AIMS Update: Pro Apartment PR Campaign Gains Traction | National Apartment Association

AIMS Update: Pro Apartment PR Campaign Gains Traction

 

 

    

National Multi Housing Council | AIMS Update
National Multi Housing Council | AIMS Update
May 28, 2013
NAA/NMHC JOINT LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Pro-apartment Public Relations Campaign Targeting Policymakers Continues to Gain Traction
Summary of Latest 2015 Model Codes Hearing Results Now Available
HUD Addresses 2013 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Funding Shortfalls
Industry-backed Immigration Reform Proposal Moves Forward, Several Concerns Remain
GSE Reports Show Eliminating a Government Guarantee Will Have Negative Industry Repercussions
NAA NEWS
Now Is the Time to Plan Meetings With Your Congressmen During Their Summer Recesses
NAA/NMHC JOINT LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Pro-apartment Public Relations Campaign Targeting Policymakers Continues to Gain Traction

NAA/NMHC’s multi-part, integrated public relations campaign, which aims to educate policymakers about the contributions apartments and their residents make to local communities and the national economy, is off to a strong start. On May 6, the second, “story-driven” portion of the campaign website — www.WeAreApartments.org — went live along with print, digital and radio ads in Politico and major Washington, D.C.-based news radio stations. This phase also featured a high-impact direct mailer to key policy influencers, including every mayor in the United States.

Initial results have been strong:

  • The campaign generated 150 news stories across the country about the positive economic contributions of apartments. Coverage included The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, U-T San Diego, multiple business journals and all multifamily trades.
  • The economic impact calculator, which allows users to estimate the economic impact of a specific number of apartments to a particular state, has been used more than 4,000 times.
  • The interactive story portion of the website has already earned several “site of the day” juried awards for design and innovation.

Learn more about the campaign at www.weareapartments.org/about-campaign.

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Summary of Latest 2015 Model Codes Hearing Results Now Available

The International Code Council (ICC) recently held committee action hearings in Dallas for the second of three groups of codes to be included in the 2015 model codes. NAA/NMHC’s collaborative efforts in this second round led to a number of favorable hearing decisions for multifamily firms on energy conservation and fire prevention, among other areas.

More detailed information, as well as the full gamut of key outcomes of interest to apartment firms, is available for download.

The action taken during these hearings will form the basis of the final code action hearings scheduled for October, which will determine the items from this group to be included in the final 2015 code edition. However, the model codes will not be published until 2015, when the third and last group of codes is also complete. 

Learn more about the ICC code development process, including the timeline for the second and third groups of codes.

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HUD Addresses 2013 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Funding Shortfalls

As part of the ongoing challenge to deal with both Congress’ inability to approve a final 2013 budget and the broad spending cuts associated with the sequester that took effect in March, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) recently provided interim guidance regarding the process that Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) need to take to be eligible for renewal funds set aside by HUD to prevent voucher terminations during this period of budget uncertainty. 

HUD currently has set-aside funding of $100 million for PHAs that qualify under certain categories, including a new, “insufficient funding” category. To qualify, PHAs must undertake reasonable cost saving measures as outlined in the letter. The letter also encourages PHAs to engage property owners to help find solutions to funding gaps, but it clarifies that PHAs may not unilaterally reduce the rent for an owner in a voucher program due to insufficient funding.

More detailed guidance on the process to apply for set-aside funding will be provided in a forthcoming PIH Notice.

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Industry-backed Immigration Reform Proposal Moves Forward, Several Concerns Remain

Congress moved closer to comprehensive immigration reform in the days leading up to the Memorial Day recess as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send a bipartisan bill (S. 744) to the full Senate for consideration. NAA/NMHC applaud the effort to advance comprehensive reform; however, a few issues important to the apartment industry remain as the bill moves forward.

Of particular concern are provisions related to the proposed “W-visa” program for lesser-skilled workers. The proposal calls for future caps on the number of visas provided through the worker visa program and an arbitrary 15,000 visas-per-year cap for construction jobs.

Given growing apartment demand, existing construction labor shortages and rising development costs, these limitations threaten the industry’s ability to not only fully recover from years of underbuilding but also meet future demand. NAA/NMHC outlined these issues with the proposal in a May 21 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as the eight-member, bipartisan group of senators championing the bill. 

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GSE Reports Show Eliminating a Government Guarantee Will Have Negative Industry Repercussions

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator, recently released two separate reports assessing the viability of operating their multifamily lending platforms without the benefit of a federal government guarantee.

The reports reached similar conclusions, where the elimination of a government guarantee would lead to:
  • a reduction in mortgage liquidity to the apartment sector;
  • a reduction in multifamily property values;
  • a reduction in the overall rental housing supply;
  • an increase in multifamily mortgage costs and interest rates; and
  • an increase in rents.
Much of the reports’ information supports NAA/NMHC’s position on GSE reform. View more information.
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NAA NEWS
Now Is the Time to Plan Meetings With Your Congressmen During Their Summer Recesses

Your involvement with your members of Congress is a year-round commitment to support the apartment industry. Take advantage of their in-district work periods by scheduling meetings with them now. Congress will be in recess the week of the Fourth of July (July 1 – 5) and for five weeks beginning August 5. Now is the time to make your appointments. More information is available in the Congressional Recess Program Toolkit.

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AIMS

AIMS is the apartment industry's grassroots network operating under NAA and NMHC's Joint Legislative Program. AIMS represents more than 58,000 multifamily housing advocates.

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