Cindy Chetti, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs with the National Multi Housing Council, gives us an inside look on upcoming policy changes and how they might impact the multifamily industry.
Cindy Vosper Chetti is Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, with responsibility for implementing strategy for all legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the National Multi Housing Council and National Apartment Association Joint Legislative Program. For the previous 10 years, Chetti was the lead housing policy expert for the House Financial Services Committee, working as a member of the Senior Professional Staff for the Committee’s Republicans. Prior to that, she served six years with the House Financial Services Committee’s Financial Services and Consumer Credit subcommittee. Chetti began her career working for former Congresswoman Marge Roukema (R-NJ), rising from a legislative assistant to Chief of Staff. Chetti holds a B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
About National Multifamily Housing Council
NMHC is the place where the leaders of the apartment industry come together to guide their future success. With the industry’s most prominent and creative leaders at the helm, NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enable both members and the communities they build to thrive.
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Adam Hooper: (00:42) Our guest today is Cindy Chetti, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the National Multifamily Housing Council known in the biz as NMHC. The NMHC is the place where leaders of the multifamily industry. Come together to guide their future success with the industry’s most prominent and creative leaders at the helm and NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy, and action that enables its members and the communities they build to thrive in today’s conversation. Cindy gives us an inside look at what to keep an eye on in Washington. Some upcoming policy changes and how they might impact the multifamily industry. We hope you enjoy the show.
All right, Cindy. Thank you so much for joining us today. We are very excited to pick your brain on what’s going on in, in DC and with legislation and regulations that are coming down the pipe. So we again, appreciate you joining us for the show.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (01:39) Great. Thank you for having me.
Adam Hooper: (01:42) Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background, what you do at the national multifamily housing council?
A lot of our listeners are familiar with at least the rent tracker. That was something that when we were doing our weekly newsletter, we were obviously tracking those numbers throughout the pandemic. But more broadly what you start with, what an NMHC does. And how you got started with that organization.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (02:01) Great, so NMHC is a trade organization and represent the owners, operators, developers, managers, suppliers of the apartment industry and what I am and the senior vice-president of the government affairs department. I have a staff of, our department consists of 12 folks. There are seven, eight full-time lobbyists.
And what we do in my department is we advocate on behalf of the industry. I like to say to members of Congress, when I’m talking about in NMHC, there isn’t much that they do in Washington, that doesn’t affect the industry. So we were engaged in any number of things. My background is I worked Over 25 years on Capitol Hill, I made my way up through the ranks, started out as an intern and fell in love with the political process.
And ultimately went back after my freshman year in college interning changed my major and set off on a course of being involved in politics. I. Started working for a number of different members. My first real encounter though was with a member from New Jersey and Northeast Republican.
I don’t know how much you know about long time ago, but Northeast Republicans were. Were moderate Republicans. And so I worked started out in that position as a legislative assistant, moved up to ledge director and ultimately was the chief of staff for that member. And I was also responsible for working on the issues specific to the banking committee and that included housing.
I cut my teeth and spent a good deal of time focusing on housing related issues. And I worked for Mrs. Roukema Congressman Roukema for a good 20 years. And during that time, I also moved over to the banking committee to be a professional member of the staff, running the housing subcommittee for the Congresswoman who was chairing that position, chairing that committee.
And once she retired, I went to work for the person that took over as chairman of the committee. Mike Oxley from Ohio, ultimately worked for several other chair, chairman and ranking members. Spencer Bachus, as well as Hensarling. Before I left in 2011, I really wasn’t looking for a job. I love working on the hill.
Loved the institution, loved the work. I’m a real policy walks. So I like digging into the weeds and learning about an issue and then helping to get legislation over the finish line. But I was approached by an NMHC back in 2011 and they asked me if I’d be interested to coming to work for them.
And again, really wasn’t looking for a job, they say that when you easiest thing to do. To find a job is when you’ve got a job. So anyway, I went through a long process, six different interviews and all kinds of things, but yeah, ultimately ended up deciding that this would be a good fit.
And what I will say is that I most of my background and most of Washington’s background for that matter, they focus a lot on single family. And so multifamily is there’s not as many experts in the field, shall we say? About multifamily in Washington? I think sometimes it’s interesting to, to understand that.
