President's Message

It's Not Over Til It's Over


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


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...


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!

Memorial Day


As the month of April wound down and we put another Golf Tournament and Sacramento Legislative Day behind us, the month of May is a great follow-up that puts politics aside and offers a time of celebration.

May is the last full month of classes for grade school and most college students, prompting eagerness and excitement for their upcoming summer freedom. It also is a time for families to honor the person who literally brought them into this world as we celebrate Mother’s Day.

On another note, because of Memorial Day, May is a month that can bring feelings of heartbreak and sadness for some. But it also shows our unbridled patriotism by honoring the source of the liberties and freedoms we are entitled to just for being Americans — our countrymen and women who have laid down their lives and paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Even though my father made it back from Vietnam, many of his friends did not, so in that way, May is a month I get to honor both my mother and father each year (as we probably should each day), and I dedicate this month’s article to my father, introduced below by a journalist from a West Michigan newspaper article from 1969, and those who served alongside him who did not make it back home:

“Marine L. Cpl. Larry W. Pollack [Sr.], serving with the First Marine Aircraft Wing in Vietnam. In addition to attacking enemy personnel and installations, wing aircraft airlift troops to battle zones, evacuate wounded, fly resupply missions, and provide close air support for U.S. Marines and allied ground forces engaged in combat operations.”

As you head to the grill and cooler this Memorial Day, celebrating our freedom with your friends and family, you can share some less known Memorial Day facts that I have gathered from multiple sources:

  • Memorial Day is sometimes confused with Veterans Day. However, Veterans Day honors all United States military veterans, while Memorial Day honors the soldiers who died while serving.
  • The Grand Army of the Republic was created by the Union Army to honor their dead. After World War I the American Legion took over their duties.
  • Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3pm on Memorial Day to remember and to honor those who have died serving the United States. President Clinton signed this action.
  • The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, and then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day.
  • The tradition of wearing red poppies on Memorial Day originated from John McCrae’s 1915 poem In Flanders Fields. In Canada they wear red poppies to honor their soldiers on Remembrance Day in November each year.
  • Although not as popular today, one tradition was to eat a picnic meal while sitting on the ground at a cemetery. There are still some people in the rural areas of the South that continue to practice this tradition.
  • It’s common for volunteers to place the American flag on graves in the national cemeteries, and is also a popular day for people to visit cemeteries to honor those who have died while serving.
  • It’s estimated that approximately 32 million people travel by car over Memorial Day weekend.
  • Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer vacation season while Labor Day marks the end.
  • In some areas of the rural South, they hold annual Decoration Days around this time for certain cemeteries, often in the mountains.
  • In 1966, President Johnson named Waterloo, New York, as the original place of Memorial Day.
  • There were more American lives lost during the Civil War than the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II.
  • There are more than 300,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 28 burials there each day.

Be safe and enjoy your Memorial Day holiday, but remember the many fallen servicemembers who gave their lives for your freedom.

Spring Cleaning


Spring Cleaning, Maintenance, and Organizational Tips Ahh! The wonderful smells and sights of Spring popping up are the things I really look forward to each March—well, here in Southern California anyway where we typically get better seasons all year ’round. We all know this is the precursor to Summer being here, which is what we can’t wait for — long days, late sunsets, kickbacks and campfires, more sun, and more fun. But, of course, we cannot relax for too long otherwise the metaphorical weeds of life will certainly take over and choke out the good in life we’ve been nurturing. The same is true for your properties... and landscaping, of course.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your storage rooms and garages. My friend and CEO of Sky Properties, Kari Negri, brought to us not long ago a nicely detailed monthly “laundry list” and I am happy to revisit some of that here this month.

Hopefully you’ve already renewed business licenses and rent registrations for the City of L.A. and elsewhere as needed, and don’t forget to make sure PRHIP Registrations are up to date as well for Long Beach. Most of us are on top of the fact that this is an excellent time to make sure our lawns are reseeded and maybe a touch of some new flowers are added to our landscaping, but did we also make sure to get laundry providers or the maintenance team to get behind those dryers and clean? What about getting an approved vendor up on the roof to clear gutters and debris? Check out our 2018 Vendor Sourcebook for help with anything, and don’t get up on the roof yourself unless you are trained and qualified.

I know one of your favorite things to do is to make sure your business tax returns are filed by March 15th… or is it? Either way — that’s when they are due, so we need to hustle if we aren’t ready now. March is also a good time to get decks resealed (provided they are dry) as well as schedule annual Smoke and C/O Detector inspections. And, since we are not the only ones with Spring Cleaning to do, it would also be wise to check properties for fall/trip hazards in walkways; and to also make sure, if you still have timers on your exterior lights, that they are updated accordingly. We went to photo cells at all our properties and the benefits have been fantastic - the cost was inexpensive, nobody has to go back to or charge the property unnecessary fees to make the simple timer change, and then there are no complaints because the lights are always on and off when they should be. Win/win… and we have vendors for that, too!

Some other things to organize within your businesses are getting your Team’s vacation times in order for the summer as well as to make sure everyone is on track for any benefit open enrollments that need to happen.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone about Legislation (“Leg.”) Day in Sacramento. This is such a great experience and if you haven’t done it before, you need to add it to your bucket list. Just going through the halls of the Capitol Building with all the rich California history is one thing—and we have certainly come a long way from when the first Legislature convened in a two-story adobe hotel in San Jose—but getting to see the process, being a lobbyist for the day, and participating in real democracy within our Republic just gives you a healthy boost of pride in our State and Country. Please join the AACSC for this trip to NorCal; make your voice be heard directly by the ears of our great legislators and come and experience this impressive event on April 10th and 11th, 2018. Contact us right away for details and I cannot wait to see you there!

Related Articles

Contact AACSC

Apartment Association,

California Southern Cities
333 W. Broadway St., Suite 101
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 426-8341

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it