FHFA Asks About Rent Control

The agency’s request for input explores tenant protections for enterprise-backed properties.

By Ben Harrold |

2 minute read

On May 30, 2023, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a Request for Input (RFI) on tenant protections for enterprise-backed multifamily properties. Responses are due July 31 and will likely inform future rulemaking applicable to federally-backed properties through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises).

With its publication, the FHFA is seeking comment from stakeholders in the rental housing industry including owners and operators, lenders and borrowers, developers and tenant advocacy groups to “explore challenges tenants face at multifamily properties, as well as opportunities to address challenges through tenant protections,” and to improve data collection surrounding this issue.

The RFI includes 28 individual questions organized into five categories:

  1. General Questions on Tenant Protections
  2. Access to Housing
  3. Access to Information
  4. Tenant Housing Stability
  5. Risk Management

The questions range from the broad “How should the Enterprises protect tenants in multifamily rental housing?” to narrower topics such as whether the FHFA should implement policies on the acceptance of Section 8 vouchers, notice requirements, evictions, maintenance and rent control. 

National Apartment Association (NAA) staff and industry leaders met with FHFA staff in April to explain that any federal action in this space will complicate and conflict with the myriad state and local laws governing rental housing. Additional regulations by FHFA could both increase operating costs and discourage the use of Enterprise financing, ultimately working counter to the Agency’s goal of promoting access to affordable housing.

This Request for Input is one of two dozen federal agency commitments outlined in the White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights that was announced in January. It is critical that NAA’s members and affiliates participate in every opportunity to influence the federal policymaking process because these actions could result in changes to federal policy that critically impact property management and operations. NAA will soon ask its members to make their voices heard by providing comments to the FHFA. 

Throughout the rulemaking process proposed by the White House Blueprint, NAA has been advocating for industry needs. For more information about the FHFA, please contact Ben Harrold, Manager of Public Policy.