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 Multifamily News
   Nation’s Apartment Industry Testifies Before the House Committee on Finance Services
On behalf of the nation’s rental housing industry, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), David Schwartz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Waterton and Chairperson of NMHC testified before the House Committee on Financial Services at a hearing entitled Protecting Renters During the Pandemic: Reviewing Reforms to Expedite Emergency Rental Assistance on the urgent reforms needed to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
Waterton Chairman and CEO and Chair of NMHC, David Schwartz, testified before the House Committee on Financial Services on September 10, 2021.
 NAA and NMHC commend the work of lawmakers in creating ERAP and appreciate the ongoing efforts to ensure the ability of rental assistance funds to serve those in need. After unprecedented challenges over the nearly the past two years—creating significant hardships for America’s renters and jeopardizing the stability of the housing sector—it is critical that the program’s execution and distribution be urgently improved. ERAP is critical for residents and housing providers alike and is the most effective eviction mitigation tool at our disposal. This is especially true where eviction moratoriums shifted the economic hardships of the pandemic to housing providers, creating severe uncertainty for the apartment sector.
Schwartz’s written testimony provides detailed recommendations for unlocking the flow of ERAP funds and addressing barriers to the delivery of relief to those in need. In particular, NAA and NMHC support efforts to help jurisdictions ramp up delivery of rental assistance benefits, including streamlining onerous application and documentation requirements, ensuring eligibility aligns with those residents in need of support, leveraging housing provider capabilities to assist with the application process and embracing practices and technologies with provenoperationalsuccess. Importantly,NAAandNMHCcautionagainsttheimpositionofnewprogramrequirementsunrelatedtothe accelerated distribution of funds that further or create new barriers to participation in ERAP programs.
In a joint press release, NAA and NMHC stated they will continue to partner with policymakers at all levels of government on addressing the challenges of COVID-19, while advancing proven solutions for long-term housing affordability. We will also continue to work with our residents to keep them safely and stably housed and assist those in need to secure rental assistance. Urgent action to reform ERAP is necessary before apartment residents are faced with further uncertainty and an ever-mounting debt cliff while housing providers face further losses, foreclosure, bankruptcy and even removal of the property from the rental stock.
Section 8 Update: HUD Interim Rule on 30-Day Notice-to-Vacate
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published an interim rule that prohibits the eviction of tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent from HUD-subsidized public housing and certain properties with project-based rental assistance without providing a 30-day notice period that includes information about available federal emergency rental assistance.
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