The Washington, D.C.-based National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and Arlington, Va.-based National Apartment Association (NAA) have agreed to continue their joint legislative program to lobby Capitol Hill on behalf of the apartment industry through the NMHC/NAA Joint Legislative Program. NMHC president Doug Bibby shares his thoughts on the group’s top five priorities for 2010.

1. Ensure continued access to capital as lawmakers undertake financial regulatory reform. “When you look at the roughly $5.5 trillion that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have on- and off-balance sheet, anything that is done has to be done thoughtfully and with a long-term horizon in mind.”

2. Secure workable energy-efficiency standards. “When 60 percent to 70 percent of the energy usage in an apartment community is controlled by the residents, it is very difficult to reach blanket efficiencies.”

3. Advocate against proposals to triple the taxation on a general partnership’s promote (or “carried interest”). “Even with well-intentioned reforms, Congress needs to consider those unintended consequences.”

4. Oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (“card check”). “The thing we are most concerned about is taking away the worker’s right to privacy in deciding whether to vote for representation or not.”

5. Stress the need for a balanced housing policy that better reflects demographic and lifestyle changes. “If we are still stuck on the idea that everyone needs to own a detached house out in the suburbs, we are going to be way out of whack with demand.”