For Congress there when they are dealing with the rental industry there, they’re looking at, section eight HUD budgets. So they don’t understand the the workings to the extent that they do the single families. I felt like. It was, I had to learn the industry and I also had to spend a good deal of time and focus on helping to educate Congress once I got to NMHC and that kind of became my goal was to educate members of Congress and the admin, the various administrations on what the multifamily industry was, what the business was like that it wasn’t all just about section 8 and subsidized housing. It was a business.
Adam Hooper: (06:24) So before we dive in too deep I’m curious is it sounds like you were in your banking committees and certainly in the financial world of the system back in 2008, and the goal of financial crisis, the great financial crisis. I’m curious, given your seat, going through that and early in the pandemic, last year, Parallels were drawn between what happened then and what happened in 2020, obviously very different.
Because of those, some similar behaviors, in the financial markets, in the housing markets. I’m just curious maybe what that experience was like back in oh eight from your seat. What did you learn from that? And then did you see any parallels or anything that you were able to draw on from that experience and what we went through?
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (07:07) Yeah. I think it was a different crisis back in 2008, then we just went through in the pandemic, but certainly there are always parallels that you can draw from. That was a boy that was a very tumultuous time back in 2008, the industry it was, I will tell you it was a very intense time, shall we say?
I think we all learned that there were many things that were done back in those days that perhaps set some of those things in motion, no down payment loans, mostly on the single family side. And I like to always make the point that, we weren’t part of the meltdown in many respects back in those days.
But I think The, with the pandemic. I will say that it recreate it, it caused us to really have to rethink everything. As NMHC, we focus on a number of important issues, obviously, but when the pandemic came along, it became much more about, addressing how was our industry going to s urvive through the pandemic with, protracted eviction, moratoriums and, folks losing their jobs and many of the people who reside in our residents, feeling the hurt of the pandemic and suffering financial loss from the pandemic. So we really had to very much shift and shift our focus and become very much Laser focused on how we were going to help the industry.
And I feel like the parallels between 2008 and the pandemic were similar from that standpoint. We really had to reevaluate everything and figure out how to move forward. And so we became very focused on first of all, back, even before the cares act. We thought that it was important to establish a rental assistance fund that would help our members and also to push strongly for the additional benefits for unemployment and expanded unemployment benefits, the stimulus checks and the PPP program, because we felt that those were the kinds of things that were going to help our residents meet their financial obligations, one of them being rent. And so we hit the ground running and started advocating for those specific issues and also a number of tax-related issues as well. That would pretty much shore up our our industry. And we, I will say that I it’s one of the, some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever done, the 2008 situation was it’s hard and I still.
Think back. It was very I think we were still trying to figure out how to fix all those things back in there. And I think but I feel like this pandemic and what we did here on the pandemic really was significant and excellent for the industry. To get over 50, almost 50,000, 50 billion in rental assistance, secured for the industry. It was a really monumental feat.
Adam Hooper: (10:07) Yeah. Yeah. And we definitely want to dig into some of that legislation and the merit, the rescue plan. And certainly some news just came out of California with rental assistance. But before we get into that, I’m just, I’m so curious. What does a day in your life look like when you were working with legislators?
In your position now, what’s changed maybe from before. What does that look like? Or any two days the same? I’m just so curious what your
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (10:30) I’m laughing about it, because just look at today, the Supreme court ruled on the FHFA director today. So that sets me off in a motion. I need to write a story.
I need to get it out to our members, need to think through what that means. So every day that you know, anything can pop up last night, there was a story on Reuters where the administration was considering a one month Extension of the moratorium, the eviction moratorium. You can imagine when I saw that story, I’m like, oh I’m going to reach out to a number of people over at the administration and see if they’ve made a decision.
See what I can do to make our case known that we really think that the eviction moratorium needs to be allowed to expire come June 30th. It oftentimes you are driven by the events of the moment. And that, and you have to be very nimble and you have to be very flexible. But
Adam Hooper: (11:22) again, that from again, from a very much outsider’s perspective, there’s this, I think this kind of impression that things just take so long in, in Congress and through the political system, but it sounds like that’s quite different from what you’re having to react to on such short terms.
It is the velocity of these issues that come up. It seems, that seems like that’s a pretty real time reactive fast paced environment. I feel like it is. Yeah.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (11:47) Perfect example yesterday, for example, I went into the office, certainly, I was working on trying to figure out what is going to be the decision on the eviction moratorium, reaching out to a number of people over at the administration, talking to people on the Hill saying if they can weigh in. And then I actually went to three or four different events last night, where I was able to see, seven or eight senators and, talk to them about the infrastructure package, talk to them about taxes, which we have concerns about, some of the provisions that the administration is considering for pay fours and infrastructure.
