AONW Government Affairs
Housing Finance Reform
All private sources of capital, from commercial banks to life insurance companies, to the commercial mortgage-backed securities market, have limitations either in terms of loans they offer, the kinds of properties and markets they target, or even their capacity or willingness to lend in all markets at all times. Taxpayers and the mortgage finance system itself should be protected through a strong regulatory framework and multiple layers of private capital. Policymakers should protect and preserve existing resources, as well as support greater transparency, during the transition to a comprehensive overhaul of the housing finance system.
Pro-Growth Tax Policy
The apartment industry favors pro-growth reform that does not disadvantage multifamily housing relative to other asset classes. We support a comprehensive approach to tax reform that does not reduce rates for corporate taxpayers at the expense of flow-through taxpayers (e.g., LLCs, partnerships and S Corporations) that remit business taxes on their individual income tax returns and dominate the apartment industry. We also strongly support maintaining the current-law tax treatment of carried interest, the full deductibility of business interest, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and the estate tax compromise agreed to in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that calls for a $5.34 million exemption (indexed for inflation) and a 40 percent top rate.
Congressional inaction has resulted in a patchwork of immigration policies that do not adequately address national security concerns or economic and workforce needs, generating uncertainty for businesses, including apartment firms, who much comply with various federal, state and local laws. Some local laws would even hold apartment companies responsible for the immigration status of apartment residents. We support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform including interior and border enforcement, employment eligibility verification, ample-sized guest worker programs for all industries including construction, and a practical earned legalization process for a robust workforce and consumer base to strengthen the multifamily industry.
Apartments represent a significant opportunity for achieving energy efficiency and furthering public policy goals of energy independence and environmental sustainability. By their basic density and design, apartments are inherently energy efficient. Trying to use aggressive building codes or other mandates to force energy savings ignore the unique characteristics of apartment construction, operation and maintenance and create additional hurdles that block the industry from meeting growing rental housing demand. NAA/NMHC are working to assure that the transition to advance building systems (HVAC, Boilers, lighting, Etc.) efficient equipment takes into consideration technical limitations of existing buildings and cost concerns.
Codes and standards directly impact all aspects of apartment construction and affordability, including structural design, energy performance, fire protection, accessibility and green building. NAA/NMHC representatives regularly serve on code and standard development committees, craft code proposals, and represent the multifamily sector at code hearings. NAA/NMHC provides resources to the industry to aid in new code adoption and implementation once updated codes and standards are published. The NMHC and NAA websites include extensive information on building codes and standards including primers, guidance on changes, and toolkits.
NAA Capitol Conference
Every year, delegates from AONW travel to Washington, DC to attend the Capitol Conference.