President's Message

It Sure Is Scary!

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It seems like each year I find out an increasing number of people are Halloween lovers—fanatics even—and the holiday seems to be gaining in popularity all around due to the love people have of graphic shows like Game of Thrones, or their general comfort in becoming more festive, dressing up weird or creepy, and turning their decor toward the dark. People seem to be coming out of the woodwork (pun totally intended) each season to outdo themselves and others in dark, creep-o, or weirdo. And, no—I am not describing some of the bills and propositions circulating in Sacramento each year. (Although I do admit that sometimes there are not many things scarier!) Just making an observation about Halloween is all.

So, in this month’s issue, it seems appropriate to give some safety advice and fun facts I’ve gathered from different sources in time for the holiday.

Fun Facts:

  • Jack-O-Lanterns were first made from turnips.
  • Halloween is more Irish than … St. Patrick’s Day? (What?) Its origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called “Samhain.” Celts believed the ghosts of the dead roamed Earth on this holiday, so people would dress in costumes and leave “treats” out on their front doors to appease the roaming spirits.
    As it evolved, people then had to dance for their treats.
  • In Alabama it’s illegal to dress up as a priest, nun or rabbi, and—get this—in California it’s illegal to use silly string! Really? (Pay no attention no the weirdo comment above!)

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Stay in large groups with a responsible adult (let this carry through to November when you step into voting booths, too).
  • Have flashlights, glow sticks or other lights / reflectors incorporated with costumes so each person can be easily seen.
  • Examine everything carefully before ingesting it (let this also carry through to November in the voting booths before you swallow a bill or proposition before thoroughly inspecting it).
  • Warn all candy-givers, friends and neighbors about the dangers of allowing Prop 10 to pass, and Vote NO!

Tradeshow!

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Trade Show… with a Side of Vote “NO!” on Prop 10


It is that time of year again—one of our favorite times at the AACSC—the Trade Show and Industry Awards Breakfast! There is nothing better than seeing the smiling faces of all those who have been nominated, along with those who have won awards in our industry. It is such a great time for coming together and finally being rewarded for (what mostly seems to be) a thankless job doing the hard work we do running the businesses of housing pro viders and managers. What a tough job it is and what talent, thought, and precision is needed to be successful in any of that.

So much goes into the education and training for these jobs, and it is fantastic to be able to award others, thank them, recognize them, and pat them on the back for so many jobs well done! I know I cannot wait, and I hope you feel the same. Let’s get everyone we can to the Trade Show to accept their awards and nominations as well as to look at updating and/or expanding the use of our masterful vendors and their updated technology, wisdom, and raw desire to help others. The NAA (National Apartment Association) our “Mothership” will also be sharing a booth with the AACSC and we could not be happier that they are stopping in for a visit.

Another thing we love about September is that it’s not November! Yes, the doom and gloom of getting out the vote and combatting the lies and/or myths of what we truly do, think, and wish to see in our industry. We often cringe at the bewildering and unchecked myths being promoted like, “evictions cause homelessness.” Not true—the lack of work/jobs causes lack of funds, which leads to foreclosures/evictions, and unpaid debts of all kinds, which then leads to homelessness. If a person who is working and making a decent wage receives a notice to move, other than being a major inconvenience (I abhor moving too), that doesn’t make them homeless—they can find a new place, which state law gives 30-60 days (more than plenty of time) to do so.

Simply put, as a great friend of the AACSC, Charles Del Campo says, “Homelessness isn’t a housing issue, it’s a jobs issue, and our politicians need to do what’s right to bring the better paying jobs here, and the lost ones back. Instead of using pity to promote a damaging, knee-jerk agenda, put pressure on the politicians to bring better paying jobs back.” I would go further to say that we also need to bring better life and job skills training to our schools and young ones, and we are wasting valuable time and money getting away from these sub jects by focusing on the very broken “fix” of rent control.

Consider this: If people don’t have money to eat, the government and our “feed the hungry” friends never petition/protest supermarkets demanding egg, milk, and produce control (at least they’re not given the time of day if they do). No—the government issues food stamps or EBT (“Electronic Benefit Transfer”) cards, or the Federal Government provides grants to states for food (like with WIC). Why not have an ERT (“Electronic Rent Transfer”) card where people are assisted in that way? If we had a Federal “RENT” and/or “ERT” card program in place the burden is shared (via taxes) and no one group is singled-out or punished; however, well-paying jobs backed by skilled training would be even better! Another great thing to consider about our supermarkets though, is that since there are so many of them they all must compete for business, thus driving prices down. Imagine that…

Housing providers are doing the right things to make our economy flourish and thrive in a free market and our elected officials need to work to do the same. We appreciate and congratulate the officials we have been speaking with who have really been attentive over the last year — truly hearing us out and understanding the consequences of pulling things like Costa-Hawkins off the books and further expanding rent control. The Long Beach City Council, along with our representatives in the State Legislature, have all been especially understanding on approaches for a fair and sustainable fix. This hasn’t moved for too long, but now the wheels are finally turning and eyes are opening to the solutions—and not price control or constant intervention. See you at the Trade Show … and remember: Vote “No!” on Prop 10!

