Affordable housing, renters insurance, and doorstep trash collection are the legislative issues members of the Florida Apartment Association established as top priorities for the 2018 legislative session. The legislative priorities were decided at FAA’s legislative platform meeting in October. The annual platform meeting is an opportunity for apartment owners, managers, and other industry professionals to meet and discuss the legislative and regulatory issues that affect their business, and decide on what priorities to pursue in the coming legislative session.
FAA supports Senate Bill 678 and House Bill 467, which mandate that apartment communities specify whether or not they require their residents to carry renters insurance and what types of coverage must be included. Although more than 2.4 million Americans are renters, less than 40 percent of residents leasing their homes have any form of renters insurance. Many renters mistakenly assume their possessions are protected under their apartment owner’s insurance policy. Passing the bill would clear up confusion between renters and apartment owners and protect against future litigation problems.
The Florida Apartment Association urges the Florida Legislature to use all of Florida’s housing trust fund monies for Florida’s housing programs. The Sadowski Act, passed in 1992, created a revenue source to fund Florida’s affordable housing programs through document stamp taxes paid on all real estate transactions. Affordable housing helps to house Florida’s most vulnerable populations, including veterans and the elderly. The appropriation of the estimated $314.08 million in the state and local housing trust funds in fiscal year 2018-19 into Florida’s housing programs would create 30,000 jobs and $5 billion in positive economic impact in Florida.
Doorstep Trash Collection
FAA supports doorstep trash collection services to continue normally, and is seeking clarification of the Florida Fire Prevention Code, which is unclear with regard to allowing trash containers to be placed temporarily in hallways. Doorstep trash collection services give residents an easy and cost-effective way to dispose of trash by simply placing trash outside at a specified time, where it’s picked up by a local company. The doorstep waste removal industry is made up of several independent businesses which provide more than 1,200 jobs across Florida and generate an economic impact of more than $68 million annually. Doorstep trash service helps keep apartments clean and communities more marketable to residents. Passing SB 746 and HB 529 will allow trash collection services to operate normally.
FAA members will travel to the state Capitol next week to learn more about these issues and to meet with legislators and their staffs to advocate on behalf of the multifamily industry. Online registration is closed, but members may still register on-site. Details are available at faahq.org/legislative-conference.
FAA is committed to member-driven advocacy and will continue to monitor any issues affecting the apartment industry in Florida. If you have any questions regarding FAA legislative priorities, please contact Courtney Barnard, FAA government affairs director, at email@example.com.
By Randa Griffin
Three future FAA leaders have been selected to receive scholarships for the 2018 FAA Leadership Lyceum program.
The goal of the FAA Leadership Lyceum is to develop and educate potential leaders of the state and local associations. Local association executives nominate multifamily professionals who are willing to volunteer their time and energy in leadership positions at the state or local levels.
Leadership Lyceum nominees can apply for the Nan Cavarretta Memorial Scholarship, managed by FAA in partnership with the AAGO Foundation, to assist with the cost of the leadership program. The scholarship, established in 2015, covers all travel expenses and registration fees. Typically, two students are selected, but this year’s Executive Committee decided three individuals demonstrated financial need as well as leadership potential and commitment. This year’s recipients were Amanda Fies of Capital City Apartment Association, Rosa Houston of Emerald Coast Apartment Association, and Kelly Shaver of Bay County Multi-Housing Association.
Amanda Fies got her start in the apartment industry in 2009, when she moved to Tallahassee and began working in student housing. In June 2017, she began working at her first conventional property. Fies has worked her way up from leasing agent to assistant manager, and community manager. She’s currently the property manager for Apalachee Point Apartments in Tallahassee.
Fies said recipients of the scholarship should be leaders who are fully committed to the industry. "I have my CAM certification as well as my real estate license, just because I want to have as much information and education as possible to work in the business," she said.
Fies embodies FAA’s broad-based vision by immersing herself in all aspects and facets of the apartment industry. She said she expects to get more education and exposure to the industry, and other people working in it, at this year’s Leadership Lyceum. Currently serving as vice president of the Capital City Apartment Association, Fies hopes her Lyceum experience will serve as another stepping stone in her journey toward future positions such as regional manager.
Rosa Houston began working in the apartment industry at 18 as a housekeeper. In a short period of time she worked her way up through the same company as an admin, leasing manager, assistant manager and more. Her current position is as senior community manager at Three Waters Green Apartments in Pensacola.
Houston said she’s going to use this year’s Leadership Lyceum as an opportunity to grow, not only as a person, but as a leader in the industry as well.
The past several years that Houston has sat on the ECAA board have prepared her for the responsibility of the lyceum.
"When you sit on these committees and boards, you become interested in more than just your daily job," she said. "Others who went to the Leadership Lyceum just come back with so much knowledge, and I want to fully understand every aspect of our industry."
Houston is dedicated to educating and fostering the growth of others and sees a positive future for herself in the apartment industry.
"In five years I hope to be working with the state level, participating in their board meetings and participating on those committees, as well as with NAA," she said.
