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Hear our voices

The IREM Government Affairs team acts on issues critical to the real estate management industry

By Journal of Property Management

Advocacy remains a top priority for our members, their businesses, and their clients, and 2023 has been another busy year for IREM on the advocacy front. Although legislation that would benefit the industry has been put forward, several proposals at the federal and state levels would undermine the goals of fostering a healthy and equitable housing market, increasing supply, and creating successful communities.

This article looks back at the federal and state issues affecting property managers and owners, as well as various actions the IREM Government Affairs team undertook to assist members during 2023. It also provides an overview of the initiatives the IREM team has implemented, such as Advocacy Impact Day, our Congressional Briefing, and chapter presentations.

Finally, we will explore what the property management industry can expect in 2024.

Federal issues

The Choice in Affordable Housing Act

IREM members own and manage over 60% of all federally assisted and public housing units in the United States. Federally assisted housing puts people into homes who would otherwise have challenges obtaining safe and decent housing. IREM supports the Choice in Affordable Housing Act (S.32 & H.R. 4606), which would provide $500 million to create a Housing Partnership Fund.

The funds would be distributed to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs), and the proposed legislation stipulates a signing bonus to a landlord with a unit in an area with less than a 20% poverty rate. The funds would provide security deposit assistance so tenants can better afford to meet required deposits and landlords are assured greater protection against damages.

The Senate bill was introduced and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The House bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

Respect State Housing Laws Act

Included in the CARES Act was a provision that required landlords to provide tenants with 30 days’ notice before a landlord can begin an eviction proceeding. This eviction notice requirement was meant to be a one-time grace period when the eviction moratorium ended. However, a drafting error caused the 30-day notice requirement to remain in law permanently. This overrides state eviction notice laws, which, on average, require eight days’ notice.

IREM supports the Respect State Housing Laws Act (H.R.802), introduced on Feb. 2, 2023, by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

We believe that the CARES Act notice-to-vacate requirement was intended to expire when the eviction moratorium expired and not be a permanent change to states’ eviction laws. IREM urges Congress’ support of a legislative fix to ensure that property owners can effectively manage their properties and continue to provide quality, affordable housing to their communities.

Get involved
Participate in Advocacy Impact Day + ESG Summit in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27-28, 2024, and:

  • Learn about the issues impacting the real estate management industry and how to help shape them.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of ESG regulations and how to implement sustainability measures in your buildings.
  • Build relationships with legislators to work more closely with them and establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
  • Speak directly to the people with the power to change laws and regulations about issues that matter to you, your business, and the clients you represent.
  • Gain valuable exposure and experience.
  • Be part of something bigger than yourself.
    Learn more and register now.

State issues

Rent control was a pervasive legislative issue in 2023, as it was introduced in several states and on the ballot in many key races.

In Colorado, the legislative session concluded in early May without adopting a seemingly annual effort to lift statewide rent control preemption. The measure was killed in a Senate committee.

A similar story played out in Washington state, where measures to lift rent control preemption and establish statewide caps were introduced. Lawmakers broke for the year without bringing these bills to the floor for a vote.

At the conclusion of Montana’s legislative session, Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law a preemption bill blocking local governments from imposing rent control. Montana is now the 33rd state to maintain preemption. Lawmakers also passed a slate of bipartisan housing reforms to boost supply.

Rent control bills were also introduced in Georgia, Hawaii, New Mexico, Virginia, and West Virginia during the 2023 legislative sessions. Fortunately, none of these measures passed, and they were widely seen as unlikely to be adopted.

2024 IREM initiatives

Advocacy Impact Day + ESG Summit

IREM is excited to partner with the IREM Foundation to present an expanded and elevated event titled the Advocacy Impact Day + ESG Summit. This important event will be on Feb. 27 and 28 in Washington, D.C., and will include a full day of programming; environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) education; networking opportunities; and an advocacy orientation.

During the full-day orientation, attendees will learn how to conduct successful meetings with legislators while gaining knowledge about one of the most significant issues affecting the property management industry: sustainability.

Advocacy initiatives and resources
During the past year, the IREM Government Affairs team has been very busy advocating for our industry’s interests. Although the following doesn’t capture all the initiatives the team has been working on, it provides a brief overview of the actions achieved.

  • Calls to action. Using VoterVoice, an electronic grassroots advocacy platform, users can easily connect with their federal or state representatives to support or oppose a legislative proposal. With a few clicks, ready-made messages go directly to their representatives.
  • Coalition letters. IREM has signed onto several coalition letters with our housing organization partners, including NAR, NAA, NMHC, and BOMA, to amplify our voices and take advantage of our strength in numbers. IREM frequently signs onto letters to Congress and other agencies advocating for issues important to real estate management.
  • Podcasts and webinars. We frequently conduct live webinars and podcasts on public policy issues that are engaging, relevant, and informative. This content is recorded and available on-demand as an exclusive, ongoing member resource.
  • Policy priorities and statements. Our priorities are identified by surveying IREM national and chapter leaders. Policy statements originate with the Advocacy Committee and are updated as necessary. IREM and our members use these statements for guidance on legislative and regulatory issues.
  • Government Affairs Digest. Our monthly e-newsletter is distributed to national and chapter leaders and subscribers. Our objective is to inform IREM members of Government Affairs activities and update them on current legislative and regulatory issues, such as flood insurance, rent control, and much more.
  • Tracking legislation. IREM closely monitors proposed legislation and regulations at the state and federal levels.

Journal of Property Management

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