Federal Housing Finance Agency Announces Opportunity to Advance Tenant Protections; NLIHC Urges Advocates to Weigh In!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a Request for Input (RFI) regarding ways the agency can create and enforce renter protections for households living in rental properties with federally backed mortgages. The announcement represents a key opportunity to advance a major priority of NLIHC’s policy agenda: strengthening federal renter protections to address the power imbalance between landlords and renters. NLIHC, along with our partner organizations, is calling for robust responses to the RFI from tenants, tenant advocates, and directly impacted people. Advocates have until July 31, 2023, to weigh in with FHFA to help shape strong renter protections.

“Federal renter protections are needed to address the power imbalance between landlords and renters that puts renters at greater risk of housing instability, harassment, and homelessness and fuels racial inequity,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel in a press statement. “The Biden-Harris administration has an opportunity now to create strong, enforceable renter protections for a significant share of renters across the nation and to put America on a pathway towards stronger protections for all renters.”

Because more than 12 million renters live in properties with federally backed mortgages, any renter protections created by FHFA could cover a significant share of renters across the nation. Landlords and business interests will come out in full force to try to stop FHFA from protecting renters, so it is critical that advocates take action and make their voices heard. You can advance federal renter protections in the following ways:

  • Submit a public comment by July 31. It is critical that FHFA hear from you and as many advocates as possible in support of renter protections. Use NLIHC’s sample comment letter to craft your comment and submit it using https://tenantcomment.org
  • Sign on to NLIHC’s national support letter, calling on FHFA to create strong federal renter protections.
  • Join our weekly working group on renter protections, held Wednesdays at 4 pm ET, to help inform and strengthen NLIHC’s comment letter. Register for the weekly meeting here.
  • Call on advocates in your community to participate. Share this information with your networks and encourage them to demand federal renter protections.

NLIHC’s top priorities for federal renter protections include: source-of-income protections to prohibit landlords from discriminating against households receiving housing assistance and to give families greater choice about where they live; “just cause” eviction standards and the right to renew leases to help protect renters from housing instability; anti-rent gouging protections to stop landlords from dramatically raising rents; and requirements to ensure housing is safe, decent, accessible, and healthy for renters and their families.

Read the announcement from FHFA at: https://tinyurl.com/4c5uud3s

Read more about the Federal Housing Finance Agency and NLIHC’s opportunities for engagement at: https://tinyurl.com/mr473235