You have to look for your moments and you have to. Navigate, how you can create moments so that you can get out and make your case on behalf of the industry.
Adam Hooper: (12:31) And now having seen that, you said it was 2011 when he joined an NMHC. So this would be your third administration, that you’ve been working in that role through.
How has that changed? Going through administrations, going through certainly elected representatives, what’s consistent throughout that. And then what’s different about that from when you first started?
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (12:52) Like I said, when I started at NMHC, I really felt that we needed to do a good job of explaining the industry to policy makers as I’ve said, it’s a single family town. Everybody understands the single family market. Everybody is engaged in the single family. Everybody writes about the single does research, but multifamily is a little bit different. And I think that we have done. I’d like to think that we’ve done a great job over the last several years of really educating both policymakers in the administration, as well as up on Capitol Hill about the industry and also setting ourselves up so that we have the ability to.
To that we’re seen as a resource that were seen as and an industry that can provide good information. Let’s face it when you’re a lobbyist you’re only as good as the information that you can provide to members and whether or not your information is reliable. And so I think we have one of the best staffs In Washington, to be honest with you.
And we do a lot of work, trying to make sure that people understand how things actually work. I often say this, I color my hair. So it’s really gray. But I was there in 1986 on Capitol Hill when they passed the tax reform package, that pretty much put the industry out of business.
And pretty much that happened at three o’clock in the morning type of thing when they made some decisions on passive losses. And so the key to advocating on behalf of your industry is to make sure that you are having those conversations so that when those decisions are made. And I think by three or four people in a room you’ve been able to at least get to them and explain, who you are, how that might impact you.
And so we do a lot of work and if you ask me how things have changed, Look the whole the way things are done has changed. It used to be my job when I worked on the hill to sit down and cut that deal with the other side of the aisle. And nobody ever, nobody got what they wanted.
Nobody got everything they wanted, but you moved the ball forward. And it’s, it seems over the years that we’re far less about. Policy and moving the ball forward for the country and way more about politics. And maybe that’s just the cynic in me. But regardless, even though that seems to be where we are today you still have to be able to see the people that you want to see.
Explain to them, perfect example. And we’ll get into this, I’m sure later, but infrastructure, getting in there and talking to folks about the infrastructure package, what’s important for our industry, what the impact of the pay force would be on our industry. You have to have those relationships up on the Hills so that you can get to those folks and explain.
You know how this might impact what they’re considering,
Adam Hooper: (16:00) To make sure they’ve got all the information they can when they’re making those decisions. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit then about the current environment. Some recent policy changes legislation. Again, we mentionedThe American Rescue Plan California just recently announced that they’re going to use some of those federal funds to maybe pay some of that back rent for people, residents that are behind in the rent. I think there was certainly an impression with the eviction moratoriums, which you’ve mentioned that the owners of the real estate were maybe left behind in that thought process.
How does this affect them? Paying taxes paying their mortgages when they’re not getting the rent payments. So maybe tell us a little bit about some of the current policy changes, things that we’ve seen over the last year. And maybe some things that you’re looking at maybe coming down the line.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (6:43) So look, we really felt, as I mentioned that one of the most important things that we could do is create a rental assistance program. And we started working on that long before the CARES Act was even passed and we weren’t able to get a provision in the CARES Act, but we were able to get it over the finish line on the second stimulus package.
And that was a $25 billion rental assistance program. And that rental assistance program, it went through many iterations. We were most. Anxious to have it set up in a way that would ensure that landlords would be part of that program. And so the rental assistance program that is in existence today is paid directly to landlords.
It is set up so that each state gets a certain amount of money and then the state sends it out to Others to administer the program at the state and local level. And we have been very much engaged from day one in trying to make sure that the specifics of that program are such that our members.
Are getting those funds and also in a position to help residents who are in need to get those funds. We’ve been in constant contact with treasury and we’ve been engaged on. The FAQ’s that they’ve been putting out the guidance that they’ve been putting out. You saw in California initially when the first program went up, that they were going to require haircuts for the industry.
