Unpacking Recent Significant Federal Policy Updates

Posted By: Carrie Smith Community,

Recent developments in federal housing policies have sparked discussions within the rental housing sector, notably centered around proposed regulations and amendments. This article provides insights into two key aspects: the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) proposed rule on "Junk Fees" and the Federal Amendment on HUD PRO Housing Grant Funding.

Federal Trade Commission's Proposed Rule on Junk Fees:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is  considering a rule that could reshape how businesses disclose fees to consumers. If finalized, the rule would prohibit businesses from imposing hidden fees and mandate the transparent presentation of the full price upfront. Additionally, companies would need to explicitly state whether these fees are refundable.

In response to these proposed changes, Bob Pinnegar, CEO of the National Apartment Association (NAA), expressed concerns about potential consequences. Pinnegar suggested that additional regulations could have a significant impact on housing operations, potentially affecting the affordability and availability of rental housing. NAA is actively encouraging its Advocacy Members to reach out to their federal elected leaders, expressing reservations about these rule changes.

Federal Amendment on HUD PRO Housing Grant Funding:

On November 7th, a crucial amendment to the House Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Fiscal Year 2024 spending bill was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives. This amendment allocates additional funding to the Community Development Fund for the HUD PRO Housing Grant program.

The NAA played a proactive role in supporting this amendment, emphasizing its alignment with the Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY) legislation. This legislation aims to incentivize localities to reduce barriers to housing construction, a stance that the NAA has long endorsed.

NAA and NMHC Testify Before House Financial Services Committee:

Arianna Royster, president of Borger Residential, testified on behalf of the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) before the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. The hearing focused on "Housing Affordability: Governmental Barriers and Market-based Solutions."

Royster advocated for sustainable policy solutions that enhance housing affordability while safeguarding the rental housing infrastructure. She stressed the importance of rejecting well-intended but misguided efforts to regulate rents, emphasizing the need for long-term solutions that increase the supply of affordable rental housing.

Throughout the testimony, Royster outlined opportunities to revitalize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Choice Voucher Program and remove barriers to apartment development. NAA and NMHC emphasized the urgency of implementing policy solutions that expand housing supply and opportunity, steering clear of proposals such as rent control that may adversely impact renters.

Please contact carrie@austinaptassoc.com If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the City of Austin’s recent policy updates.