October 2020

“We have a huge fight with Prop 21, which would be very bad for us for lots of reasons.”

Greetings once again to all our members, friends, and supporters to this the October issue of the Official California Apartment Journal. With all that has occurred over the last seven months, and as we begin the last quarter of 2020, we are looking forward to some positive changes. You certainly do not need me to tell you that this has been the most challenging year we have faced as providers of rental housing. Without a doubt it has been the most challenging for me in my more than 45 years in this industry.

I personally want to thank our members, staff, Board of Directors and our vendors for continuing to remain strong and vigilant as we work together to get through these trying times. I am reminded of an old saying that all twelve o’clocks are not midnight, and that all clouds do not produce rain.

We are in challenging times, and when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I also want to thank those of you that have not only kept your membership current, but have realized the cost to defend some of the adverse legislation and have made financial donations, and I hope those that have not will strongly consider making a donation of whatever you can. We have a huge fight with Prop 21, which would be very bad for us for lots of reasons, including placing single-family homes under rent control and removing vacancy decontrol. I can’t stress enough the negative impact that would have on us.

Ron Kingston, our state lobbyist in Sacramento, has been working diligently on all the state legislation which you can read about in his October “Sacramento Report” column. On the local level, as your apartment association, we have been on the front lines working with the city council and other appointed and elected officials on legislation that we support and working strongly with our allies to defend us against legislation that is adverse to our interest.

We received a response from the Long Beach Mayor’s office acknowledging our letter of opposition to the Mayor’s proposal that would have provided $250,000 for a tenant defense fund which certainly was not in our best interest. We were successful in our first attempt working with the Small Property Owners Alliance (SPOA) in defending the tenant harassment ordinance that would have allowed for large monetary fines against us for something as simple as asking the tenant for the rent.

On behalf of you, our members, we have been working hard at re-framing the message when it comes to us as housing providers. Over the past few weeks, I have been interviewed by several newspapers trying to re-frame our message. Instead of us being recognized as business owners providing housing for our residents and having the expenses of operating our business just as other business operators, we have been characterized as rich, greedy property owners who do not care about our tenants, and that we are just looking to evict them. We all know this is not true and we are working to change that image. I know I am preaching to the choir, but we know that as long as there is a shortage of affordable housing, we will be fighting these issues. Along with our colleagues we are pushing for the government to perform their job and that is to provide vouchers or other forms of rental assistance with those funds directly to us as housing providers.

For those of you that attended one of the classes that our Association has provided to our members in an effort to explain the very complex legislation known as AB 3088, I am sure you gained a lot of information from that class and will continue to avail yourself to the array of classes that we have been providing to give you the latest information as we all work through these complex issues.

Our Association is continuing to work on improving the new way that we provide you information in this new virtual age. As a result of some of the everchanging legislation, we have updated some of the forms in order to comply with the new laws and keep you in compliance.

On behalf of our entire Board and staff, keep safe and we are looking forward to seeing all of you in person as soon as possible.