And then they backtracked on that. We’d like to think that we’ve had some, some success in helping states in some of the localities understand, what’s going to work in terms of these program and what’s not going to work. And we’ve been very much engaged in that. And then the second program as well, there’s a second traunch of money, which is.
25.6. So I think a total of 46.6 or something like that in rental assistance. And I would say that it’s been difficult initially to get the programs up and running California being one of them. It’s taken a while to define how they’re going to get that money out the door. But I think you’re beginning to see now and I think you’ll see in the next several months, A better flow of that money to the landlords.
And that was one of the things that we really worked hard on to make sure that people understood that our members were hurting, that they had mortgages to pay. They have. Taxes to pay, they had utility bills to pay. And so a lot of what in this program, being able to pay utility bills and things like that and just make trying to make it simpler so that it could be executed.
It’s not a perfect program and it’s a government program, which on a good day is a problem. But Yeah. We’re very happy that it’s, that program exists and we worked hard on it.
Adam Hooper: (19:51) And I was going to ask him how involved are you or are you involved in the actual implementation of that?
That’s, that has to be a logistical nightmare to try to figure out how to get almost $50 billion into the hands of people that need it in this industry.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (20:06) And particularly when you’re looking at our members who have. Daily jobs of leasing and all those things. And now they’re also in the business of helping their residents identify where those funds are and then also securing them.
And I think if you talk to some of our Our members you’ll hear how much time they are spending. We have one, we had it, we did a panel in California on the rental assistance program. We had several presenters and it was interesting to listen to just what these folks are going through. There’s one of our panelists who talked about the fact that they have looked at over. 260 different programs and each program has different requirements. And so to determine, and, trying to orchestrate and facilitate. These funds getting in the hands, getting in their hands has been a whole new level of work for each one of our companies that are involved in this.
Adam Hooper: (21:12) I can imagine. It’s a full-time staff of multiple people just to make sense of all of it. You mentioned just again earlier news out of the current administration, about an extension of that eviction moratorium you are there other policies or things that are going on that maybe aren’t as.
High up in the news right now that people, again, a lot of our listeners are investors in multifamily assets and in commercial real estate, generally. And then we have another whole subset of our listeners that are managers and sponsors of these properties themselves. Anything that they should be thinking about or paying attention to that’s maybe not as high up on that radar as some of the, the, again, eviction where attorneys being one of the most key.
Points of conversation
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (21:51) today. Sure. Just to give you a feel for some of the other things that we get involved in we are very much engaged in the technology side of things and in broadband and in Telecom related issues. Many of our members, are obviously the most, one of the most important things our residents rely on is access to internet access, connectivity.
And so we’re engaged in those issues on a variety of levels. And we spend a good deal of time on that with the FCC and others. We also are involved in. Risk related management issues, insurance issues that the national, region where we’re pushing for and looking for reforms and the national flood insurance program, which is very important to many of our members, as well as Back in the day being involved in TRIA which is, was risk insurance for terrorism.
And we’re also working on a pandemic risk insurance proposal for God forbid, the next pandemic. And also, working on. Cyber security issues and privacy issues, we collect a good deal of Personal information. And so how our companies are required to deal with privacy issues and deal with that information is important to us.
Adam Hooper: (23:51) Okay. That’s a lot. That is a lot. Are there any resources or any areas that listener. Yes. Give some aggregate info around this. And again, that’s what, that’s a lot to keep track of. Yes. So
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (24:03) what I would say is, or our website we have a one pager that kind of defines our top tier issues.
Many of which are the ones that I’ve just talked about, credit screening credit credit and criminal screenings, flood insurance housing affordability is also an overarching issue for all of the things that we are involved in. Obviously we’re very much focused on trying to help find solutions to our housing affordability crisis.
Across the country. So we have incredible resources. Each one of those issues that I’ve mentioned, if you go to our website, we have a fact sheet, a one page fact sheet on each one of those issues. And we also have a one pager that just of gives a brief history of each one of those history. It’s a one or two sentence.
And then we have our research and other issues that back up a lot of those issues. Our website is is a great reason.
Adam Hooper: (24:57) I will vouch for that and we’ll have links in the show notes to all those as well. So definitely go check those out. So it’s been a little bit of time talking about infrastructure.
That’s obviously a big focus of current administration. I think there was roughly 200 billion plus or minus in, in housing fund specifically. Not that you’re keeping to close an eye on that. I know you had mentioned that, housing is infrastructure. Infrastructure is housing right there.
