The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) applaud the Trump administration’s signing of an Executive Order directing agencies to use emergency authorities to identify regulations that can be rescinded or temporarily waived to encourage economic growth and recovery from the effects of COVID-19. Time and again, regulations have proven detrimental to housing affordability and efforts to address our nation’s housing supply shortage.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation was already facing a housing affordability crisis brought on by a housing supply shortage and insufficient infrastructure. Rising costs and regulatory burdens at all levels of government depress apartment development and rehabilitation nationwide. The NAA Barriers to Construction Index cites numerous regulations, including those dictating land usage and environmental considerations, as key factors harming apartment construction. And, research by NMHC and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that regulations imposed by all levels of government account for an average of 32.1 percent of multifamily development costs. Easing burdensome regulations will encourage apartment construction, which ultimately helps housing affordability.
Lawmakers should also enact policies to expand and diversify the creation and renovation of housing throughout the country. Doing so now ensures the housing affordability crisis the country was already grappling with before COVID-19 is not made worse by the pandemic. Moreover, robust housing development and rehabilitation can help drive the nation’s economic recovery—apartment construction contributes $150.1 billion to the national economy annually and creates 752,000 jobs, while renovation contributes an additional $69 billion and creates 340,000 jobs.
NMHC and NAA support the Administration’s efforts to reform the regulatory apparatus and spur economic growth and job creation. Prior to the introduction of this EO, NMHC and NAA had been in regular communication with Administration officials regarding reducing regulation—including taking part in a November 2019 roundtable at the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.
NMHC and NAA look forward to continuing to work with the Trump Administration on this important measure that will help spur economic growth and job creation.