NHC: Congress must address multi-family financing

In a statement to Congress, the National Housing Conference said that the government must do more to address the country's multifamily housing market.

Much of Congress' attention has been tied up in the fates of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which deal with financing for single-family homes. But apartment builders also need secure financing to create affordable housing options, said the NHC.

"Multifamily housing finance must be addressed directly and separately from single family finance," NHC president and CEO Maureen Friar said. "That is the only way to ensure that renters have an adequate supply of multifamily properties with affordable rents."

The NHC laid out ten points that they say Congress must address when handling multifamily housing, which include providing government backing for private financing on multifamily developments, as well as ensuring credit is available to developers of low-income housing.

According to the NHC, there is a shortage of affordable housing available for the 15 million U.S. households that live in rental housing. Government assistance could provide landlords with the tools necessary to rent to more low-income tenants, said the organization.

Currently, landlords who apply through local public housing agencies can rent to low-income tenants paying with government subsidies. Offered through the Department of Housing and Urban Developments, the payments help pay a portion of tenants' monthly rent.