Prior to President Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) released a statement emphasizing the importance of a balanced housing policy.

“We appreciate President Obama’s commitment to growing the economy by addressing many of the vital issues that directly impact our $1.3 trillion industry and the 38 million Americans who call an apartment home. A strong housing sector requires balanced rental and homeownership housing policy. Currently, rental demand nationwide exceeds supply and key research has found that this demand is fueled by powerful demographic and household formation trends.

“There are a number of reforms that can be undertaken at the federal level to respond to this historic rental housing demand. They include streamlining federal housing programs, addressing tax and housing finance reform in a way that recognizes the unique characteristics of apartment homes and removing costly burdens imposed by several federal regulations. All of these steps would make it easier for our members to increase supply and operate rental housing.

“In addition, working to support housing affordability through increased federal and state collaborations can go a long way in growing the apartment supply and strengthening local communities. Finally, getting immigration reform right and ensuring a strong labor supply is fundamental to the development and rehabilitation of apartment homes.

“Ultimately, our industry must build at least 300,000 to 400,000 new apartment homes each year just to keep up with demand. Accomplishing this will require removing barriers to development and redevelopment at the federal, state and local levels.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration, HUD and Congress on these and other critical issues.”