Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012 - (Page 7)
by Susan Truesdale Winthrop Management
It’s springtime, and FAA and the local associations are in high gear with many activities. At our most recent board meeting in April, our local directors and staff reported a very active schedule of events — award ceremonies, golf and volleyball tournaments, extensive education programs and charity fundraisers to help victims of domestic violence, wounded soldiers, homeless people, people with mental and physical disabilities and children in need. It is amazing how active our locals are throughout the state, and nearly all have reported strong membership gains. My hometown Bay Area Apartment Association has reached a record 105,000 units, just to name one. Our association had a very successful legislative program in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., with record numbers of members attending both events. It is so exciting to see our members representing their companies and their industry with dignity and intelligence, to see them catch the passion for the political process as we try to improve the laws regulating our operations. The things we talk about, such as changes to landlord/tenant law, aren’t terribly exciting, but the members who participate always say how much fun they have on our visits. If you haven’t attended our legislative events, think about getting on the bus or plane next year. We have also managed a transition from our former Vice President of Government Affairs, Chip Tatum, to
a new Government Affairs Director, Laura Heiselman. I want to thank Chip for his amazing work on FAA’s behalf, not only representing us with legislators and agencies, but coming up with great ideas for fundraising, usage of technology and improved communications. Luckily, we still get to see his smiling face as Executive Vice President of AAGO. Laura emerged from a pack of 14 very strong candidates and has hit the ground running. She has a strong background in fundraising and has already helped to come up with some great ideas to enhance our conference fundraisers. We are very excited to have her working on our behalf. One long-term project has finally come to fruition: the FAA website at www. faahq.org is online and it’s amazing. The home page is clean, easy to navigate and attractive, and it is chock full of information about the association and its activities. A statewide calendar of state and local association events will help you plan your participation more easily than ever before, and you can update your membership records yourself in the membership section. PSC members who buy a link also have their logos appear on the site. It has taken a great deal or work, but the website has been brought into the modern age and it’s great! Finally, I want to call attention to the work done by Lori Trainer of Southern Affordable Services and Katie Wrenn of Milestone Management as chairs of our Housing for the Homeless Task Force. Lori was inspired by a 60 Minutes story last spring on the great number of homeless children in Florida, and worked with her longtime employer, Concord
Management, to devise a way that apartment owners could provide unsold units for homeless families for a year. Late last fall, FAA decided to get involved and try to expand similar programs statewide. Jeff Rogo with BAAA has also been working assiduously with housing agencies in that area to get a program off the ground. We want to see it in every major metro area in Florida. It is a complicated mission, to attract members to participate in a way that makes sense, while also screening the families and enabling them to succeed in getting back on their feet. Our members make concessions such as not charging application fees and first months’ rent, while suppliers have begun helping to provide household goods that these families have trouble securing for themselves. Housing agencies and charities serving the homeless provide the residents with the support services they need, while some companies such as Westgate Resorts and Sea World have agreed to provide jobs. It is a multifaceted effort addressing a complex set of needs, but it is having a great effect. Lori said that as of early May, our 100th homeless family has been placed in member apartment communities. This far, only 10 have washed out, nearly all for problems we often see in market-rate properties, such as moving in someone who is not on the lease. I am very proud and excited about this effort. If you can render any assistance — gift baskets of household items, food, appliances, discount coupons and, of course, housing units, we’d love for you to get involved.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012
Florida Apartment Industry Makes an Impact in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
Caution: Spring Might Bring Killer Bees to Your Community
How to Avoid Over-Insuring Your Apartment Property
Superior Property Management: Do You Know What It Looks Like?
Apartment Industry Aims to Provide Housing for Homeless Families
Product/Service Council Directory
Index to Advertisers/Adv.com
Multifamily Florida - Spring 2012