They’re very closely linked. How does the current plan. Affect housing, both single family, more folk more, more specifically. Multi-family of course. And generally more, a commercial real estate investment world. What do you guys see?
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (25:31) Yeah. That’s something, first of all, I will say to you that we’ve been working on for several years.
Most of these issues don’t get over the finish line in a short period of time. Yes we maintain that housing is infrastructure and that is an issue. We’ve worked on over the last couple of years. Maxine waters, who is the chair of the house financial services committee reached out to us, year or two ago, and asked for some assistance and working on her housing as infrastructure package and.
What she is looking at is how do you incentivize states and localities to streamline their processes? As we know, a lot of the costs to development preservation are at the state and local level relative to regulations and. Permitting processes and all of that. We think, and we, one of the things that we’ve been working hard to get across to many of the policymakers is that we believe that there are.
Ways that you can incentivize states and localities to streamline their processes, to eliminate some of the barriers to development and to preservation and of properties. For example What Mrs. Waters bill does is say, if you want CDBG funds, for example, you’ll get extra points. If you’re thinking through how you can streamline your permitting processes and your regulatory processes.
W in a community that perhaps might not want to build housing for some reason or particular types of housing, they may not seek to seek out those federal housing dollars. So we’re also trying to make the point that you can incentivize states and localities by also attaching some of those incentives to transportation dollars, because it’s very it’s it’s most states and localities want those transportation dollars.
So look, I think it remains to be seen whether or not what will happen to the 213 billion that the administration has put forth. That is housing related that they want as part of this infrastructure package. But I think that if you look at, I think it’s pretty much understood that maybe the bipartisan package will not have any housing, but I think what’s important for us to remember is that quite often we are asked as an industry to pick up the tab and to pick up the cost of lots of the crumbling infrastructure around our communities when we’re building at the state and local levels.
Any amount of investment in infrastructure is going to be important for the industry and it going to be helpful to us. And we also think that there are ways if that, that, as I just mentioned, that states and localities, even without large dollars housing dollars being included, you could work to incentivize states and localities on infrastructure projects.
To say, Hey, look, do the things that need to be done to streamline the processes so that we can build more. We can develop more. We can address, the lack of supply for the housing. Hey listeners, here with a quick note, if you’re looking for a simple way to learn about commercial real estate investing, then head to real crowd university.com too.
Free course, that’s real crowd in the university.com. We hope to see you there
Adam Hooper: (28:49) now back to Adams, and it will say having been most of my life in Oregon, in California, in the real estate industry there are certainly lots of regulatory zoning permitting challenges to building new and in which, construction costs and materials aside is a very large component of this affordable housing issue.
So it sounds like the. The focus of these funds and these programs would be yes, updating, improving infrastructure around our country. But more specifically, is this an attempt to try to impact this affordability issue? Is that the underlying push? Yeah. Yes. And
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (29:27) look, you known as well as I do, but the additional costs associated with the things that we’re asked to pay for.
Add to the cost of a unit add to the cost of rent. So yes, we think that there are ways that states and localities can incentivize Gregor development can, and we’re particularly interested in one of the proposals that the administration has put forth that has a $5 billion grant fund. I think it’s a grant.
I’m sorry, don’t quote me on that, but that would If you’re willing to address some of the inclusionary zoning hurdles. So we’re certainly talking to the administration about that as well.
Adam Hooper: (30:08) How much do you think policy can affect afforded? I’m putting on the spot there
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (30:16) I’m an optimist.
Okay. I will tell you when I worked on the Hill well, and even today, there are solutions to these problems. It’s just politics gets in the way. So that’s frustrating to me at times, because I think some of us know that there are real solutions that we could put in place to address some of these issues.
But Ooh. But I’m optimistic. And NMHC is helping to spearhead a real estate coalition that is really trying to identify ways to address the new ways. We’ve got, trying to identify new ways that we might have. Housing affordability.
Adam Hooper: (30:54) And I think those that you can share.
I’m curious. Again, w what is, are there talking about the portability
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (31:01) that the federal government has as a compliment of land and properties, they own, Yeah, we could look at ways to repurpose that, there’s tax breaks that we could look at that. One of the things that we support is a middle income housing tax credit, which is similar to what we have already, which is the low income housing tax credit.
