Multifamily Call To Action
It has been brought to our attention that several of our members would like to see involvement by the Greater Birmingham Apartment Association and potential action regarding the sewer rate increases with the Birmingham Water Works Board.
Jefferson County has agreed to fixed sewer rate increases through 2023 as part of their bankruptcy agreement. This will be devastating to the multifamily industry, our residents and to those of us who live in the BWW service area.
The GBAA is reaching out to our members who would be interested in forming an advocacy committee to discuss a possible course of action as filing formal complaints, attend Town Hall Meetings, etc. to let our voice be heard.
Fair Housing Improvement Act
NAA and NMHC are working together to sound the alarm on S.3612, the Fair Housing Improvement Act of 2018, introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The bill would add “source of income” and veterans status to the list of federally protected classes under the Fair Housing Act and would essentially require owners and operators across the country to participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.
This bill, though well-intended, fundamentally alters and undermines the intent of the Section 8 program to be explicitly voluntary.
The current status of the bill is that it has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. That Committee will not move the bill before the end of this Congress, however, there are efforts underway to add S.3612 to whatever final legislation passes in the waning days of this session. Understanding the stakes for owners and operators, we are working hard to ensure that this does not happen. We are utilizing the NAA network of key Congressional contacts to weigh in with targeted leaders; however, please keep an eye out for a wider grassroots mobilization effort should that become necessary. We may need your help to make the industry’s voice heard on the Hill loud and clear.
NAA and NMHC remain committed in the long-term to opposing any and all efforts to make the Section 8 program mandatory. Instead, we are seeking a larger conversation amongst all stakeholders to reform the program and bring owners, advocates and administrators in closer alignment by eliminating regulatory burdens and implementing common-sense reforms that can incentivize more owners to participate.
As part of its continued efforts to weigh in on legal cases of national concern, NAA has filed an amicus brief in Yim et al. v. City of Seattle. The case is an ongoing battle between a small property owner and the City of Seattle over its Fair Chance Housing Ordinance. The ordinance, which went into effect earlier this year, bars owners from evaluating the criminal history of applicants during the resident screening process (with very few limited exceptions). In its brief, NAA argues emphatically that it is not in the business interests of rental housing providers to reject potential residents without good cause and urges the Court to recognize the importance of tenant screening in the context of rental housing.
NAA/NMHC applaud the recent guidance issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) limiting the Obama administration’s expansive definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). By narrowing the definition of WOTUS to exclude “ephemeral streams” and tributaries, EPA and the Corps have struck a blow against overly broad federal regulations that result in costly delays due to an overburdened permitting process for the construction of desperately-needed new apartment housing.”
“We at NAA/NMHC applaud the EPA and Acting Administrator Wheeler on this common-sense change. We are encouraged about what the new interpretation of WOTUS will mean for the multifamily development industry, owners, operators, property managers, and residents. Our research shows that America needs 4.6 million new units of apartment housing by 2030 just to keep up with rising demand. That does not take into account the 11 million apartment units that will reach the end of their useful lives by that time. This new interpretation will assist the industry in reaching that goal by removing costly administrative barriers and helping ease the crisis of affordability that is growing in many American cities.”
Birmingham Water Works issues: GA is considering forming a sub-committee to discuss a possible course of action, formal complaints, etc.
2019 NAA PAC Goal is $830,000. In 2018, $844,537 was raised by 4821 contributors.
GBAA’s NAA PAC Goal for 2019 is $2998.80, and $1100 has already been contributed.
In 2018, GBAA raised $29,786 – our Association goal for 2019 is $35,000 and 100% donation participation from the GBAA Board of Directors and Committee Chairmen.