Coalition to FHFA: Rent Control Won’t Work


An 18-association group that includes NAR sent a letter to federal housing regulators, saying that rent control makes affordable housing issues worse – not better.

WASHINGTON – Eighteen associations representing housing providers, lenders and residents sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Sandra Thompson. The letter offered a warning that some policies under consideration could backfire and make the nation’s affordable housing crisis worse rather than better.

The coalition, which includes the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), wrote that mandatory rent control and rent stabilization policies will increase rents, reduce the capital needed to boost the supply of housing, and ultimately hurt current and future renters.

FHFA is currently considering changes that could impact multifamily housing backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But instead of rent control mandates that “exacerbate the housing affordability crisis,” the group suggested voluntary incentives within Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs, saying those work best to create and expand the nation’s affordable housing supply.

“Research has proven repeatedly that mandatory rent control is a failed policy, which does nothing to alleviate the root causes of housing affordability issues – namely the fact that our nation’s housing supply has not kept pace with the needs of our growing population,” the coalition wrote. “It disincentivizes multifamily housing investments.”

The coalition says one of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s goals is to create more housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents, but rent stabilization rules are “contrary” to that goal because they entice current renters to stay longer at the expense of new renters who will face fewer and more expensive options.

While the letter says the coalition shares “FHFA’s commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis,” it advocates for voluntary programs supported by the federal government, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), expansion of Section 8 programs,” and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac programs that provide financial resources for developers creating affordable units.

“Implementing failed policies such as mandatory rent control will create instability in an already challenged market,” the group concludes.

Coalition members signing the letter

  • American Seniors Housing Association
  • Council for Affordable and Rural Housing
  • Commercial Real Estate Finance Council
  • Institute of Real Estate Management
  • Leading Builders of America
  • Manufactured Housing Institute
  • Mortgage Bankers Association
  • NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association
  • National Apartment Association
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • National Association of Realtors
  • National Association of Residential Property Managers
  • National Housing Conference
  • National Housing & Rehabilitation Association
  • National Leased Housing Association
  • National Multifamily Housing Council
  • The Real Estate Roundtable

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