The National Multi Housing Council, in conjunction with the National Apartment Association, issued a four-point policy statement outlining necessary steps they believe the federal government must take to avoid “systemic failure” in the apartment sector.

The policy statement, which was born from a larger multifamily financial markets policy paper issued in January by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, largely focused on reinvigorating the now anemic commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market and ensuring continued—if not broader—short-term and long-term lending to the multifamily industry by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration.

“We know ‘systemic failure’ sounds dire, but look at how the markets are reacting [on any given day] to the [economic] situation,” says NMHC president Doug Bibby.

Their policy recommendations include: purchasing multi-family mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; purchasing longer-term GSE debt issuances to support lenders’ funding needs without having to rely on short-term debt; purchasing highly rated commercial mortgage-backed securities; and exempting multifamily loans from GSE mortgage portfolio limits through Dec. 31, 2010, or until a new secondary market structure for multifamily loans is operational.