC's pleas for relief, these key programs for working families remain hampered by outdated and unnecessary policies that reduce housing supply while not contributing to safety and soundness for taxpayers.
MLC now calls for a multi-family housing summit this winter to be chaired by HUD, in an effort to quickly identify and implement policies to moderate these dramatic rent increases. Time is of the essence.
Michael Petrie, chair of MLC and President of P/R Mortgage and Investment Corp. in Indianapolis, IN, said:
"The Federal Housing Administration has successful, safe financing programs that could generate additional rental housing--and rehabilitate existing rental housing--so that this key housing stock is not lost to the low- to moderate-income renter. But these programs have been held back recently by FHA’s excessive caution, a caution not borne of data or loss experience. I do not think American families seeing ever-higher rents and shrinking choices share HUD’s caution. Now is a time to act."