On Tuesday, August 6, President Obama delivered a speech in Phoenix, Arizona detailing his plan for promoting a strong and stable housing market. The speech addressed several core principles but mainly focused on balancing housing policy to support both sustainable homeownership options and affordable rental opportunities.   Much of the speech focused on developing a foundation that relies more on the private sector to stabilize housing markets and reforming the housing financing system. 

Several principles laid out in Obama’s speech specifically support creating and preserving affordable rental housing, including:

  • Urging Congress to pass a bipartisan budget that invests in decent rental housing and builds the country’s transportation infrastructure;
  • Supporting and encouraging the continued funding of incentives like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC);
  • Working with Congress and partners in state and local government to expand tools such as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), Project Rebuild, and  the Promise Zones initiative to assist more communities with providing access to affordable housing across the nation;
  • Assisting with reducing local barriers to housing development, including reforming and modernizing outdated, decades-old rules and overly burdensome regulations that prevent developers from responding to housing demand;
  • Establishing a new housing finance system that ensures that the market for multifamily loans is strong and flexible enough to support the construction and rehabilitation of all types of multifamily housing. This would also include gradually shrinking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s multifamily footprint by reducing support of high-end properties, while exploring ways to serve the unmet mortgage needs of smaller multifamily properties and loan sizes.

Click here to view a fact sheet detailing the President’s proposals.