August 30, 2017 |
Updated October 18, 2017
To keep the NAA Network informed concerning the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma on affiliates, members and residents in and around the Gulf Coast and southern Florida, following are statements, resources and updates as they have been provided to NAA. This post will be regularly updated when information becomes available.
If you would like to share an update, story or resource, please direct your correspondence to [email protected].
Emergency and Disaster Resources Available
NAA’s Emergency & Disaster Library, Texas Apartment Association’s Resource Page and Florida Apartment Association’s Preparedness Resources offer detailed guidance to aid members faced with the devastating impacts of these storms.
TAA also offers information for renters affected by the storm. Keep checking in with TAA's Resource Page for ongoing updates for Hurricane Harvey recovery updates.
If you're interested in helping, please consider a monetary donation to the Red Cross. To give to Harvey relief efforts, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief or visit The American Red Cross.
If you are in an area affected by the storm and are in need of shelter, the Red Cross can assist.
Housing Portal Information - Florida
Housing Portal Information - Texas
- MRI Software
- Smart Apartment Data
- Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center
- ALN Apartment Data
Florida Apt Association Offers Apt Resources to Irma-Hit Areas
Josh Gold, CAE, CMP, Executive Vice President, Florida Apartment Association, has provided this link of resources designed to assist Florida-based members with their post-hurricane recovery.
Public Housing and Voucher Waiver Notice.
October 6: HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a pre-publication version of a notice that will be in the Federal Register on October 6, listing regulatory and administrative waivers it will consider if requested by public housing agencies (PHAs) in areas officially designated by the Major Disaster Declarations (MDD) following Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. PHAs may also request waivers not listed in the Federal Register. HUD will expedite all waiver requests by providing concurrent HUD Headquarters and Field Office reviews; typically, waiver requests are first submitted to the Field Office and subsequently reviewed by Headquarters. All approved waiver requests will be published in the Federal Register, identifying the PHAs receiving the approvals.
The Federal Register notice lists 20 potential waivers, half of which are only important to PHA staff, such as extending the time to submit financial audits or undertake energy audits. There are, however, ten potential waivers that might be important to residents and advocates:
1. Allow a voucher exception payment standard of up to 150% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR); the regular exception payment standard is 110% FMR.
2. Allow occupancy of more than two persons per room, provided the assisted household consents.
3. Instead of requiring public notice in a newspaper when a PHA is preparing to open its voucher waiting list, allow a PHA to provide notice via its website, voicemail, or posting at its offices. HUD reminds PHAs to consider the fair housing implications of alternative notification measures, keeping in mind difficulties various approaches might cause for people with disabilities or limited English proficiency. PHAs will still be required to provide notice in minority media.
4. Extend to 90 days, the timeframe to request “secondary verification” of immigration status from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
5.Provide a number of exceptions related to demolition and/or disposition. There are five such wavers that warrant careful consideration by advocates.
The notice also lists three “flexibilities” applicable to the MDD PHAs, and four potential waivers pertaining to the Indian Housing Block Grant and the Indian Community Development Block Grant programs.
FEMA Guidance Available
Sept. 19: Fact Sheet: Did You Receive HUD Rental Assistance Before Hurricane Harvey? You May Be Eligible for FEMA Help.
Fact Sheet: Texas Renters May be Eligible for Federal Help
How LIHTC Properties Can Help With Households Displaced by Hurricane Harvey
Owners of LIHTC properties might be able to help provide apartments to displaced households.
AMLI Provides Hurricane Update on Texas and Florida Communities
Sept. 15: AMLI Residential owns and manages six apartment communities in Houston, nine in Austin, and five in Southeast Florida, which means AMLI residents and local teams recently felt a one-two punch from Hurricane Harvey and then Irma.
“We are first and foremost grateful that our residents and employees are safe,” said Traci Hall, President of the West Region of AMLI Management Company. “Preparation was paramount, and our teams did their best to prepare our residents and properties by having generators secured; remediation vendors lined up and awaiting transport from cities outside of Florida and Houston; move-ins/outs rescheduled; plastic sheathing put up to mitigate rain in open air corridors; employee logistics to ensure each property was covered; emergency calling trees set up; satellite phones secured, and the list goes on.”
Hall explained, “After 51 inches of rain over the course of three long days in Houston, over 400 apartment homes were affected by water damage, and over 700 cars were submerged in water at our communities. AMLI’s Houston communities were closed for five days and during this time, the AMLI warriors that live onsite were helping with damage assessment and clean-up. On top of Houston, eight of nine of our Austin properties also suffered damage from the other side of Harvey.”
Dan Gladden, President of the East Region of AMLI Management Company, said, “We are thankful our Southeast Florida communities did not take a direct hit. For the most part, our communities experienced minor damage associated with water penetration through doors, windows, and roof leaks, and damaged landscaping (fallen trees, blown debris, etc.). Our clean-up efforts are moving along quickly thanks to our dedicated teams and quick-responding vendors.”
Gladden continued, “Our past experience with hurricanes has resulted in good processes in place, and that helped to prepare our communities and our residents. The key is to communicate often with residents. Social media was a big help in augmenting and responding to residents’ concerns.”
Hall added, “We are extremely proud of our teams and how they literally ‘weathered these storms’ on so many levels.”
Apts in Jacksonville’s River Ribault Area Hit Hard
Hundreds of people in Northwest Jacksonville returned to find homes and apartments unlivable because of flooding or wind damage, said Tameka Gaines Holly, executive director of Transforming Communities Community Development Corporation.
She described dozens of residents in Hilltop Village and Washington Heights apartments, in particular, whose first-floor and some second-floor apartments were water damaged, needing major repairs.
On the Ground: Beacons of Hope from Harvey Despair in Houston
Sept. 14: Khara House serves as the Property Management and Operations Coordinator for Bella Investment Group in Flagstaff, Ariz. Last week she was part of a group of co-workers who traveled to assist those who were displaced during Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
She recounts the inspiring trip, including this scene:
“We saw neighbor reaching out to neighbor to lighten each other’s loads. And we saw tears of sorrow become tears of joy as people heard how far folks had come to help.
“To help me?” one woman said to me, stepping back in shock from a tight hug when I told her we had flown in from Arizona. “Y’all came all this way just to help me?”
Visit UNITS for more details.
Rumor Control: FEMA Provides Answers
Sept. 14: FEMA provides this website that responds to rumors about disaster cleanup, inspection scams, contractor repairs, fuel demand, shelters and pets, among other things.
Visit FEMA rumor control
Yardi Pledges $1 million to Assist Hurricane Areas
Sept 14: Yardi committed $1 million to support nonprofit organizations in the rebuilding of the areas affected by the hurricane, and will match employee donations to the hurricane relief fund. But there was also an opportunity to assist those in need of temporary or permanent housing due to floodwater damage.
Yardi has also launched a hotline that evacuees looking for housing can call for housing assistance. The toll-free number is 844-363-6317.
Additionally, Yardi is offering disaster response assistance for clients on the RENTCafé platform, including nudge messaging, voice messaging and call automation to help clients communicate with their residents during the aftermath. Yardi representatives are reaching out to clients in the affected area to explain and offer these and other services at no charge.
Houston Flood Czar: No Dramatic Change in Development Policy
Sept. 13: Fingers are being pointed at Houston’s liberal policy for development as part of the reason for the extensive flood damage produced by Hurricane Harvey. Debate has begun about what steps could or should be taken in response.
Stephen Costello, whose official title is chief resilience officer, but who is known to many as Houston’s flood czar, says the go-go culture of growth is here to stay, reports The Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a dramatic change in the way we are developing,” Costello said.
