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Around the Nation: May 2018

rental housing industry advocacy

As always, we’re tackling some significant developments occurring in various markets around the country affecting the rental housing industry in this month’s edition of Around the Nation. 

Let’s dive right in.

Rent Control is Not the Answer

In an Op-Ed for the California business and politics blog, Fox&Hounds, housing consultant Timothy Coyle runs down several of the drawbacks of rent control policies that the industry, economists and residents alike have been extolling since the conversation about rent control began.

LA County Strengthens Program Designed to Combat Homelessness

L.A. is working what’s called the “Homeless Incentive Program” for property owners in the city who are helping it tackle a chronic homelessness issue that has persisted for decades. L.A. County subsidizes leases to Section 8 or Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, which is a potent incentive to owners in one of America’s most expensive localities. The program, created in 2016, has a chance to compete for about $11 million in funding for the 2018-2019 budget year, which will go a long way to connecting L.A.’s nearly 58,000 homeless with a means to put a roof over their heads.

Incentives include:

  • Eligibility to receive one month’s worth of rent, or a “holding fee,” for a unit if a property owner agrees to keep an apartment open for an eligible homeless tenant
  • Ability to count on a month’s rent payment if tenants leave an apartment without notice or get evicted
  • Indemnification for up to $2,000 worth of property damage
  • Homeless clients can receive help with application fees, security deposits and move-in costs
Woman Scams Senior Citizen Into Opening Up Rent Control Loophole in NYC

It may seem a little on the nose to actually be true, but in case you somehow missed it, this sordid tale provides one more inch to the growing pile of evidence that rent control policies are absolutely top of the list when it comes to potential for abuse. A 67-year-old woman, who quite possibly scammed a senior citizen in the mid 2000s, will pay roughly $100 in rent this month on her one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village.

NAA/NMHC Begin Work on 2021 National Model Building Codes

Recently, NAA/NMHC made the apartment industry’s case as the International Code Council (ICC) began formal consideration of the next editions of the I-Codes, convening the first-round of 2021 code development hearings. NAA/NMHC are actively participating in the hearings, advocating for specific proposals important to the rental housing industry. The ICC produces the most widely-used family of codes and standards, which provide minimum requirements for all aspects of multifamily design and construction and often serve as the basis for state and local building codes. This year, NAA/NMHC are particularly focused on holding back onerous proposals related to fire protection, building egress and accessibility and have identified nearly 300 proposals that impact rental housing construction.