The Fair Housing Project, a unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina, has been awarded a HUD Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) grant of $325,000 a year for three years. According to a release from Legal Aid, “PEI grants fund nonprofit organizations that conduct testing and enforcement activities to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices.”
We’ve heard from one source that these funds are already being used to ramp up the number of Fair Housing ‘shops’ in the Triangle and Triad areas. We’ve also heard that testers might be telling the site teams at the end of the tour that they’ve “passed” even though that tester has not yet compared notes with any other tester for the property. That could be a problem if the reports don’t match up.
We should stress that these are not formal reports or complaints that we’ve received – they are just the first hint that we’ve had that the Fair Housing Project inspections have increased. The purpose here is simply to inform you that your site teams may see an increase in Fair Housing ‘shops’ and that you might want to consider reinforcing the Fair Housing training that you already conduct.
Every year the National Apartment Association’s Annual Education Conference is the biggest apartment industry event in the country. In 2014 over 8,000 people attended the conference in Denver, CO to hear keynote speakers like Michael J. Fox, to attend any of the dozens of educational sessions, and to visit a trade show floor that featured almost a thousand top-notch vendors. On June 24-27, 2015 the conference will be held in Las Vegas and it’s expected to be the biggest and best yet.
To help make the conference as “do-able” as possible for our members, PTAA has arranged a huge discount on registrations for our members. If you register through us your registration rate will be $575 which is a $150 savings over what it would cost you to register on your own. That’s a savings of over 20%!
Also, if you’re a member of another NAA affiliate in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee or Kentucky you should check with your local affiliate to see if they are offering the discount. If not you’re more than welcome to register through us as well. If you’re not a member of any affiliate or of NAA directly you can still get $150 off the non-member rate.
We’re in the process of setting up our registration system now and should be live in the next week or so. In the meantime we are taking pre-registrations. Simply click here to get a PDF version of our registration form, fill it out and email it to Jon Lowder. Once our registration system is live we’ll get you entered and send you your confirmation number(s) so that you can arrange your housing whenever you’re ready.
From an AP report on new home construction statistics for October, 2014:
Builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.009 million last month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That was a drop of 2.8 percent from September when construction had jumped 7.8 percent to 1.038 million.
The weakness stemmed from a 15.4 percent plunge in apartment construction, a category that tends to have big swings from month to month. Construction of single-family homes was up 4.2 percent, the third gain in the past four months…
While overall construction was down in October, analysts said the weakness was confined to apartment building, which had seen a huge increase in September.
PTAA member – and past PTAA board member – Rebecca Rosario has an article on NAA’s blog titled Four Ways to Keep Residents Coming Back for More:
When potential residents make the effort to call, email, and spend time at searching for a place to call home, most apartment community staffs are on their best behavior, trying to make the positive first impression in hopes to “woo” the prospect into a lease signing, rent paying member of the community. Mutual trust is built, the future looks bright, and hopes are high for a wonderful relationship. Unfortunately, after the lease is signed, the wooing sometimes stops. As a result, down the road the resident gives notice, serves the office with papers, and the sad fact is they want to end the lease agreement. Similar to a divorce, ending the relationship can be a painful, expensive process. You ask yourself, where did I go wrong?
Proactive property managers, and savvy staff know how to not only take care of the obligatory tasks of handling resident(s) needs, they are remarkably good at keeping them (residents) coming back for more and encouraging their friends and coworkers to do the same, creating new resident referrals. -
Visit the blog to see Rebecca’s four ways to keep your residents coming back for more.
Plans for the Pepper Building in Winston-Salem get more interesting by the day:
Nearly two years after closing on the purchase of the Pepper Building and adjacent lot in downtown Winston-Salem, veteran developer Mike Coe is starting demolition on the property and plans to begin redevelopment by spring.
The project at 104 W. Fourth St. Street will include 53 apartments, a Brazilian steakhouse and a speakeasy run by a local woman with roots in Amsterdam, Coe said in an interview this week. The cost could top $14 million, he said.
A key feature of the property’s redevelopment will be a two-level parking garage in the adjacent lot at 110 W. Fourth St. At least one level of the parking deck would be underground, Coe said.
The entire deck would be topped by green space intended to match the city-funded Marshall Plaza park at the corner of Fourth and Liberty streets.
That’s a pretty unique addition to what has become the hottest apartment sub-market in the Triad.
An Atlanta-based real estate investment firm and operating company purchased the 180-unit Madison Park apartment complex in Greensboro for $7 million.
QR Capital closed on the purchase on Sept. 3 using an entity named Madison Greensboro LLC, according to Guilford County property records…
The properties were built between 1968 and 1973 and renovated in 2006 and 2007.
The complex is located near the Quaker Village Shopping Center, which is undergoing a $6 million redevelopment, and the Guilford College campus.
Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. District Court issued a ruling on Monday that will be of particular interest to housing providers. From the article in The Hill:
Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. Circuit Court ruled Monday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “disparate impact” rules were not justified by existing law, and ordered the rules vacated.
The ruling marks the latest in an ongoing debate about the controversial regulatory principle, which is used to build discrimination cases based on statistical models, rather than overt examples of unequal treatment…
Civil rights groups have hailed the initiative, saying it will help expose and punish institutional discrimination that may not be easily observed.
But many industry groups have cried foul at its use, arguing that the law does not permit the government to charge discrimination when there are no clear examples of it, but rather just data that shows some groups may be treated differently.
The judge dismissed the government’s argument that existing laws permitted the government to apply the method to fair housing laws by calling it “wishful thinking on steroids.”
Rather, Leon wrote in his decision that the language of the Fair Housing Act, which provides the legal basis for challenges in housing discrimination, only permits claims based on intentional discrimination.