Regulating development through, say, a stricter zoning code is a nonstarter, Costello added.
“Zoning is never going to happen here, not in my lifetime,” he said.
He instead says the city needs to create a better system “to more quickly and efficiently move rainwater out of town and into the bayous during heavy rains.”
Texas Apt Association Will Host Harvey Response Forum on Sept. 21
Sept. 13: TAA will host a free Harvey Response Forum webinar on September 21 at 10 a.m. Central. Register today and submit your questions. The program will be built around the most common questions, and we will plan more free webinars as needed to respond to emerging issues.
As Much as 11 percent of Houston Apts Rendered Uninhabitable:Yardi Matrix
Sept. 13: Yardi Matrix estimates that between 45,000 and 72,000 units—or 7 percent to 11 percent of the multifamily universe—were rendered uninhabitable.
Although a full assessment of Harvey’s impact on commercial real estate will take many weeks or even months, an initial analysis by Yardi Matrix found that the damage to multifamily properties was less than what could have transpired given the record rainfall.
Property Management Executive Offers Valuable Words about Hurricane Preparedness
Sept. 13: CLEAR Property Management President Courtney Gaines manages 14 assets overall in Austin, Dallas-Fort-Worth, San Antonio and Houston; with two being in Houston.
“We were so fortunate; our two assets in Houston sustained minimal damage of minor window and roof leaks only,” Gaines says. “No exterior damage and no resident injuries. No residents were displaced.”
Gaines advises that property managers who are privy to oncoming weather emergencies to “first and foremost, listen to weather advisories and heed the warnings of all local, state and federal authorities.” She says property managers should call a meeting with the staff and review your company’s preparedness guidelines and procedures on “What to Do After the Storm”; check the property’s supply checklist with the maintenance supervisor (ex: do you have batteries, flashlights, gasoline in two large jugs, sand bags, plywood if your asset is in the direct path of the storm, shut off irrigation and lower the pool water level to an acceptable level.
On the leasing side, Gaines says to prepare a letter for the residents, outlining the preparations the onsite teams have made and convey to residents what steps they should take to secure their belongings, including asking them to remove their belongings from their patios and balconies. Emergency phone numbers also should be provided.
Additionally, CLEAR made sure it had adequate bottled water onsite, a stocked first aid kit and plenty of tarps and lumber supplies.
“The most important thing is to make sure residents are over-communicated: post signs onsite and send emails and mass text messages,” she says. “In situations like this, over communication isn’t a bad thing.”
Once the emergency situation arrives, it is important to protect the onsite team, Gaines says. “During the event, CLEAR kept a close eye on the assets and stayed in constant contact with the teams and the residents through email and social media blasts.”
Once the hurricane or weather emergency moves out, and officials have deemed the area safe to return, the onsite teams need to survey the damage, talk to residents and helping anyone in immediate need.
“We addressed the aforementioned leaks, and scheduled vendors and contractors immediately,” Gaines says. “CLEAR continued to communicate to the residents on FEMA actions, and pointed out where shelters were in case loved ones were in unsafe areas.”
Properties that have not been damaged and yet stand in an area where emergency weather events occur should craft emergency plans, including steps needed for an evacuation.
Gaines advises to regularly hold safety meetings that not only speak to regular OSHA safety, but during peak seasons for hurricanes and tornadoes, property managers should revisit those policies and procedures to be ready for any situation.
“Be alert and proactive when an event is known to occur, stay focused on communication and know what your safety maintenance list is and what supplies from it you need,” she says. “Preparedness is easy, but is often overlooked in the training of teams on a quarterly basis.”
Gaines reminds, “Without our teams, we cannot focus on our residents’ needs after the disaster. Communication is the key to preparedness and success.”
Irma Spares Some Affordable Housing Owner/Managers
Sept. 13: Says Tom Capp, COO of Gorman & Co. “The big picture is that we built all those properties in recent years with top-grade materials to meet hurricane codes. A lot of thought went into how they deal with severe winds and storm surge,” Capp says. “Something we’re very proud of is that we designed and built those projects, and they withstood a major Category 4 hurricane.”
No Noticeable Spikes in Rents. Texans Wouldn’t Consider That Proper.
Better World Holdings issued a report last week about what it was seeing on the front lines of apartment living in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey.
“Vacant apartments are filling fast and leasing specials have disappeared. What we are not seeing is a noticeable spike in rents. Texans would not consider that proper. With tens of thousands of dwellings in the region impacted, many are searching for housing alternatives. Flooded homes fall into two categories, those that are habitable, and those that are not. After an event like this, we officially consider a multifamily unit habitable if it is closed-in, dry, has utilities, a working A/C and essential appliances. It does not need to have carpet, sheetrock, baseboards, or insulation – some green-board between units is all you need. Most residents are anxious to return to their home, and many have done so already. They are generally understanding about flooring and sheetrock. This is the situation with the vast majority of flooded homes. Relocation for most people is only an issue for a few weeks. In apartment communities, simply moving upstairs is often a viable option.
“For those with flood and loss-of-rent insurance, Harvey will be more than survivable and a better world is just around the corner. Those without these buffers will be faced with paying for repairs little-by-little out of the cash flow generated by functional units. Lenders, of course, must be paid first. The financial strain for some is likely to become too much.”
No-Cost Emergency Inspections Offered in Harvey, Irma Areas
Sept. 12: InfoTycoon is offering no-cost emergency inspections to apartment owners/operators affected by the hurricanes through a new program called InfoTycoon Cares.
In the aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster, InfoTycoon’s Inspections mobile software platform can be leveraged to inspect and document damages to community amenity areas, apartment interiors, building exteriors and more.
This can assist owners and managers as they calculate damages, facilitate repairs, file insurance claims and help their residents. Its award-winning mobile software platform offers real-time access to inspection progress and conditions with photographs, and automatically provides estimates for repair costs.
“We hope apartment owners and property management firms will take advantage of the InfoTycoon Cares program,” InfoTycoon CEO Kevin George says.
HUD Summary Statement on Texas’ Section 8, FHA Properties
Sept. 12: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Multifamily Housing last week released the following summary information about federally-assisted properties in Texas that were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This information includes Section 8 and Insured communities.
There are 454 total properties in the impacted area, accounting for 50,818 total units; 20,971 of which are assisted. An email blast (see below) went to all Section 8 properties before the hurricane to remind owners of disaster preparedness and maintaining contact information with residents.
Site assessments by HUD staff began Sept. 11. HUD staff will visit all damaged properties over the next month and perform assessments. REAC inspections and MORs in a Presidentially Declared Disaster (PDD) are on hold for 90 days.
There is guidance for Section 8 and FHA insured property owners in Handbook 4350.1, Chapter 38. This includes information on escrow releases, mortgage payments and delinquencies, accepting displaced residents, etc. There is a Statutory and Regulatory Agreement requirement for owners of properties insured under Section 221(d)4 to accept applicants displaced by a disaster.
The focus on securing vacant apartment homes is on the Southwest region. HUD will work with FEMA to provide updates. Additionally, HUD staff will work with owners on expedited reserve for replacement releases for repairs. HUD held mortgages, like Section 202 loans, may request deferment on payments and owners can request a delay in submission of annual audited financial statements.
A website has been established with information and guidance in the event of a storm event or disaster. Visit HUD disaster guide with a particular focus on Chapter 38.
