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September 19, 2014
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Election Watch

Influential Lawmakers Address NMHC Fall Board Meeting

Daryl Carter, Sue Ansel and HUD Secretary Castro

This week’s NMHC September Board meeting included a number of memorable moments, from meetings with key Obama Administration officials (covered in a story below) to a star-studded lineup of speakers at the annual Capitol Hill luncheon.  The luncheon was held in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building, one of the grandest and most historic rooms in the nation’s capital.  It is a room that has served as a stage for some of the most dramatic Senate investigations, such as the sinking of the Titanic, the Teapot Dome Scandal, Pearl Harbor, the Kefauver Crime Committee, the Army vs. McCarthy, the Vietnam War, and Watergate.

NMHC members heard from an array of influential lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Chief Deputy Whip Aaron Schock (R-IL), and Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mark Begich (D-AL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Rob Portman (R-OH), who all demonstrated not only an understanding of our issues, but a commitment to making the right legislative and regulatory decisions for the multifamily industry’s future.

The speakers often chose to disregard their standard Hill stump speeches.  Instead, the majority spoke without notes and with an in-depth knowledge of multifamily issues – from recognizing multifamily’s undeniable contribution to the nation’s economy, to distinguishing between single-family and multifamily in housing finance reform, to renewing terrorism insurance so that multifamily owners are not adversely impacted.

Attendees gave Senator Mike Crapo a standing ovation when he said, “multifamily wasn’t part of the problem [in housing finance], and we need to be sure not to break multifamily in the process of fixing the system.”  Senator Mark Begich also spoke powerfully about the importance of multifamily housing, noting that he himself is a multifamily developer.  He went on to share stories of his challenges as an apartment owner, including trying to manage renovations around the state’s challenging weather. 

In addition, new HUD Secretary Julián Castro impressed attendees with his strong grasp of multifamily housing issues and priorities during his speech.  A particularly memorable moment came during his question and answer period.  He told members during his speech that he himself had become a renter in Washington after relocating his family from San Antonio where he previously served as mayor.  Everyone was curious about whose community he was renting in.  And when someone asked, his answer was the Gables.  Then, Sue Ansel, president and CEO of Gables Residential, stood and walked up on stage to introduce herself, shaking his hand as the room erupted in applause.

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NMHC Insider
Administration Requests Action Items from Multifamily Industry

As part of the NMHC Fall Board Meeting, on September 16 NMHC/NAA members met with senior Obama Administration officials on the integral role the multifamily industry plays in the economy.  Jeff Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Seth Wheeler, Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, were among the high-profile participants. The group discussed development, construction and the management challenges that the industry faces in trying to meet growing rental housing needs.

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NMHC and Multifamily Prominently Featured at BPC 2014 Housing Summit
NMHC and multifamily were prominently featured at the high-profile Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) 2014 Housing Summit this week in Washington, with NMHC President Doug Bibby moderating a roundtable discussion centered on the future of multifamily housing that also featured NMHC member Toby Bozzuto, President of The Bozzuto Group.  The two-day event gathered the nation’s foremost leaders in housing to discuss the major challenges facing the housing sector today.  Among the participants were HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Newt Gingrich, and former HUD Secretaries Shaun Donovan, Henry Cisneros, Carla Hills, Alphonso Jackson, Mel Martinez and Steve Preston.  Former FHA Commissioners Carol Galante, Brian Montgomery and Nicolas Retsinas also spoke.
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EPA Officially Launches Multifamily ENERGY STAR Program

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially launched its 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for multifamily properties on September 16.  EPA announced the new program in August and apartment owners and managers interested in receiving a score can begin entering required information about their buildings into the agency’s Portfolio Manager.  Program awards will be available for properties that receive a performance score of 75 or higher.

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HUD Releases Proposed Fair Market Rents for FY 2015

In August, HUD released their proposed FY 2015 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for public comments.  FMRs are set annually by the department and vary based on numerous factors, including local housing supply and demand, economic conditions and the size of the apartment unit.  For the most part, they are set at the metro or county level.  In certain cases, Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), which are set at the zip code level, are used. 

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Election Watch
NMHC PAC to Host Luncheon in San Francisco

NMHC PAC will be holding a luncheon...

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Senator Gillibrand's 80s Style Featured on #TBT

Before Kirsten Gillibrand became a U.S. senator, and also a key speaker at this week’s NMHC Fall Meeting, she was a Dartmouth undergrad studying abroad in Beijing.  Check out this classic 80s photo of Gillibrand with her now famous actress friend Connie Britton. See the photo

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