December 2020

“…we must come to the table with solutions that are achievable to help to serve our interests as well as those of our tenants.”

Greetings to all our members, friends and supporters to the December issue of the Official California Apartment Journal. I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as your President during these unprecedented times. AACSC has faithfully served the Long Beach and surrounding areas for more than 96 years, delivering quality service in addressing the needs of rental housing providers.

Once again, our members have come together to defeat Prop 21, which would have had a tremendous negative impact on our industry. Our long-time Lobbyist Ron Kingston will provide specific details on all the bills in his column, which you should be sure to carefully read. With your support we have prevailed on several pieces of adverse legislation; however, the war is not over. If we continue to experience an extreme shortage of affordable rental housing at all price points, we will continue to be under attack.

A large number of housing organizations and other related institutions recently reported that without significant Federal interventions, 30-40 million people in America are at risk of losing their homes within the next several months amid the continuing COVID-19 health crisis and turndown in the economy. Even if that number is determined to be considerably lower, it is still devastating. As we all know the need for affordable housing is growing. It is vital that we share information as we are working together on solutions to address the unique challenges of the Pandemic.

We have a new administration that will soon be in place, and we can only hope that Federal funds will soon be coming to assist both tenants and rental property owners. Other apartment associations have attempted to make end roads into our territory; however, we have a proven track record of being the most effective and influential on a consistent basis with our local elected officials. Because of your support and efforts, we were major participants in the local election. We did not succeed in getting all of the candidates that we believed would be best for our interests and the city as a whole; however, we were able to achieve some success.

A good argument could be made that the government has made a mess of the housing industry with their apparent lack of knowledge of economics and all the unfair regulations. We, along with others, have been supporting the Pacific Legal Foundation in their efforts to level the playing field for small rental property owners. As we take a closer look at the current political climate, we realize that we can no longer just say no, but we must come to the table with solutions that are achievable to help to serve our interests as well as those of our tenants.

We are consistently trying to get the message out that we need tenants and business owners, and tenants need us as housing providers. We are not adversaries as some try to make us out to be. We are in business just like the local grocery store, the gas station, and any other business. Have you tried to go to the gas station or grocery store and tell them because you are out of work or because your tenant has not paid you rent that you will pay for the gas or groceries when you get back on your feet? Unless you have been successful at that, why should our tenants be allowed to live in our units in some cases for more than nine months without paying rent while we continue to maintain the property?

I would like for you to join me in thanking our incredible staff and Board Members for all they do during these challenging times. I am sure many of you have noticed that we have greatly increased our education programs and will continue to do so to provide you and your managers the information and tools needed to perform their duties and to protect your interests.

We extend best wishes to you for the Holidays and for a Healthy New Year!