Following an event that impacts residents and properties, HUD has reporting obligations based on information staff obtains from Owners and Management Agents of HUD insured and/or assisted properties. Owners and Management Agents are obligated to always immediately report physical damage to a property interior or exterior that has resulted from a fire, flood, wind, severe cold, or other natural disaster or weather event. It is most convenient for all parties if Owners and Agents proactively report to HUD. Owners are encouraged to complete and forward damage assessments to HUD. Please use the forms as follows:
For a FEMA Declared Emergency or Disaster: Preliminary Disaster Assessment (Appendix A-3 of Chapter 38 of Handbook 4350.1.)
For an Event not declared by FEMA: Basic Damage Assessment
HUD requests that communities forward the appropriate Assessment Form within 24 hours of the damage. Either form should be legibly handwritten and emailed to [email protected].
Updated reports should be submitted as additional information is available concerning resident displacement or regarding the level/amount of damage sustained. While the Department is not a payee on an insurance loss draft for a property with an insured mortgage, HUD must still be notified of the event and any damage sustained to the property. Contact HUD at 678-732-2743.
Owners/agents are responsible for:
- Developing an emergency relocation plan to relocate residents prior to the storm especially at 202/811 Elderly or Disabled Properties and nursing homes;
- Developing a pre-disaster checklist that is shared with tenants in case of a disaster;
- Ensuring that the property and records are secured and that residents’ possessions and valuables are secured and protected to the greatest extent possible.
- Contacting FEMA for on-going guidance and instruct residents to register with FEMA through 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or www.fema.gov.
- Applying for assistance with FEMA, Small Business Administration, Housing Finance Agency and others;
- Contacting the local HUD office following a disaster;
- Providing a status report for the residents and property condition;
- Ensuring that residents provide EMERGENCY contact numbers;
- Determining the extent of damage, security needs, resident property protection needs, etc.
- Contacting the property’s insurance provider to apply for property and business interruption claims;
- Maintaining inventory of all residents, property, phone numbers, mailing address, and emails;
- Determining which residents have been displaced due to unit damage or a failure of a major building system such as the electrical system, etc.; and
- Tracking each displaced resident’s temporary location and maintain contact information for each displaced resident, particularly if the property will likely have units off-line for more than 30 days.
Important Contact Information:
Florida Emergency Information Hotline: 1-800-342-3557
Information on shelters, road closures, and evacuation routes. http://www.floridadisaster.org
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-621-3362 – https://www.fema.gov/
American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org 1 800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
Salvation Army- http://www.salvationarmyflorida.org (813) 962-6611
Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing www.rd.usda.gov/fl (352) 338-3402
Florida Housing Finance Corporation http://www.floridahousing.org/ (850) 488-4197
HUD's housing discrimination hotline: 800-669-9777 (Voice), 800-927-9275 (TTY)
Irma Rips Roof Off; Floods 12th Floor-Apartment
Sept. 12: Video captured Hurricane Irma tearing the roof off of an apartment community in Miami. Also in Miami, two filmmakers recorded water seeping through the walls and ceiling of their apartment in a 12th-floor downtown building.
Sixty People Evacuated from Rivera Beach Apartments
Sept. 12: In Rivera Beach, Fla., 60 people were evacuated from two buildings that sustained significant roof damage from Hurricane Irma.
Tree Topples Onto South Carolina Apt Building
Sept. 12: Irma’s winds wreaked havoc in South Carolina, knocking a tree down on a small apartment community owned by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. The residents, who are college students, have been relocated. Read More
CMBS Loans at Risk in Harvey, Irma Areas
Sept. 12: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could put $68 billion of CMBS loans at risk, according to Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings. While GlobeSt.com’s Paul Bunby did not specify how much of that $68 billion comes from apartment loans, he did mention that servicers “are generally expected to waive late fees and default interest for borrowers in the affected area who are unable to make timely September mortgage payments.” Read More
Through 401(k) Rules, How Tax Reform Could Help Hurricane Victims
Sept. 11: Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady, head of the House Ways and Means Committee, is floating several proposals intended to provide relief for those suffering from the devastating storms. Chief among them is a measure to allow affected residents to access their 401(k) retirement savings without paying a penalty.
NAA Statement on Efforts to Those Affected by Hurricanes
Sept. 8: As the flood waters recede from the Gulf Coast and Irma threatens Florida, NAA is working with our affiliates and members in the affected areas to assess the depth and breadth of impacts from these hurricanes and to support recovery efforts. Following is a summary on actions by the federal government in this area and ask for your help as NAA engages with policymakers.
The industry can play a role by letting us know what Congress or a government agency can do to address gaps in existing recovery programs and other issues to speed your recovery and bring your business back online. Send an email to [email protected] and tell us:
- How have you been impacted by Harvey or Irma?
- Are you accessing federal recovery resources through FEMA, the Small Business
- Administration or other federal agencies? What has been your experience?
- What are the remaining obstacles to bringing your apartment community or rental housing property back to full operation?
The more specific you are, the more precise we can be in our outreach to federal regulators and lawmakers.
Freddie Mac: 90-Day Forbearance on FEMA-Designated Flood Zone
Sept. 8: Freddie Mac formally announced a 90-day forbearance on properties impacted within the FEMA designated flood zone. Fannie Mae updated their announcement, but did not offer anything new on multifamily.
NMHC Guidance for Apartment Firms and Residents
Guidance for Apartment Owners/Operators
Guidance for Residents
Texas Apartment Association Offers Free Harvey Webinar Sept. 21
Sept. 8: Hurricane Harvey is having a massive impact on the apartment industry and the residents we house. This one-hour webinar will offer rental property owners, managers and supplier partners an opportunity to get the latest information on response to the storm and what comes next.
FEMA, City of Houston, Consider Buying Flood-Ravaged Apt Communities
The city of Houston, which has historically shied away from buyouts, is now discussing them with FEMA, Mayor Sylvester Turner said, reports The Houston Chronicle. “But if the city buys out flood-prone apartment buildings, the problem then becomes finding affordable housing for the residents, many of them low-income,” Turner said, according to the Chronicle.
Irma Forcing Student Housing Communities to Close
Sept. 8: As most Texas universities affected by Hurricane Harvey resumed normal operations on Sept. 5 and are making student housing arrangements for students displaced by the storm, schools in Florida are starting to close in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, reports Axiometrics, a RealPage company.
NY Property Manager Relates ‘Sandy’ to ‘Harvey,’ ‘Irma’
Sept. 8: Henry Dubro of Douglas Elliman Property Management shared these thoughts on his experience with SuperStorm Sandy in 2012 and its relevancy to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma:
Yes, I had to work with recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy in Coney Island and in Carnarsie. Most work necessary in Coney Island was with the property’s insurance adjusters. Within 1 to 2 weeks the adjusters were onsite, working with my staff, and giving us the necessary assistance to begin the necessary work on my site.
What helped the board of directors and owners the most was that an ongoing point of contact was assigned to our insurance adjusters and engineer, and an individual kept track of the expenses for the work that was being done.
In Carnarsie (Brooklyn), our condominium did not have very good insurance coverage and could not get a SBA Loan. It instead had to work with the Build it Back Program for NYC. The work has finally started, and the condominium association has received more than $1.5 million in grant money from Build it Back. Through this painstaking process, it has taken until this past summer for it to begin.
The time and effort that Texas and Florida communities who work with FEMA and perhaps sub-grantees to FEMA will be extensive. Every step needs to be documented.
- It’s not going to be quick. Repairs to some communities that had poor insurance did not start until five years later.
- Start taking pictures and documenting everything ASAP, including work and communications.