It's Not Over Til It's Over

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Many experts on both sides of the political aisle know full well that our great State’s utmost economic threat right now is the crisis in our housing economy. We mentioned recently about how some laws are just cleverly named but end up doing the opposite of what they are titled, and although I believe that all Americans (all people worldwide, actually) should have a basic healthcare plan—as well as a basic investment, time management, career, education, and retirement plan, too—there is no doubt that the “Affordable Care Act” has indeed not achieved what it was titled. No matter how you feel about the ACA, there is no denying that prices skyrocketed following its inception. Although it made it more affordable for some people, it has not come close to achieving the level of care promised and it pushed prices out of reach of others. It’s much more of a burden for the public than a benefit, and certainly we can do better.

This is the same type of a play on words we are up against now for the “Affordable Housing Act” now being considered across the State, which is the repeal of the one thing keeping current rent controlled cities afloat—the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. As many of you know, Costa-Hawkins allows vacancy decontrol. It keeps rent-controlled cities from directing pricing on vacant apartments, keeps cities from being able to include condos and single-family residences into the ordinances, and keeps from adding properties built after February 1995 from becoming part of a “rent stabilization ordinance.” The latter is one of the most important details of Costa-Hawkins because it keeps new development on the table. Our problem is not a price control problem; it’s a supply problem and a ton of red tape to jump through from city to city to keep development moving forward.

It is no wonder that the NAACP, California Community Builders, United Latinos Vote, California Senior Advocates League, American G.I. Forum, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and CalTax (just to name a few) are all against this repeal and rent control initiatives themselves. It hurts who they want to protect, especially minority communities.

The State and cities really need to make up their minds on what they want to do if they plan to allow an increasing number of people to live/migrate here. If they don’t want to turn people away, then they need to unlock the bottleneck of new development to make a place for new settlement instead of punishing housing providers and current residents by making it impossible to find quality accommodations at an affordable price. I love our melting pot here in LA and I would love to see it expanded, but this isn’t the way.

The repeal of this law (and really the current allowance of rent control to be initiated in cities has been and) will continue to hurt families, workers, and businesses—most of which are the people who it aims to protect, along with the newcomers who are risking a lot moving here.

Look no further than what is already happening in rent-controlled communities to the union workers and specialized tradesmen/women due to those ordinances even with having the ability to increase market rents on a vacancy: Minimum work and purchases (spending by the housing providers) for the upkeep and remodeling of apartments. This affects maintenance supply stores to the workers themselves as well as their office teams—schedulers, billers, and the like. It limits the work of painters, plumbers, electricians, suppliers, builders, pest control companies, gardeners, tax in come for the city, and more—which is not the goal of rent control, but the repeatedly proven reality. This goes much deeper than it seems most of these pushers of the wrong kind of change care to look at. They are taking this at face value—the name only—and making very incorrect assumptions that have already and will continue to reinforce the unintended consequences raining down on our people and economies.

Don’t let this happen. Spread the word and prepare to get out the vote; this is going to be a fight that none of us can afford to lose because it affects every facet of our economy. Keep abreast of what’s going on as well as keep engaging with our Association and PAC. Donate today to help the fight—we all need to get ahead of this before we allow it to destroy our economy and the many pains that will surely follow.

A Revolutionary War, Freedom and Celebration

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This year has proven, as we knew it would, to be a battleground against some of the very freedoms we fought for from 1775-1783: free markets, private property rights, and more.

As historian Forrest McDonald pointed out, “in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 James Madison, Gouverneur Morris, and others listed the protection of property rights as the primary reason for instituting government.” With the recent defeats we’ve been able to serve up, what better month than July to be able to take a moment to celebrate these wins—for property owners and renters alike!

So far, we’ve defeated the Long Beach rent control initiative for the 2018 ballot, along with statewide “housing killer” bills such as:

  • AB 2364 (just shy of complete destruction of the Ellis Act);
  • AB 2925—statewide “Just Cause Eviction”; and
  • AB 2343 (extending 3-day notice period to 10 days). Even though this will most likely move forward, it will be stripped before doing so, and instead of a 10-day notice period it seems it will remain 3-days; but we may have to exclude weekends and holidays in the notice period, so it appears we have met in the middle on this.


For these wins we have none other than you to congratulate! When we called upon you, you stepped up. With the donations of your time, finances and networking you really came together, pulled through, and dug up some huge wins for us all. We cannot be more thankful to you for this! Your action on our Red Alerts and other calls to action were tremendous and we are in awe at what has been accomplished so far.

Contrary to what the naysayers are preaching, this was not just a win for housing providers, but a win for renters as well.

