NMHC: Make Housing a Component of the Infrastructure Conversation
With attention in Washington turning to a potentially large-scale infrastructure package, the National Multifamily Housing Council has provided an analysis that emphasizes the importance of including “solutions to address the nation’s most pressing housing challenges.” In other words, infrastructure isn’t only about repairing roads and bridges.
“The pandemic has only amplified the importance of comprehensive infrastructure policy,” NMHC says. “Throughout the pandemic, construction and housing development have been significantly impacted as a result of cost escalations, economic uncertainty and broader practical and transactional challenges.”
NMHC believes that new mechanisms and federal incentives are needed to support investment in housing development and avoid the deepening of America’s housing affordability crisis. “The apartment industry can play a valuable role in this effort,” says NMHC.
Here’s a compendium of several key pieces of legislation and policies that NMHC supports, and hopes will be included in any upcoming infrastructure legislation. “These bills rightly incentivize localities to reduce barriers and adopt policies to encourage private sector investment in housing,” the council says.
• Housing is Infrastructure Act: Introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), would invest over $100 billion in our nation’s housing stock and look to ease barriers to the development of multifamily rental housing by incentivizing localities to streamline and eliminate structural barriers to housing including increasing zoned capacity, eliminating off-street parking requirements, and eliminating or reducing impact fees.
• Yes In My Back Yard Act (YIMBY): Bipartisan legislation that would help eliminate discriminatory land use policies and remove barriers that depress production of housing in the United States. By requiring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to report periodically on the extent to which they are removing discriminatory land use policies, and promoting inclusive and affordable housing, it will increase transparency and encourage more thoughtful and inclusive development practices.
• Better Planning and Land-Use for Accessible Neighborhoods Act (BETTER PLAN Act): This recently introduced by Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) would encourage local planning organizations to better integrate housing, transportation, and economic development strategies.
• Build More Housing Near Transit Act: Bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), that would better leverage federal transportation dollars to support housing development.
• Housing Supply and Affordability Act: Legislation introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), that would create a new Local Housing Policy Grant program at HUD to provide grants to local governments to support efforts to expand housing supply.
• Revitalizing Economies, Housing, and Businesses (REHAB) Act: Introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Darren LaHood (R-IL) creates an incentive that will encourage smart new growth around public transportation and attract new private investment to repair local infrastructure and promote greater affordability in high demand markets.
Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces.
Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications.
Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).
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