But this would really help incentivize. Greater development at that middle income level. We think there’s tax credits to re repurpose properties, also hotels, an address that would be designed to address affordable. So there’s things that we could do that would move us in that director.
So we’re trying to identify a lot of those Those types of programs that might help to move the needle on affordability. Part of it has to do with nimbyism. Part of it has to do with, states and localities have to, they say they want more affordable housing, but sometimes, the policies don’t, lead you to believe that’s really what they want.
We’re just trying to be part of the conversation.
Adam Hooper: (32:08) And then, is there anything, obviously, early days in the current plan as proposed, is there anything that would be investors or operators should be looking at that would maybe negatively impact the space and the infrastructure plan?
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (32:20) I think I think we continue to be concerned about some of the things that are being considered as painful.
1031 exchange we believe is a incredibly valuable tool for the great
Adam Hooper: (32:31) we’ll definitely, we’ll dig into that a little bit
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (32:33) here. And I think that there’s also some, I think that’s what we’re focused on right now is making sure that people understand the implications for some of these policies that are being considered.
Adam Hooper: (32:43) And when you say pay for it, that’s basically how, where are these funds coming from? What is pay actually paying for these new plans? Yeah. Great. And so since you brought it up at 10 31 exchange, we would be remiss if we didn’t explore that a little bit more. What’s the latest where does that stand out?
If I had to,
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (32:57) if I had to bet on this I kinda, in my heart of hearts feels that the 10th field that the 1031 exchange might be okay. It might not
Adam Hooper: (33:05) it, it does because this isn’t the first time it’s been up for discussion. This is, this has happened a lot.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (33:10)Yeah in 2017, when they passed the tax reform, It was on the chopping block.
And we had to do a lot of work. We commissioned several research studies with our other colleagues in the real estate industry. We worked very hard to make sure that people understood the importance of this. We have just in, in anticipation of what was coming, we reconstituted, right?
Two new studies, a couple of new studies that would provide us the numbers that we think are important for members to understand and know about the importance of the 1031 exchange to the industry. I dunno again, w where are making our way right now through meetings. Many of the members of Congress on the Democrat side and the Republican side, just to make our case on the 1031 exchange.
I think this is a numbers game and I think the margins in both the Senate and the house may make it difficult for them. To make some of these whole sale changes to some of these provisions. But I’m feeling, I don’t know. I’m feeling pretty good. About 1031 exchange.
Adam Hooper: (34:20) I may not
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (34:21) be feeling as well about some of the others, but this one I’m feeling.
Adam Hooper: (:25) So I think a couple of things that we’ve seen are both a cap on how much could be eligible.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (34:31) 500 for single and a million for married. It’s that’s the way it works. At least certainly been making that point. That yikes, that would really put a damper on on the utility of that.
Adam Hooper: (34:45) Yeah. And again, as we’ve said, this isn’t the first time that, that 1031 who’ve been on the chopping block. That would be a pretty major change to see that yeah. Restricted or go. I don’t think it’s going to be entirely right. But to have that reigned in, I think would be a pretty big impact.
And a lot of folks out there. Doing what you guys are doing to make that known.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (35:04) Certainly we are all, I think we’re very focused on that. We’re working with our other colleagues. One of the things that we do is we band together with our other real estate colleagues and work on these issues collectively.
We had a coalition with 12 different Real estate groups that has been very focused on not only getting the rental assistance over the finish line, but also educating the industry. The policymakers on the eviction moratorium, same thing on some of the tax issues, particularly 1031 exchange.
We, we worked together with our colleagues over at the real estate round table and MBA and the realtors, the home builders, Making the case together and speaking with one voice on the importance of some of these issues.
Adam Hooper: (35:54) So taking a step back again for listeners of this right now how close should investors in multifamily and operators and multi-family how close should they be paying attention?
What are some of the ways that they can get involved? And again, obviously with the resources you guys put out. What’s the best way for them to have an influence or impact on where some of these policies go.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (36:17) I’m going to tell you, there’s nothing better than for a member of Congress or a policymaker to hear from their constituents.
Does it actually work? Yes. Yeah, it matters. I was out yesterday and I don’t hesitate to, before I go meet with a member to find who is that person, that’s a constituent, who is that person that I can bring up that person’s going to know because it matters. So look, you’ve got, I think it’s important to be engaged, particularly on things important to this industry.
