February 2021

“It is the optimistic outlook that we must look forward to in 2021.”

Greetings once again to all our members, friends and supporters and welcome to the second edition of the Official California Apartment Journal in 2021. I am not sure how you are feeling about time, but for me I cannot believe we are already into the second month of the New Year. Throughout my career in this industry, I am one who always sees the glass as half full instead of half empty. It is the optimistic outlook that we must look forward to in 2021.

We all realize the challenges we face in our industry; however, it is incumbent upon us to look for positive solutions as we enter unchartered areas of our business. It has often been said that it is not what happens to us, but it is how we respond and move forward. With the support of each of you, we can achieve some of the goals that we have set. We all realize that elected officials are coming under extreme pressure from tenants and tenants’ rights groups to place further restrictions on our industry at a time when we can least afford to carve out these unfunded mandates. I personally cannot figure out how anyone can expect our industry to survive when our potential income can be reduced by 75 percent, and we are still expected to provide the same level of service without any reduction in our operating costs until December 2021.

In the news as we were going to press there seems to be a lot of talk about Right to Counsel for all tenants. I may be wrong, but to me this seems so counterproductive. Why would you not use the funds to pay attorneys after legal action has begun instead of providing some assistance to tenants before it comes to legal action? If these various tenants’ organizations really want to assist in keeping tenants in their homes, they need to become engaged early in these cases as opposed to when we reach our last resort, which is legal action. No rental property owner that I know of in my 45 plus years in the business is in the eviction business. First off, all evictions are too expensive; second, they take too much time; and last, but not least, they leave you with a vacant unit, which in most cases requires extensive repairs. We need to encourage elected officials to make better decisions about land use, zoning laws, and incentives for developers to build much needed housing.

On the more positive side, we have been very effective on some of the local housing issues in our area thanks to the support of many of you, along with our incredible staff, board members and our Sacramento lobbyist who keeps us informed on State legislation and what we need to do to become more engaged. I am sure many of you will be taking a lot of new classes and seminars that we have put in place to provide you the latest information you need to effectively manage your assets. We encourage you to take advantage of these classes and workshops.

Our Apartment Association is recognized as the official apartment association serving Long Beach and surrounding areas. We have and will continue to work with our local elected and appointed officials as we work on common goals to achieve the best outcome for all residents in the city, which includes tenants, property owners as well as business owners who have invested in the city in surrounding areas. As we work with all our industry partners on important issues that we face, in many cases there is no bright light, but we must come together to reach an agreement that addresses the concerns of all parties. We look to you, our members, who are in the trenches every day to help us craft solutions that are achievable.

We hope that many of you will consider joining one of our committees where your expertise can be vital to our success. We also ask that those of you who have an interest to consider teaching one of our classes that will provide additional assistance to our members. I assure you that I will make every effort to be accessible to you, our members, as we work together for our industry. Looking forward to seeing you on one of our virtual meetings.