- Assign a point person to seek assistance, track assistance, and communicate with all parties: insurers, contractors, government and residents. In other words, while different management personnel may deal with each of these individually, based on knowledge or job responsibility, there needs to be an individual who filters it so that actions or messages are not lost or miscommunicated.
Freddie Mac Statement on Adjusted Servicing Standards for Disasters
Sept. 8: Freddie Mac is providing continuous updates on its Servicing Standards for properties experiencing hurricane damage. “While we continue to work with all of you to assess property damages, we have developed an approach to dealing with impacted Borrowers and their properties and associated loans.”
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Provides Rural Housing Assistance
Sept. 8: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development provides these resources and information in regard to the ongoing hurricane crisis.
HUD Provides Consumer Resources in Regard to Hurricanes
Sept. 8: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides these resources and information in regard to the ongoing hurricane crisis.
Fannie Mae Provides Consumer Resources in Regard to Hurricanes
Sept. 8: Fannie Mae is redoubling efforts to provide support and assistance through this ongoing hurricane crisis. This link provides a variety of information.
Senior Living Providers Opens Door to Irma Evacuees
Sept. 8: A Tallahassee senior living provider opened its doors to those escaping the path of Hurricane Irma. On Sept. 1, Mike Schmidt quickly responded to a call asking for help, relocating 100 seniors from the Naples, Fla. community they call home.
Realtor: These Houston Communities Fared Best vs. Harvey
Short-term rentals in these Houston communities are expected to spike, according to Keller Williams Memorial's Paige Martin, who has compiled a database of more than 100 neighborhoods and 115 condominiums in Houston that made it through the storm relatively unscathed, reports The Houston Chronicle.
Notice of Fine for Houston Renter That Went ‘Viral’ Found Inaccurate
Sept. 7: A photo of a sign hanging on an apartment door about a fine based on damage from Hurricane Harvey that went “viral” was found to be inaccurate because, in reality, according to the property’s homeowner’s association, the notice did not come from Randall Management and thus was not enforced.
18-Wheeler of Supplies Heading to Texas: Hatching Hope
Sept. 7: Hatching Hope’s 18-wheeler truck will leave Birmingham, Ala., on Sunday, heading for Texas. The organization raised $15,000 in supplies from its social media campaign and has received donations from a number of organizations.
“We are overflowing with support here at the warehouse and volunteers have been working day and night to organize and pack disaster relief and clean-up supplies,” says Keli Lynch-Wright, Executive Director, Hatching Hope of Alabama.
As Hatching Hope sends supplies to Texas, it is watching Irma.
“We will assess needs from Irma and shift our focus there,” Lynch-Wright says.
Home Depot Updates Service Status in Florida, Houston
Sept. 7: All Home Depot stores are now operating in Texas and are serving customers. Stores are receiving product deliveries daily to ensure that local customers have what they need for their clean-up and recovery/rebuild efforts, according to Rich Nyberg, Senior Manager, The Home Depot.
Regarding Irma, Nyberg says a state of emergency has been declared in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The Florida Keys are under mandatory evacuation and the two Home Depot stores there are closed.
“We will have rolling store closures as the hurricane goes up the coast,” Nyberg says. “Our Puerto Rico stores are looking okay, but we do not have firm information about our stores in the Virgin Islands.
The Home Depot has halted marketing efforts in Houston, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and the entire state of Florida for the next two weeks, says The Home Depot’s Caroline Josey.
LMC Parent Company Lennar Donates $1 Million to United Way-Houston
Sept. 7: Lennar has pledged $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund. The homebuilding company will also match employee contributions.
“Lennar and all the subsidiaries are doing this together through the Lennar Foundation,” LMC Vice President of Marketing Beth Tuttle says. “As of yesterday, another $333,000 has been raised by associates and will be matched by Lennar.”
Tips for 24x7 Resident Communication Strategy
Sept. 7: Prospect Management System company Anyone Home offers this advice to apartment communities seeking to craft a 24x7 resident communication strategy during a weather crisis:
- Make sure you have a cloud-based phone system. If your phone system relies on equipment based onsite or in an office space that is at-risk, secure a Google Voice, Nextiva or other, 100 percent cloud-based system.
- Make sure you have access to update the voice-mail options on your phone system remotely.
- Have a plan for who will update the message and when.
- Immediately notify all residents that you will provide updates on your voice-mail system.
- Set-up an escalation path for emergencies. Determine who will be contacted and in what order.
- Have access to a conference call platform so you can quickly jump on group calls, as necessary.
- Designate someone outside the risk area to respond to inbound emails and calls. – Todd Katler, Anyone Home
Pinnacle Issues Statement on Houston, South Florida Conditions
Sept. 7: Pinnacle’s Regional Vice Presidents in the Houston report that all Pinnacle communities are open and operating, although two sustained significant damage because of flooding on the north side of Houston and in Dickinson.
“Pinnacle is doing everything we can to assist our residents who have suffered great loss and we are working diligently to find them homes in a market where inventory has been greatly reduced,” Suzi Smith, Director of Corporate Marketing, Pinnacle says.
Pinnacle is also assisting 14 employees who have been directly impacted by Harvey, many losing homes, cars and extensive personal items. Some are still unable to return home to determine the full extent of damages to their homes. A Pinnacle Cares Program is available to lend a hand in their time of need.
In regard to South Florida, Smith says Pinnacle RVPs report two of its communities in Broward County fall within the Hurricane Irma mandatory evacuation zone. Residents and team members are being instructed to leave the area, Smith says.
Map Shows Mosquito Danger Areas in Houston
Sept. 7: Mosquito-control officials are monitoring 1,800 square miles of the Houston area, with some experts recording 30 or more bug landings per minute, according to Fox News.
TV News Reports on Houston Apt Association Action Line
Sept. 7: The Houston Apartment Association (HAA) continues to field calls about renter rights, including topics such as breaking a lease and general repairs. Call HAA at 713-595-0300 for free help. “You should keep in mind these answers are general and do not apply to every specific situation,” according to the ABC 13 Eyewitness News segment.
HAA Takes More Than 200 Calls on Tuesday about Harvey
Sept. 7: Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said his agency took more than 200 calls on Tuesday from apartment residents affected by Harvey. Many were in regard to renters’ rights.
According to Texas law, once a unit is deemed “totally unusable,” either the tenant or the landlord can decide to terminate the lease at that time, he said.
Texas Community Gives Residents Five Days to Vacate
Sept. 7: A community damaged by Hurricane Harvey is giving its residents five days to vacate.
“When we have that situation, we can’t have someone living there,” Ian Douglas, Chief Operating Officer of Allied Orion, told local TV station KRISTV.com. “It also is a worst-case scenario for the complex, he added, because rent deposits will have to be refunded and no rent will be collected until the community is renovated.”
TAA Begins Releasing Housing Portal Information
Sept. 6: TAA is adding links to housing availability portals on its Resource Page, and will add additional links as they become available. Links currently include Yardi's portal and Entrata's portal.
Legal Advice from HAA for Apt Owners: Quick Q&A
Sept. 6: Apartment owners and managers who have suffered through Hurricane Harvey and have basic questions about things such as terminating leases and evictions, Howard M. Bookstaff, General Counsel for the Houston Apartment Association, has answers for those who use the standard Texas Apartment Association Lease.
If your community has absorbed significant damage, you do have the right to terminate leases, according to Bookstaff. But that means you must also return the security deposit. The resident can also terminate the lease if it is “totally unusable for residential purposes.”
