The multifamily space is laden with rules and regulations. And with a new government administration in office, multifamily managers are fighting to bring attention to their issues. In order to better understand the lay of the land, we’ve outlined the hot-topic issues.
We encourage all multifamily managers, owners, and operators to get active and understand the laws that define the industry standards. One of the best ways to do this is attending the upcoming NAA Capitol Conference & Lobby Day.
NAA Capitol Conference
As the NAA Capitol Conference & Lobby Day quickly approaches, multifamily managers are gearing up to get the lowdown. The NAA Capitol Conference is the industry’s largest advocacy event, held on March 5-6, 2017.
Before or after the conference, you can always reference the NAA website to access online resources. From educational videos to recent article, NAA’s website covers trendy legislative topics from tax reform to disability laws in order to help build the understanding of the legislative environment that affects multifamily.
In order to help attendees navigate during the event, NAA has released a new app to make sense of multifamily legislation — whether you’re attending the NAA Capitol Conference & Lobby Day, or merely keeping a watchful eye on how the 115th Congress prioritizes multifamily issues, the app will simply be a lifesaver.
The NAA’s Advocacy 365 app is a valuable resource for multifamily managers looking to stay connected and educated. While conference goers can expect intensive education on key industry issues, the new app offers actionable ways to engage with elected officials and influence the changes important to multifamily success.
NAA App Feature Breakdown
- Build your personalized schedule
- Review helpful talking points
- Explore an interactive Capitol Hill map
- Write personalized thank-you letters
- Stay connected on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Identify all members of Congress and their districts with the congressional map and handbook
And remember, the app isn’t just for Lobby Day — leverage these tools all year round to stay in-tune with the legislative pulse of the apartment industry.
Issues to Address
Before heading out to the conference, be sure to study up on the issues that will be hot topics for discussion. The goal is to reach all 535 members of congress and express the multifamily industry concerns around hot-button topics such as Tax Reform, the National Flood Insurance Program, Americans With Disabilities Act reform, and more. Below are a few Kathy Carlton discussed as key issues in the multifamily space.
Property Tax Reform
While this issue seems to constantly be on the docket, it nonetheless is a hot button issue for the multifamily. In 2017, expect NMHC (National Multifamily Housing Council) and NAA (National Apartment Association) to take action to protect the multifamily industry’s tax reform priorities.
The organizations have directly mentioned addressing the following issues:
- Protecting flow-through entities
- Maintaining the current-law tax treatment of carried interest
- Defending like-kind exchanges; retaining the deduction for business interest
- Ensuring depreciation rules avoid harming real estate
- Preserving the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
These property taxes significantly impact the multifamily industry from owners and operators to developers of multifamily, forcing high taxes to be paid when building, operating, selling
or transferring communities to their heirs.
National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization
The damage caused by floods is extremely dangerous and damaging to multifamily communities. The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization (NFIP) is the only coverage option available to the vast majority of apartment firms across the country.
Since the private insurance market has been hesitant to widely beyond high-value and less-risky multifamily properties, NFIP was created in 1968 to ensure flood coverage was widely available. This lessens fiscal pressure on taxpayers from having to cover 100% of disaster relief for flooded areas and shift some of the burden to property owners.
However, the NFIP is set to expire in 2017. Since it was reauthorized by Congress in 2012, the multifamily industry has benefited greatly from the coverage limits the law provided. We encourage Congress to quickly reauthorize the NFIP to ensure flood coverage continues to be available at all times, in all market conditions, and for every at-risk rental property.
Americans with Disabilities Act Reform
Another important issue to support during CapCon is Americans with Disabilities Act Reform. This supports creating communities that are accessible to people with disabilities, lead by the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA). In it’s simplest form this is applied in specific building design features, however through complex building codes and statutory language, various interpretations of design and construction compliance have occurred.
The issue is that existing design guidelines and safe harbors fail to fully address the diversity of multifamily building types and real-world construction conditions, which result in varying interpretations of compliance under the Acts.
Research supports the use of alternative design and construction practices that promote usability and access for those with disabilities. These include the use of reasonable construction tolerances related to pathway site slopes, reach ranges in kitchens and bathrooms, and site measurements.
You can easily make a difference by letting your Congressmen know what action needs to be taken. Be sure to head out to NAA Capitol Conference & Lobby Day on March 5th to show your support!