January 2021

“I believe that we can all agree that 2020 was a year like no other year we have experienced in our lifetime.”

Greetings to all our members, friends and supporters, and welcome to the first edition of the Official California Apartment Journal for 2021. I am truly honored that you, our members, have entrusted me to serve as your 2021 President of this great Association. I believe that we can all agree that 2020 was a year like no other year we have experienced in our lifetime. We can only hope and pray that 2021 will be a much better year for all of us.

With that being said, we are continuing to face tremendous challenges in trying to maintain our properties with the lack of necessary resources that we relied on, not only to maintain our properties, but to improve our properties as well as improve the quality of life for our residents. We truly understand the difficulty that many of our residents are facing as a result of the pandemic that has affected all of us in one way or another. Many have lost their jobs, faced reduced work hours, have rising medical costs for themselves or family members, along with a variety of other events that have put them in a place where they are unable to pay their rent.

We also know that there are those who are just taking advantage of the legislation that has allowed them not to pay their rent.

In my opinion as a rental housing provider for over 45 years, the system that is protecting tenants has very little, if any, consideration for those of us who are providing housing. We are expected to continue to maintain our properties to the same level as prior to the pandemic with very little, and in some cases no, rental income at all. I would ask those who have placed the restrictions on us, how is this fair?

While our elected officials continue to receive their full salaries and benefits, we have tenants and owners who do not know where money for food for their next meal will come from. There are thousands of businesses, large and small, that are going out of business while legislators cannot agree over who should get the money and how it is to be distributed.

You cannot go into the grocery store and get food without paying for it, you cannot drive into a gas station and fill up your car without paying for it, so why are we forced to let tenants stay in our properties without paying rent? Believe it or not under some of these new proposals for 2021 they could live in our properties for nearly 16 months and pay little or no rent, and we cannot evict them because of the eviction moratorium. It may just be me, but I do not understand this. Under the guidance of our Sacramento Lobbyist Ron Kingston, his firm will be providing us contact information and talking points for us to contact our elected officials to educate them on how some of their proposed legislation will do more harm than good.

As housing providers, we can no longer be spectators and sit on the sidelines. We must become active participants in the political process that will determine the future of our investments. Prior to the pandemic, there was already a shortage of affordable housing at all price points, and the pandemic has only made it worse. It is important for our elected officials to remember there is no amount of legislation that will build a single house or provide a place for a homeless person to find shelter. We must solve this homelessness issue with incentives that will lead to the production of more housing. Density bonuses and reduced parking requirements should all be on the table to help us achieve our true mission, which is to eliminate homelessness and provide decent housing.

I am looking forward to seeing you at our next virtual meeting and educational webinars. On behalf of our entire Board of Directors and staff, I wish each of you a very happy and successful New Year!