“This [if the community is totally unusable for residential purposes] will depend upon a number of factors, including the type of damage, how long repairs will take, and whether someone can live in the unit while repairs are being made,” Bookstaff writes. “If you have damage that will take a couple of days to repair, the argument that the unit was totally unusable for residential purposes would probably not carry much weight. If, however, the unit cannot be lived in for a period of weeks, the resident might have a better argument that the unit is totally unusable for residential purposes.”
Bookstaff also addresses pivotal issues such as offering leases to residents displaced from other communities, the amount of time apartment owners have to make repairs and possible restrictions to transferring residents to other units.
Florida Apartment Association Posts Resrouces in Advance of Hurricane Irma
Sept. 6 From FAA: As Florida closely watches Hurricane Irma, multifamily owners and managers have a unique challenge to provide information and support to residents as well as to protect property. FAA has established a resource of recommendations gathered from apartment associations and management companies that have experience dealing with hurricanes. The information is available from a link on the front page of the FAA website or directly at https://www.faahq.org/news/resources-for-hurricane-preparedness.
Apt Assn of Greater Orlando Posts Resources
Sept. 6: Apartment Association of Greater Orlando provided these resources about emergency shelters in its five surrounding counties to its members who are preparing for Hurricane Irma: www.AAGO.org/emergencypreparedness
Bell Partners Opens Communications with Florida Communities
Sept. 6: Bell Partners, based in Greensboro, N.C., began reinforcement communications with its Florida property managers a couple of days ago with its Bell Emergency Response Plans.
Bell Partners sends its team members appropriate language for the messaging they are to give to residents based on their situations, such as evacuation procedures or power failure.
“We are also conducting daily calls and email updates at both the local and the regional and corporate levels to queue resident communications,” says Kevin Thompson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Bell. “At this point, we are awaiting more direction from the Weather Services, about the path of Hurricane Irma (expected to hit the East Coast by Monday). Given that we have communities from South Florida all the way up the East Coast, we will have to evolve our plans as Irma shifts her direction.”
How to Recover a Boiler System After a Flood: TAA
Solid, basic information about how to recover a boiler system after a flood is provided by Texas Apartment Association. Pinnacle’s David Jolley, CAMT, adds, “The insulation, and what it is made of, is the biggest problem. The refractor, after sitting in water, sometimes will fall out like mud, and sometimes it will stay in place and dry out once the boiler is turned on. You just have to watch out for it.”
Statement from Asset Management’s Meggan Shaw-Butler, VP of Asset Management
Sept. 6: “Regarding Houston, we were exceedingly fortunate to have limited damages within our equity portfolio. Roof leaks and minor water penetration was our primary issue. Other properties in our loan portfolio experienced mixed issues, ranging from roof leaks to site-wide flooding.
“As for Florida, our hurricane preparation plans are focused resident preparedness and site clean-up and lock down. We are working with our management company, BH Management, to ensure all residents residing within our Florida portfolio are aware of the potential catastrophic nature of the storm, know any and all evacuation routes for their area (if needed), and have adequately prepared their apartments (supplies, removal of patio furniture, trash, etc.). We are working to remove any and all loose items (furniture/décor/landscaping) that could potentially be moved by wind or flooded.
“We also are making sure that our onsite staff have sufficient time and capacity to ensure that their loved ones and homes are secured and prepared for the storm.”
Irma Scheduled to Reach East Coast on Monday
Sept. 6: Described as more dangerous than Hurricane Harvey, category 5 Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall on the East Coast on Monday. The Southeast Florida Apartment Association and North Carolina Apartment Association are among those to post hurricane preparedness resources, including those specific to communities and to residents.
Additionally, standing by to answer questions about challenging property management predicaments is Tammy Esponge from the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans. Having worked through Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she and her organization are uniquely qualified to speak to best practices.
She can provide a hurricane awareness and recovery booklet. Its purpose is to provide suggestions for property management companies to prepare pre- and post-emergency and recovery procedures to protect their residents and properties. This book is only a guide, this is not law and you should check with your company’s policy before implementing any action. If you have any questions or concerns about the guide please contact Tammy at 504-888-2492 or [email protected]
Camden Expects Up to $3 Million in Harvey-Related Expenses in Q3
Sept. 6: Camden Property Trust announced Tuesday that it expects to incur approximately $2.5 million to $3 million in expenses during the third quarter of 2017 related to Hurricane Harvey. These projected expenses include approximately $1.5 million to $2 million in repairs for property damage to apartment communities located in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, after considering insurance reimbursements; and approximately $1 million in other storm-related expenditures including donations for disaster relief efforts. Camden will provide an update to its full-year 2017 earnings guidance in conjunction with its 3Q17 earnings release scheduled for late October 2017.
Hurricane Harvey, a Personal Perspective
By Dom Beveridge, EVP Demand Generation, The Rainmaker Group
Sept. 6: Like most people in Houston these past few days, I've never seen anything like Hurricane Harvey. What our previous experiences had not prepared us for was the next 24 hours, having to endure incessant, driving rain. Two feet of water fell on Houston during that period, and if you were there to hear it and see it, that measurement seemed unsurprisingly low.
Flood waters rose. Roads closed. Water in the Buffalo Bayou - close to my house - rose so high that a friend’s fourth-floor apartment was completely underwater. I walked in the rain to the Bayou - and saw the staggering water volume. Living close to downtown, I am surrounded by large apartment developments. I could see one - close to the Bayou - that had flooded on at least one floor.
Very few cars were on the road, but those I did see amused the crowds that had gathered to check out the water. Some cars drove gingerly toward the water before sensibly turning around and leaving. Others accelerated through very deep water - exactly the thing we were told not to do - and drew applause when they came out safely on the other side. One pickup truck has been stuck in deep water for several days - a driver’s confidence doesn't always pay off.
Since the water rose, I have been able to drive about a mile from my house, but little farther. Stores were closed for days, and the few that opened quickly ran out of food. Driving a car became pointless, other than for the important purpose of donating. The city converted its convention center into a huge dormitory, and Houstonians responded by giving clothing, towels, diapers, pet food and all other household items that were now essential to the thousands of people who had suddenly lost everything.
Scenes at the convention center were shocking and heartening at the same time. Thousands of people in a desperate situation mingled with hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to help sort donations, organize bedding, food, etc. There was a traffic jam to get to the donation point - it felt like the only place in the city worth driving to.
People showed up asking if they could volunteer. Human chains formed and attacked the daunting work of getting supplies to people who needed them. People donated their kids' toys - imagine trying to entertain young children when all you have is a bed in a room with a thousand beds. Houston is a sad place in the aftermath of Harvey, but can also be proud of the way that its citizens supported one another through the hardest of times.
Statement from Weidner Apartment Homes’ VP of PR Greg Cerbana
Sept. 6: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Houston and all areas touched by the Hurricane. Many of our associates have friends and loved ones directly affected by the worst of the flooding, and it appears that this event could be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. History. Although the worst is over in terms of weather, catastrophic flooding from all the rainfall the area has seen over the past week will continue for some time.
In response to this tragedy and on behalf of the 1,400 associates that work for us, Weidner Apartment Homes will be making a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross to assist with relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey. We join both the Texas Apartment Association (TAA) as well as National Apartment Association, which each has contributed $10,000 to the Red Cross.
Additionally, Weidner will be supporting the efforts of our partner - the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC - in their campaign to raise money for Harvey disaster relief. We will match all funds generated from the sale of a special edition “Texas” jersey they are selling on their website, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be matched, and then sent to the Red Cross. Please click on the Switchbacks link above for information and to purchase one and aid in the recovery.
