Advocacy Update

WRITTEN BY HBA AND AAM CEO, FORREST M. WALL, CAE

FHFA Releases Comment Report On Tenant Protections

Forrest Wall March 2021The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) kicked off 2024 with the release of a report which summarized the comments the agency received from their 2023 “Request For Input” (RFI) on possible tenant protections. The original request was released on May 30, 2023, and the comment period closed on July 31, 2023. The new report, titled “Resident-Centered Practices At Multifamily Properties Backed By Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac” divided the responses into five topical areas, with some of the comments/proposals under each topical area as follows:

  • Access/Barriers to Housing
    . Ban source of income discrimination/require owners to participate in Section 8
    . Housing Choice Voucher Program
    . Enterprise support of Fair Housing Laws and certified compliance with design and
    construction standards
    . Limit use of credit and criminal background screening and propose uniform screening criteria
  • Access to Information.
    . Potential model leases
    . Rental registry where property ownership and contact information are required
    . Provide a renter resource website
  • Tenant Stability
    . Rent Control
    . Eviction reduction initiatives, including just-cause eviction requirement, diversion
    programs, right to counsel
    . New housing habitability standards
  • Data & Research
    . Enterprise research and analysis of resident-centered management practices
    . Tracking of tenant protection outcomes
  • Risk Management
    . Assess policies/programs as to whether housing market stability, liquidity and affordability are advanced
    . Assess market risks of tenant protections

The report comes as the Biden Administration pursues multiple tracks for possible federal landlord-tenant regulations. These initiatives began with the January 2023 release of the “White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights” which called on a number of federal agencies (HUD, FHFA, FTC, DOJ, etc.) to engage in this process.

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