NAR seeks HUD approval on affordable housing policy proposals

by Emma Ludman

This week, the National Association of Realtors asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development for its support on a package of policy proposals that seek to address housing affordability shortages.

The proposals aim to empower real estate professionals to directly aid those pursuing affordable housing options in inventory deprived markets.

NAR will host a day-long policy forum on Thursday, Feb. 6, to discuss inventory concerns and housing affordability.

The forum comes in response to HUD’s Request for Information on policies that would help increase the supply of affordable housing.

NAR is also pushing for policies that will preserve the mortgage interest deduction and stabilize government sponsored enterprises to ensure liquidity in mortgage markets.

“While housing affordability is impacted by factors like restrictive local zoning regulations and increased labor and material costs, America’s Realtors commend the administration for steps it has already taken to address the housing affordability crisis, including finalizing the FHA condo rule, restructuring the Waters of the U.S. regulation and creating the Qualified Opportunity Zone program,” NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, said in a press release.

In its response to HUD’s request for information, NAR noted a number of potential policies that aim to spur private sector development.

Those include the following: refocusing the mission of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; improving underwriting criteria; reforming high-density zoning and other land-use rules; increasing public awareness about homebuyer education and counseling programs; and opposing rent control.

The letter noted that while there is no single solution to solving the affordability problem “a broad-based policy approach to bring safe, decent and affordable housing can be achieved.”

 

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