For anyone searching for a list of major charities and ratings for each one, Charity Navigator has all of that information right in one place.
It’s in times such as this where we see the very best come out in our fellow neighbors without regard to race, color or creed. Where the divisions and the challenges we face as a nation give way to human decency, concern for the less fortunate and a focus on the welfare of others. We’re grateful for all the efforts of first responders and regular citizens alike, and hope we can provide some #HelpforHouston through our collective efforts.
Statement from Monogram Residential CEO, President and COO Mark Alfieri
Sept. 6: “The Monogram family is extremely fortunate and grateful that despite the challenges our teams in Houston and their loved ones have endured, all are safe and dry. But we are keenly aware of the suffering and loss that continues to unfold in Houston, and to show our support for our Houston colleagues and their community, we’ve pledge $10,000 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. We’re encouraging our teams and residents across the country to join us by contributing in any way they can to the Red Cross, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the Houston SPCA. We know the days and months to come will be challenging, but we’re inspired by the outpouring of generosity and compassion from within and outside of our Monogram family.”
As Many as 100,000 Houston Apartments Flooded
Sept 5: According to data compiled by Apartment Data Services and the Houston Apartment Association (HAA), 89.1 percent of Houston’s approximately 639,000 apartment units were occupied just before Harvey hit, leaving about 70,000 vacant and most of those (26,000) in luxury apartments.
Andy Teas, VP of Public Affairs for HAA, said Friday that Harvey’s damage is still being assessed and so numbers are far from certain, but that estimates have ranged between 40,000 and 100,000 units being flooded — including an untold number of vacant units.
Some Apt Communities Take On Seven Feet of Water: HAA
Sept. 5: According to Houston Apartment Association’s Michelle Pawelek, in an interview Friday with NPR, as many as one-sixth of the 600,000 rental units owned by HAA members have some damage.
“We've had properties that just have minor damage, window leaks, roof leaks,” she said. “We have a lot of properties that have anywhere from an inch to seven feet of water in the first floor.”
HAA represents 90 percent of the apartment rental units in Houston.
Texas Student Housing Largely ‘Unscathed’
Sept. 5: University and student housing accommodations emerged for the most part unscathed by Hurricane Harvey, reports Axiometrics, a RealPage company.
As of Aug. 31, the only move-ins significantly affected were those at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, to which residents were to report on Aug. 25.
Operations Advice Offered in Webinar from Lifestyles Unlimited
Sept. 1: Lifestyles Unlimited (LU) is an education and mentoring organization that teaches people how to achieve financial freedom through investing in real estate.
It also offers ongoing operational support in the management of their real estate investments. An instructional webinar for its members was hosted this week by John Ridgway, CPM, President at Celtic Realty Advisors, and a mentor and VP of Multi Family Mentoring at LU. The webinar addresses how to deal with various aspects of hurricane and flood recovery.
Del Walmsley and the entire LU team believe in the abundance mentality and thought it would be beneficial to make the recording of this webinar available to all property owners and managers, regardless of whether they are LU. Please use the following link to access the webinar: https://luinc.wistia.com/medias/agt0qfwued
Reis: Houston Rents Could Spike 10 Percent
Sept. 1: Houston apartment rents could spike by as much as 10 percent following Hurricane Harvey due to declining inventory and surging demand in the next few months, according to Reis, and reported by Bloomberg. This demand will be spurred by those who have been displaced from damaged homes.
CoStar: 27 Percent of Houston’s CRE May Be Flooded
Sept. 1: CoStar reported that 27 percent of Houston’s comercial real estate may be flooded.
“Unfortunately, the number of displaced residents could be far larger than current media reports indicate,” CoStar Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Florance said in a media release. “Our property by property review of the apartment buildings in the floodplain reveals an outsized share are low to moderate income households, including those in Southwest Houston where the bayous have overflowed.”
Mandatory Evacuations for Some Bell Partners Communities
Sept. 1: Bell Partners had eight third-party managed communities in the Houston area impacted by Hurricane Harvey, according to Kevin Thompson, Senior Vice President of Marketing. He says some of the Bell-managed communities have been under mandatory evacuation. Others have experienced first-floor flooding, but residents remain in the upper floors.
BELL is also supporting third-party vendors and emergency personnel who can get boots on the ground.
Thompson says that several of Bell’s associates have lost their homes due to Harvey. The company is prioritizing communication with its associates and its residents.
“Our first line is trying to get communication to and from our associates and residents via social sites or via a crisis line for associates,” Thompson says. “We have an email communication platform for residents. We send daily updates to all of our residents in the Houston area.”
Bell has made a donation to the American Red Cross.
US Residential Skirts Major Flooding
Sept. 1: US Residential has 10 apartment communities in the Houston region.
“To date, we managed to skirt any major flooding at our Houston properties,” Michael Walsh, Vice President, Marketing, US Residential, says. “A few water intrusion issues were reported, mainly in roofs. We are actively monitoring and have teams on the ground assessing any damages while residents move back into their homes. Also, because the dams and levees are being breached, we are continuing to monitor the situation.
“Because we were fortunate to have only minimal damages to our communities, we are able to help out displaced Houstonians for housing needs.”
REIT Apt Inventory in Houston Area
Sept. 1: Outside of Camden Property Trust and MAA, few REITs have a big presence in Houston. AvalonBay has two assets that it picked up in the Archstone transaction, but it has been planning to sell them, according to Green Street Advisors. Houston represents approximately 4 percent of Monogram’s NOI and around 10 percent for Nexpoint Residential. – Green Street Advisors
Pre-Harvey, 47,000 Apartments Sat Vacant in Houston
Aug. 31: With Harvey’s unprecedented flooding causing massive disruption, many of Houston’s 6.5 million people will begin looking for homes in the coming weeks and months.
RealPage calculates that approximately 47,000 of the city’s 662,400 apartments sat vacant as of mid-2017.
“Obviously, some of those apartments have suffered significant damage and will be coming offline,” writes RealPage’s Chief Economist Greg Willett. “Still, the metro should be able to accommodate a major influx of renters more easily than just about anywhere else across the country.”
Right now, there are 21,769 apartments under construction across Houston, though a disruption in the labor force could delay the opening of many of these homes. There could be issues in the absorption of these available apartments, according to Willett.
“Houston is a place where even routine movement from one spot to another is already difficult,” Willett writes. “Now, significant disruption of the metro transportation infrastructure appears likely to make travel troubles even worse. Given mobility woes, the locations of available apartment units could be important to the general recovery process. Furthermore, the price points of these apartments could influence how efficiently the metro can move forward, depending on how severe the flooding proves to be in neighborhoods at various income levels.”
How Tough Is It to Drive Into Houston?
Aug. 31: Right now, it is a day-by-day, hour-by-hour situation,” says Michelle Childers, CAS, Director of Client Services, Chadwell Supply, Birmingham, Ala, and Chair of NAA’s National Suppliers Council.
“[Hatching Hope] has trucks prepared to reach Houston on Thursday of next week but we may experience dams breaking like the one that occurred yesterday or levee breeches sending water back into roadways,” says Childers. “Parts of I-10 are currently closed due to water over roadways, but we are praying this will recede over the next few days as long as the abovementioned does not occur.”
If it can reach Houston, Hatching Hope should not experience any problems getting into the city because they are a 501c disaster relief organization.
“They more than likely have the identification they will need to show to enter Houston next week,” Childers says. “They have provided relief kits and supplies for flooding victim in Louisiana and Mississippi during the past year, so they are an experienced group.”