These bills, if passed, would wind up hurting us all far more than helping any of us, and even though we are still doing what we can within the constraints of current law, it is not helping the housing situation much at all, or at least not fast enough. We have all been burdened with far too much red tape and restrictions and in order to fix this housing crisis, builders and housing providers need to be unleashed to be able to create more housing. That alone will make it more affordable just through supply and demand, but we too could certainly work out some great things with our legislators for more affordable housing plans. We are currently doing what we can with our lawmakers to make changes and come to agreements on what works best for all of us in this situation across the state.

Freedom is worth fighting for. The 4th of July—the birthday of our nation—is a battle that has really never ended. We have to be just as mindful of those who would take freedoms away from us who are inside our government just as we would be on the lookout for those outside of our country for the same.

I don’t believe that we have lawmakers who are purposefully trying to strip rights and hurt anyone or anything; we just need to keep everyone up to speed on the dangers of certain laws and the unintended consequences many restrictions can bring, which we have done a fantastic job of doing this year and our lawmakers have really listened to us.

We all love this country, but we all have to remain open and honest in order to get the best from each of us and to back down when we are wrong. We need to work together to look for and listen to better ideas—even from those who we may not be best buddies with or agree with politically; a great idea is a great idea no matter where it comes from.

We have great cause to celebrate this 4th of July.

Take a little time to reflect on who we are, why we are here, the ideas that brought us here, as well as how we can improve as citizens. Labor pains and growing pains are worth it because it brings new life and vigor, so let’s not give up the fight either.

We may have won these battles, but the war still rages and we need to continue our fight, so—just as you did already this year—we still need you, your time, and your resources and are requesting further donations. If you have not already responded to our latest donation request, do so now.

We have to keep up the momentum!

Our American story is one of the most fantastic stories and experiments this world has ever witnessed. Let’s continue to make it better and continue to fight for what’s right. Happy Birthday, America!

Things are heating up...

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With the weather heating up this time of year also comes the heating up of tensions amid the flurry of housing bills introduced at the state level alone, not counting the outbreak in the local municipalities and ballot initiatives for each. It seems like every time we try to move on and progress within our industry, there are others who cannot help themselves into moving backwards— and extremely so. In the case of the manufactured housing crisis, that can only continue to erupt in a negative way when we allow constant intervention in the housing market to punish that market for something far out of the control of those invested in it. It’s that old definition of insanity—doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Madness, indeed.

The people behind these draconian rent control initiatives seem to be preying on the emotions of the people, city after city, by instilling a false hope on the farce of lower rents by regulation (that actually does not happen)—and it’s because they know that most voters are busy being experts at what they do instead of being experts on rent control initiatives and what they do to housing communities and their economies (just recently we discussed how rent control in San Francisco cost the people of the city over $5.9 billion!). There seems to be an issue getting it through to these groups that all prices are rising—we, as neighbors who live in the same cities and state, are not in any way in control of that, nor are we in charge of the money supply or inflation, and we are especially not in control of the ease (or difficulties, rather) of getting new housing timely built.

Taking unilateral action against one area of our vast markets fixes nothing. It does, however, worsen the housing issues that hurts all of us in some way.

When you pay attention to the housing crisis, look no further than the cities across the country that have rent control and there you will typically find the highest rents and the highest homeless populations—doing the exact opposite of what proponents are claiming. Like many acts and ordinances, they are just cleverly named.

Some of the other bills/ballot initiatives being introduced, like “just cause evictions” (which also come with all rent control ordinances), actually protect bad tenants like partiers, drug dealers, and other criminals. The means of getting a bad neighbor out will be nearly impossible, causing even further problems with many good and responsible renters. Nobody wants to live next-door to violent or sick criminals, but these laws will make it so that housing providers are stuck with them causing good people to leave the properties and sometimes with little choice of where to go because the same problems will exist elsewhere and without remedy.

But these so-called “tenant’s rights” activists refuse to face the facts and don’t seem to care much about any of that. Immediately, your right as a tenant to live in a safer/better environment is diminished.

Each time we are faced with these new ordinances, we need to ask ourselves—who does this really protect? Does it protect all tenants or just a select group? Does it punish anyone?

We can change all of this and bring awareness to our communities. Nobody likes rising prices of any kind—just because prices go up certainly does not mean that profits go up. The price of taxes, insurance, utilities, contractors, and maintenance sup plies are continually climbing right along with the price of cars, homes and rents. Together, we can join forces to bring some common sense and pragmatism into our legislation and fight alongside each other without bickering over trivial things that do not really help the matter or our individual causes.

Here are some ways everyone can help: Talk to friends, neighbors and tenants about the unintended consequences of many of these ordinances if voted or signed into law. Donate to our PAC. We know that most people need to be at work all day and cannot take time off for some of these things they wish to fight—but other people do it full time, so we support them while they fight for simplicity and common sense.

Finally, when we issue Red Alerts, everyone can make a huge impact by calling our legislators and sending kind, simple emails to their staff and offices. Thank you for all your help!

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