While there are many important qualities a Nan Cavarretta Scholarship recipient should possess, Houston says the most important thing is to really care about what you’re doing. With the rapid growth of the apartment industry, leaders have a responsibility to do the best thing not only for the company, but for the residents as well.
"At the end of the day, genuinely caring for other people is the ultimate goal and everything else sort of falls into place if you know you’re doing the right thing for other people."
Kelly Shaver took an interesting career journey to find her way into the apartment industry. She began opening restaurants in her early 20s and eventually transitioned into accounting. After eight years working at NASCAR in publishing she intended on an early retirement and packed her bags for Florida.
"I moved to Florida and after a few months quickly learned that I was much happier having a professional purpose, or something to look forward to everyday," Shaver said.
In 2011 she was hired as a part-time leasing consultant and then quickly advanced to assistant manager, and then property manager within a year.
"I’ve never looked back, and I love what I do," Shaver said.
In many ways Shaver has been preparing for the Leadership Lyceum for years. She says her employer, CF Real Estate Services, has created an organizational culture that encourages her to be philanthropic, think outside of the box, and be mindful of other people’s situations.
The Leadership Lyceum presents an opportunity for participants to learn about themselves, their associations, and the apartment industry itself. Shaver said she hopes to be exposed to new ideas and new areas of growth where she can effectively use her managerial leadership skills.
Shaver said she thinks she has all the qualities a recipient of the Cavarretta Scholarship should possess.
"I think a recipient should have the ability to lift those up around them with encouragement, motivation and creativity. They should challenge others to be their best selves."
While Shaver is beyond content in her position as property manager, she said a leadership role in volunteerism or education would also pique her interest.
"Our world is constantly changing and evolving," she said. "We all have to find ways to either adapt and fit in, or break out and set a new course for the future. I want to be a trailblazer."
The Florida Apartment Association encourages members to serve on committees and help guide the direction of the association.
Two new committees have been added for 2018, and will meet for the first time in conjunction with the 2018 FAA Legislative Conference in Tallahassee next week. The meetings will be at the Hotel Duval, 415 N. Monroe St., Tallahassee, on Tuesday, January 30.
The Editorial Advisory Committee will help determine topics for Multifamily Florida magazine and the monthly Florida APTitudes e-newsletter. It will meet at 2 p.m.
The Masters Steering Committee is open to senior multifamily executives and will help determine programming for The Masters Sessions at the FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show. It will meet at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30.
To volunteer for either committee, email Laureen Crowley, FAA director of communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also meeting in Tallahassee in January will be the APAC Board of Directors, at 9:30 a.m. January 30, and the Legislative Committee, at 10:15 a.m. January 30. For more information about those panels, email Courtney Barnard, FAA government affairs director, at email@example.com.
Attendees of the 2018 FAA Legislative Conference next week may support APAC by contributing items to the silent auction, which will take place during a reception January 30 from 6 to 7 p.m. The reception follows a briefing on FAA's advocacy, including this year's three legislative priorities. (See related article in this issue.)
If you plan to bring an auction item, please email Courtney Barnard, FAA government affairs director, at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what you plan to bring. Monetary contributions to APAC will also be accepted at the conference.
For a full schedule, visit faahq.org/events/2018-legislative-conference
After you catch up on back issues, tell FAA what your think by taking a brief survey. Respondents who provide contact information will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.
If you missed the winter issue of Multifamily Florida, you may also view the entire digital version here.
If you did not receive an e-newsletter or a print magazine and would like to in the future, please view your profile on our website and update your email and mailing addresses if needed. Read more about how to create a log-in and update your profile.
Suppliers interested in sponsoring the 2018 FAA Annual Conference & Trade Show should submit a letter of commitment by February 2, for the best selection of sponsorship opportunities as well as advance booth selection.
The 2018 FAA Sponsorship Opportunities and Exhibitor Prospectus has been posted at faahq.org and mailed to supplier members. If you did not receive a copy, please review your contact information at faahq.org and be sure it includes your preferred mailing address.
February 2, 2018: Deadline for Platinum/Gold/Silver level sponsorship signed commitment
February 9, 2018: Platinum Sponsors lottery; meeting to select opportunities/booths
February 16, 2018: Gold Sponsors select opportunities/booths, in order of signed commitment
February 23, 2018: Silver Sponsors select opportunities/booths, in order of signed commitment
March 9, 2018: Exhibit space selection begins for all 2017 exhibitors. An invitation to exhibit with a link to FAA’s online booth selection system will be sent to your 2017 primary contact that morning.
March 16, 2018: Exhibit space selection begins for all other suppliers.
October 3-5, 2018: FAA Annual Conference and Trade Show, Boca Raton Resort & Club
FAA offers opportunities to reach prospects at events throughout the year.
The Product/Service Council will meet January 29 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Hotel Duval in Tallahassee. An agenda will be posted in the January issue of Florida APTitudes.
Supplier members who plan to attend the 2018 FAA Legislative Conference January 30-31 are encouraged to arrive the day before and participate in the PSC meeting.
Monday, January 29, 20185:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Product/Services Council Membership Meeting