HAA to Assist With Houston Area Housing Database
Aug. 31: Jeff Hall, Executive Vice President of the Houston Apartment Association, says he’s planning to work with the city and local apartment owners to create a database of apartments that will be available to renters using FEMA assistance.
Chadwell to Supply Shipment for Hatching Hope
Aug. 31: Chadwell Supply is finalizing its relief plans for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the flooding in Houston. Chadwell Supply will be supporting Hatching Hope in their efforts through the following:
Its Houston warehouse will offer Hatching Hope a staging area for distribution of the disaster relief kits and much-needed cleaning supplies that were gathered and put on pallets in Alabama.
Chadwell will donate many supplies needed for clean-up. It is working with those in the area to find out what is most needed as past experiences dictate that these supplies will disappear from shelves quickly in the Houston area as waters recede and clean up begins.
Chadwell will start an active campaign through its Facebook page and those of our employees to raise money for Hatching Hope to purchase the supplies needed for its disaster relief kits with the hope to have this in place by Sept. 1.
It will distribute a fundraising campaign directly to its employees through its intranet and emails to all employees of Chadwell Supply. Hatching Hope has a goal of raising enough money to build 10,000 relief kits.
“We hope our fundraising efforts will help them get to that goal with in the next couple of weeks,” Michelle Childers, Director of Client Services, Chadwell Supply, says.
“We also expect -- that as time allows for those of our employees who wish to get involved – they will help distribute these supplies and kits directly to the apartment communities whose residents so desperately need them by becoming part of the Hatching Hope delivery team,” says Childers, NAA 2017 National Suppliers Council Chairman.
“This has been a hard week for our team in Houston and for those of us standing on the sidelines in other states watching as the devastation unfolds, but we truly believe that working together we can all show the residents who live in the apartment communities in Houston that we truly care. Together we can do all things.”
Hurricane Harvey: Worst Damage Ever
Aug. 31: Hurricane Harvey could cost $190 billion, making it the worst-ever U.S. natural disaster, according to AccuWeather.
Houston Mayor Establishes Relief Fund
Aug. 31: The Houston Apartment Association is sharing a donation site created by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help, Turner established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods.
The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity. https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
Single-Family Rental Homes Hit in Houston: 5,000 Properties
Aug. 31: While it will be time before the full impact of Hurricane Harvey is known, there are just under 5,000 securitized single-borrower, single-family rental properties with a combined value of roughly $832.6 million that may have been affected by flooding in the Houston area, according to Morningstar.
Bainbridge Companies Partners With Miami Dolphins
Aug. 31: The Miami Dolphins are hosting a collection drive to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Bainbridge Companies apartment communities will be collecting donations through Sept 14 to drop off at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Anything that you can donate will greatly help those in need.
Items needed: baby diapers, baby formula, baby clothes, nonperishable food, bottled water, sanitizer wipes, clothing, school supplies, batteries, candles, blankets, feminine hygiene products, toiletries, socks, new underwear (sweatpants & shirts), clothing, hand sanitizer, plates, coffee, creamer, sugar.
Any Bainbridge property in South Florida http://www.bainbridgecompanies.com/investors/portfolio/#state-florida will accept donations on behalf of the Dolphins. Its corporate office at 12765 W. Forest Hill Blvd, Suite 1307, Wellington Fla. 33414 also is accepting donations.
HAA to Assist With Houston Area Housing Database
Aug. 31: Jeff Hall, Executive Vice President of the Houston Apartment Association, says he’s planning to work with the city and local apartment owners to create a database of apartments that will be available to renters using FEMA assistance.
Hatching Hope Mobilizes for Harvey Recovery Efforts
Aug. 31: Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall off the Texas Gulf Coast, Keli Lynch-Wright’s phone has been ringing off the hook. She is happy to take the call.
The Executive Director of Hatching Hope of Alabama, a 501(c)3 devoted to supporting residents who have been displaced from their apartment homes due to fire or other disasters, has been fielding calls from people all around the apartment industry wondering how they could assist her help displaced residents in Houston.
Next week, the organization will send an 18-wheeler with supplies donated by the industry and suppliers to Texas, with plans to make additional trip.
In less than a week, Lynch-Wright has coordinated contributions from a long list of apartment firms and suppliers. Apartment companies, such as Greystar, Brookside Properties, Lincoln Property Co., SPM Property Management, Hawthorne Residential Partners, Bell Partners, Abbey Residential and Carter-Haston Real Estate Services, Wood Residential Services, Providence Management Company, have volunteered properties to serve as drop-off points for supplies. Additionally, she says every affiliate across Alabama is donating supplies and money for the relief effort.
But that’s not all. HD Supply created a catalog for Hatching Hope disaster relief supplies. Anyone can order, with or without an account. Orders are shipped directly to the Hatching Hope warehouse in Alabama. At the moment, there is a desperate need for pillows and sheets. Order through the HD Disaster Relief catalog by e-mailing [email protected]. https://issuu.com/kelilynch-wright/docs/hatchinghopecatalogpdf
“We have several companies like Sherwin Williams and HD Supply that are providing cleanup materials, like buckets, gloves and mops, because we found in the Louisiana flooding [last year] that those supplies were what people needed badly and no one could find them anywhere,” Lynch-Wright says.
Hatching Hope is also running a national drive where people can go on its website (http://hatchinghopeofalabama.org/) and sponsor disaster relief for families, pet kits for pets, teddy bears for children or simply make financial donations. Personal relief kits include an air mattress/or sleeping mat, blanket, pillow, sheets, linens and toiletries. Pet kits include small blankets, food packets, treats, a toy, food bowls and a leash. For children, Hatching Hope offers teddy bears and an activity kit that provides a special note of encouragement from another child.
On Thursday, Hatching Hope will send these supplies to Houston on an 18-wheeler. “We are trying to secure a location to facilitate the distribution of these items,” Lynch-Wright says. We have several industry vendors that are working to secure warehouse space for Hatching Hope.
Once that space is secured, Lynch-Wright knows that her work is not over. In fact, it has only just begun. Her goal is to put together 10,000 relief kits in 15 days to deliver to Houston.
“As the days passed, things are just escalating,” Lynch-Wright says. – Les Shaver, NAA
Houston Apt Damage Estimated at Potentially $16 Billion
Aug. 31: Apartment buildings worth $16 billion of the $55 billion in commercial property in Houston are at risk within the 100-year flood zone, reports CoStar.
Package Delivery Halted Indefinitely
Aug 31: The last deliveries by major carriers such as FedEx, UPS and USPS to the affected communities were made on Aug. 26. “Since then, we’ve heard that carriers have indefinitely stopped deliveries because of the flood levels,” says Melody Ahktari, Luxer One. “It’s too soon to tell when they will resume deliveries; they are hoping for the flood levels to subside.” Please use carrier hotlines FedEx 800-463-3339 and UPS 866-790-8450.
Louisiana Apt Association Collecting Gift Cards
Aug. 31: Gift card donations for evacuees in Lake Charles and the Houston area are being collected by Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans\Houma\Thibodaux & Louisiana. Please contact Tammy Esponge at 504-888-2492 or [email protected] if you would like to contribute. Please send any support by Oct. 1
“Louisiana has experienced several natural disasters during the past 12 years, the outpouring of help to our community in its time of need was unprecedented, Louisiana wants to give back and help those that are in such dire need at this time.”
Industry Contributions Continue
Aug. 31: RentPath is donating $10,000 to the Red Cross relief efforts and giving their associates the ability to donate as well.
