Last month, the White Housing launched the Resident-Centered Housing Challenge (see details below), as part of their announcement on the Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights.
NAHMA Request: NAHMA is considering an industry response to the Resident-Centered Housing Challenge. Currently, we are soliciting members’ ideas, feedback, and recommendations for a collective NAHMA response that addresses any, or all, of the six (6) major areas of the challenge. NAHMA is having a dedicated session at our upcoming March conference (March 9th), NAHMA Strategic Foresight: Resident Centered Property Management (RCPM) Challenge. We hope to discuss member feedback gathered and next steps in crafting an industry response during this session.
Members can respond to email@example.com by COB, February 28th. Below, please find the White House announced commitments. This is an example of the type of information that we are seeking. If your company or organization is planning to respond directly to the challenge, we welcome your perspective (to the extent you can share).
The Resident-Centered Housing Challenge
The Biden-Harris Administration is launching the Resident-Centered Housing Challenge – a call to action this spring for participants across all levels of government, in the private sector, and in civil society to make tangible commitments that strengthen protections for renters and advance resident-centered housing management practices. These commitments will further the Administration’s historic record of expanding fairness and affordability in the housing market, which includes the release of the Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights and agency actions that promote greater fairness and transparency in the rental market
For housing providers, property managers, and investors:
The Resident-Centered Housing Challenge encourages housing providers, property managers, and investors to strengthen practices and commitments to improve the quality of life for renters. As a part of this pledge, housing providers commit to one or more of these actions:
- Alignment with the overall Blueprint – such as developing a code of ethics or membership standards that align with the Blueprint principles.
- Access to safe, decent, affordable housing – such as adopting higher standards than are required by state or local law.
- Access to clear and fair leases – such as reducing or eliminating rental “junk fees,” which are the hidden fees, charges, and add-ons.
- Education, enforcement, and enhancement of renter rights – such as creating new benefits and/or services for residents that enhance their economic mobility, build credit, and/or prepare them for homeownership.
- Right to organize – such as enhancing and increasing communication between tenants, residents, and housing providers and other types of resident-centered housing communication practices.
- Eviction prevention diversion, and relief – such as expanding pathways to eviction mitigation and prevention.
White House Announced Commitments:
- Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) have capped annual rental increases to 5 percent per year for federally or state subsidized affordable housing. Beginning in 2023, WHEDA policy applies to existing residents in properties utilizing state or federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. PHFA applied this policy to their portfolio of 450 properties with PHFA funding in 2022.
- Members of the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), which collectively own or manage 145,000 housing units across the U.S., commit to offer flexible payment plans for residents with unpaid rent who have engaged with property management and to provide the following notices and protections where permitted by local law and financing documents: at least 30 days’ notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent; at least 5 days to cure a missed rent payment; and 60 days’ notice to tenants of any proposed sale or closure of a property. SAHF also commits to launching a task force of its members to identify best practices for resident-centered practices and share resources with the field including model policies and procedures, sample notices, and case studies.
- Realtor.com Rentals will pilot a new listing process through their DIY landlord product, Avail, highlighting units and landlords that indicate that they welcome Housing Choice Vouchers. Realtor.com will be able to share this information with its nearly 5 million monthly rentals search visitors. They will also ensure that more than 1.3 million Avail renters have access to their application information so they can submit their application to multiple property owners on the platform without additional cost.
- The National Apartment Association commits to promoting resident programming and practices, such as helping tenants build and improve credit through reporting of positive rent payments to credit bureaus, through their website, industry events and other content channels that reach a network of more over 95,000 members owning and operating more than 11.6 million apartment homes globally.
- The National Association of Realtors and its affiliate, the Institute of Real Estate Management, commit to creating new resources for property managers in their network of 1.5 million members that highlight ways they can incorporate resident-centered property management practices in their businesses. Practices would include a range of examples that have proven effective, such as advertising to prospective residents that Housing Choice Vouchers are accepted at their property, providing information about rental assistance, and using alternative credit scores for applicants without a detailed credit history.
- The National Multifamily Housing Council commits to working with its 2,000 members to identify business standards that align with principles of resident-centered management practices, such as helping residents build credit, providing resource information to residents in financial distress, and communicating these practices through a new resource hub on its website.