To reach out to your member of Congress to talk to them about how these policies will impact you, because there’s no better advocate than a constituent. So I would I’m a big advocate of saying as a as an individual be engaged. And particularly if you are working in an industry, be engaged And be an advocate because it does matter when they hear from the people at home.
Adam Hooper: (37:19) I like that. That’s a good, that’s a good again, an optimistic view that it does matter, which is good to hear. That’s still okay.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (37:26) it’s hard to believe, but yeah.
Adam Hooper: (37:29) So again, we’ll have links in the show notes, obviously to NMHC you all provide huge amount of data, phenomenal resource obviously recommend everybody’s listening.
Go check out the information that you all put out. And then as we wrap up three kind of quick questions first off what’s keeping you up at night, either in just the industry in general, what you’re seeing from a policy perspective. As we, we go in the second half of 2021 here through the bulk of the pandemic what are some of those points of concern?
Through the remainder of this year, maybe look into 2022.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (38:00) I am concerned that things like eviction moratoriums will be used to solve problems. This one was used to address the health crisis, but what’s to stop. Eviction moratoriums and other types of provisions like that to being implemented, to address other of our problems like housing affordability.
And I think I worry about The narrative that we are sometimes caught in about, oh, with the industry can afford to pick up the tab here on this and this, and then it’s almost like it’s a crime to make a profit. We are the folks that are gonna help. Address the affordable crisis.
So we are the developers, the PR the people that are preserving and I hope that we can change the narrative a bit because I don’t think we’re the bad guys that oftentimes the media makes us out to be. So that concerns me. It concerns me that we might be seeing more. Use of things like eviction, moratorium, like rent cancellation and that people don’t understand the importance that maintaining this asset class and the viability of it and the attractiveness of it, how important that is to addressing our housing needs.
Adam Hooper: (39:36) make sense? Yeah, no, absolutely. And again, I think, we mentioned that before I think the, and rightfully so a lot of the focus was on the renters, right? It was on the tenants. How do we make sure that people can survive through this challenge that was devastating through the last.
But I do like to your point, I don’t know that it felt like the owners of the property landlords, they can just put the bill, right? Yeah. The impact of that wasn’t necessarily played out all the way upstream. And I think that’s what you had mentioned at the core of then NMHC is. Bringing that information, bringing that whole perspective to light to the policymakers so that when those decisions are made, there is a more fulsome understanding of what those longer tail impacts will be and how that’ll affect the bigger picture with the focus. I think that makes a ton of sense.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (40:22) Yeah. I think that, I think it’s crucial and I think we continue to make the case that you want to address the housing affordability crisis. It’s got to continue to be a viable asset class to to invest. Yeah.
Adam Hooper: (40:36) So you mentioned a couple of optimism a couple of points of optimism, what’s what are you most excited about here in the future of multi-family
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (40:43) look, we have a great industry and we have great people involved in this industry. I feel lucky every day to work with the members and the industry. And so I think that I’d like to think that there is an ability for us to Make sure that people understand just how many great people work in this industry and that they’re doing great things.
And I’m energized every day that and when I look at how we’ve gotten through the pandemic relative to the rent tracker that you mentioned and others I think there’s an opportunity. For really good things to happen. And I hope that, that we can once and for all start to address some of the barriers that prevent us from addressing, the shortages that we have today in the rental industry.
I feel like, gotta be optimistic.
Adam Hooper: (41:36) Okay. I have to be well, Cindy, this is absolutely fascinating. Again really appreciate you coming on the show today. What do you let listeners know again, how they can learn more about what you and the NMHC.
Cindy Vosper Chetti: (41:46) I would tell you to sign into our website. There’s a wealth of Information there. Lots of great material on the individual issues that we work on a daily basis on behalf of the industry. Plus there’s research, great research. And just any time I can be a resource, I hope people won’t hesitate to give me a call. I’d be happy to talk through any of the issues on that we work on and to be a reason.
Adam Hooper: (42:14) Perfect and write your representatives, call them, let them know what you’re thinking. Get engaged and vote, get engaged. Perfect. All right, Cindy, again, thank you so much for joining us today. We’ll have links down the show notes to all of that information, and again really appreciate your time.
Thank you. Listeners hope that was as interesting for you as it was for me. I know this is again, an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes. So we hope you enjoyed the show. If you have any comments, questions, feedback, send us a note to email@example.com. And with that, we’ll catch you in the next one.