Masco, the parent company to many supplier brands, including Behr Paint, is matching employee donations. Additionally, its local Texas teams are in the process of organizing a relief effort to benefit its employees and our customers, says Mario Garita, CAS, National Account Manager.
The San Antonio Apartment Association made a $5,000 direct contribution to the Red Cross and is gathering supplies and having them delivered to those in need in the Rockport area.
Entrata Matching Red Cross Funds to $10,000
Aug. 31: As the enormous impacts of Hurricane Harvey are revealed, Entrata joins the entire multifamily industry in sending our thoughts and prayers to our friends and partners who have found themselves in its path. As the scope of this disaster becomes clear, there are countless demands for assistance in many forms.
In working with our local contacts to determine needs, we have been asked that we encourage financial donations to the Red Cross. In order to facilitate those wishing to help, Entrata has set up a donation link with funds going directly to the American Red Cross, and we encourage you to share this link with your associates and residents. Entrata will match all donations made via this link up to $10,000.
In order to assist with immediate communication needs, Entrata will activate Message Center for all properties in the affected areas for 30 days at no charge. Please work with your Customer Success Manager for help in getting it set up so you can begin sending messages to your residents. -- Chase Harrington, President & COO, Entrata
TAA Releases Hurricane Harvey Response and Important Information for Property Owners
Aug. 31: To assist members in responding to the disaster, TAA has provided important information and resources on its website and social media accounts, as well as added disaster information for renters on its Helpful Info for Renters page. A copy of TAA's communication is available online.
Texas Apartment Association Provides Key Operational Resources
Aug. 30: Potential price gouging through revenue management, Sept. 1 rent payments and termination due to natural disaster or catastrophe lease provisions are among the key topics that Texas Apartment Association is reporting on through its website.
Visit https://www.taa.org/news/taa-red-cross-provide-resources-to-help-members-cope-with-potentially-dangerous-flooding/ for those details, forms and much more.
Apt Assn of Gr. New Orleans Can Troubleshoot Hurricane Recovery Questions
Aug. 30: Standing by to answer questions about challenging property management predicaments is Tammy Esponge from the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans. Having worked through Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she and her organization are uniquely qualified to speak to best practices.
She has graciously offered access to the hurricane preparedness and recovery handbook. The series of documents provides suggestions for property management companies on how to prepare pre- and post-emergency, as well as offers recovery procedures to protect their residents and properties.
This book is only a guide and you should check with your company’s policy before implementing any action. If you have any questions or concerns about the guide, please contact Tammy at 504-888-2492 or [email protected]
Houston Dive Team Rescues Residents in Cloverleaf Community
Aug. 30: On Monday, the Houston Police Department Dive Team worked for several hours to rescue dozens of people stranded at an apartment complex in the Cloverleaf area.
Statement from Lincoln Property Company
Aug. 29: “Rain and flooding in the area have caused significant and devastating damage to the homes of some of our employees and residents in Houston. We have one community in the Cypress Station area that has experienced incredible flooding and we're hopeful others do not fall to the same fate. There are 11 communities experiencing roof leaks, flooded hallways, are surrounded by rising water or have been evacuated. Lincoln Property Company has most community offices open and all community phones are being answered to assist residents with any storm-related issues.
We have set up a donation portal to raise money and assist the residents of our Houston communities. All donations will cover the cost of supplies, food and shelter for our displaced residents. Fortunately, our in-house charity organization, Lincoln Charities, is available for employees and is working to assist them as quickly as possible.”
– Sheri Killingsworth, VP of Marketing and Communications, Lincoln Property Company, Dallas
City of Dallas Collecting Supplies for Evacuees
The City of Dallas is taking in storm evacuees, and supplies are needed to stock the shelters. Many people we are welcoming to our community were unable to bring anything with them as they fled the storm. We will be collecting supplies in the bins located on each floor by the Helix stairs, and bringing them to the Trusted World donation centers each Friday while the need remains. Trusted World is a local Dallas nonprofit organization that works to organize and distribute in-kind donations efficiently - locally as well as directly to the affected areas. For more information about Trusted World please visit: https://trustedworld.org/
The following items are needed per the Trusted World organization:
** New underwear and socks (all sizes)
** Non-perishable food
** Feminine hygiene products
** Baby diapers, wipes, and formula
Lowe’s Hands Out Relief Supplies in Houston
Aug. 30: On Tuesday, Lowe’s Heroes will volunteer alongside First Response Team of America, to help Rockport, Texas, rebuild after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday. The Heroes will hand out Lowe’s relief buckets, complete with disaster supplies, to local neighborhoods that were most impacted by Harvey’s wind and rain.
RealPage Lines Up, Ready to Help
Aug. 30: “We have all hands on deck here to find out ways RealPage can help our customers and employee affected,” the company said.
“We are reaching out to a list of clients impacted by Harvey and letting them know we were thinking of them and to reach out to us if they need assistance.”
A message from Kurt Twining, Chief People Officer, RealPage:
“As Hurricane Harvey continues to challenge the great state of Texas, people all across this nation are reaching out to help flood victims. I wanted to give you an update how this has impacted our employees. We have done several versions of a zip code analysis to see where our employees would have been in the storm's path. Today, knowing the storm patterns, we have identified our impacted employees. We have called every one of them to see how they are doing and have learned that three families as of today require assistance. One may have a total loss of her home. While it is good to know that our employees are safe, there are challenges ahead and this does not include family, business associates and friends who also live in the area.
“It is going to take time for the water to recede, damage to be assessed, schools to re-open and life to return back to some form of normal. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of our citizens who are impacted.”
There are several ways that you can help:
a) RealPage will be setting up a fund to help out our impacted teammates and where personal donations can be made. Our intentions include setting up a payroll deduction where you can direct after-tax dollars to the hurricane relief fund. Hurricane Harvey Employee Emergency Fund will be a one-time deduction.
b) You may want to help out in a broader way by making a donation to the Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/local/texas/gulf-coast
c) Cawley Partners, our Richardson building management company, will also have donation boxes onsite.
d) You may click the attachment called Hurricane Relief Drive and be a part of the City of Dallas relief efforts.
In true Texas spirit, we will get through this and thanks in advance for your support.
Airbnb Waives Service Fees
Aug. 29: Airbnb has waived all service fees through Sept. 25 as part of its disaster response program as applied to the Houston metro area, Dallas and Austin.
Harvey is expected to displace about 30,000 residents, and 450,000 people are projected to seek some form of relief as a result of the natural disaster.
Only Two in 10 Have Home Insurance for Harvey Damage
Aug. 30: Only two out of 10 homeowners in Harvey’s path have insurance coverage, according to Robert Hunter, Director of Insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, USA Today reports.
Damage from the storm is estimated of at least $35 billion, about what Katrina cost. “But in that 2005 hurricane, about half of flooded homes were covered by flood insurance,” USA reports.
Homeowners insurance typically covers just damage from winds, not floods. For that, you need separate coverage from the federally run National Flood Insurance Program. The insurance must be bought by homeowners with federally-backed mortgages living in the most vulnerable areas, called Special Flood Hazard Zones.
MAA Releases Statement
Aug. 30: Memphis-based MAA, the largest apartment owner in the country, has 15 properties throughout the Houston area (4,867 units), which make up roughly 4 percent of its revenue and NOI.
“First and importantly, our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. At this time, the impact of the storms on MAA’s communities has been limited and we have not experienced any significant damage or dislocation of residents. Our teams and vendor partners are actively engaged and working to support our communities.” Tom Grimes, EVP, COO, said in a statement.