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WASHINGTON, DC-Leading multifamily housing organizations–the National Multi Housing Council, National Apartment Association and National Leased Housing Association–celebrate the US House of Representatives’ passage of the Hurricane Katrina Emergency Housing Act. The legislation, HR 3894, was designed to cut through the red tape for low-income housing property owners’ attainment of regulatory waivers from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. This would also allow them to quickly make more subsidized residential units available for those left without homes due to Hurricane Katrina.

“The apartment industry stands ready to aid the effort to house those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, with many firms donating low- and no-cost apartments and short-term leases,” says Jim Arbury, senior vice president of government affairs for NMNC/NAA. He notes that thousands of vacant apartments cannot be used to help Katrina’s victims because they receive federal subsidy through the Section 8 program and are subject to federal regulations limiting who may occupy them.

The legislation seeks to increase the number of market-rate apartments available to dislodged Section 8 housing voucher holders. The organizations are now urging the US Senate to craft its own version of the act.

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