There is a huge movement in the Kansas City Metro and across the country.
Back in the day, to combat the problem of a shortage of affordable housing the Nanny State did a few things that they have since decided didn’t work.
- They built public housing projects and put those people over there, but they found putting all the economically disadvantaged into the “projects” made those poor folks even more disadvantaged, so they turned to things like Section 8 Housing Vouchers that allow the economically disadvantaged to go rent from the open market, where ever the landlord will accept the voucher. That’s not working out so well because it seems that the landlords that will accept those vouchers are all in a center similar location.
- They had private and public building projects that provided funding to the developers and tax breaks in exchange for artificially keeping rents affordable, which worked great, except the time limits on those are running out and there are no new projects coming online.
So now, facing a shortage of funding, cities are looking to find new ways of income and at the same time, the Tenant Advocacy Groups are uniting across the country and as property owners if we don’t wake up and smell the coffee, the rules could change drastically. There are several different groups, but one called Homes for All that is tackling this ” housing catastrophe” and they are mobilizing against it in many places and from many angles. They are building their base among the more than 40 million households that rent in America today in an effort to create a national coalition that can finally harvest popular discontent about the state of this country’s post-financial-crisis housing market.
One Leader in Boston was quoted in one article as saying I see “a future where community land trusts and non-profits and limited equity co-ops own a city’s housing supply. It’s a future where the capitalist class no longer controls the living conditions of Socrates Guzman, Cynthia Berger, Araceli Barrera and millions of their fellow Americans.
So there are a series of media that you really need to find and read and explore the links, they lead to even more information.
There is a book by Matthew Desmond where he follows the fates of several renters at the hands of their landlord. This book is the basis for the entire movement and the non-profits and the cities are taking this book to heart – you need to at minimum devour the website and better find a copy of the book and read it.
Public Television in Kansas City
A few weeks ago a local public TV Station held a forum with local landlords and advocacy groups to take a look at the issues, this became a segment on the TV show Week in Review and it aired Friday, February 9th, you can click here to watch the Replay.
In an article that looks at all cities across the metro, it outlines what all the Non-profits are working towards and mobilizing. You need to read this article to see what everyone is all up in arms about and what the industry is up against. “A New Housing-Rights Movement Has the Real-Estate Industry Running Scared”
“What can I do, I am only a _____.” Insert your field in the industry!
There are quite a few things you can do. These folks think that the landlord lobby is HUGE and that might be a good thing they think that. However, the landlord lobby for the average person at MAREI is not HUGE.
The Realtors, they are HUGE, they have a ton of money and many of the MAREI members who are Realtors contributed to this lobby, not out of choice, but to be able to put that Realtor title with that name and to gain access to the Multiple Listing Service they are forced to join the National Association of Realtors and pay money to their lobby groups, it’s part of the membership dues. They have huge reach in Washington, in Jefferson City and in Topeka and they are defending your interest locally as well
The Apartment Owners Association: The National Apartment Owners Association is HUGE, it’s been around a long time and they are well funded just like the Realtors. They have a national organization and state organizations and local associations just like the Realtors. They have a voice in Washington, Jefferson City, Topeka and are defending your interests locally as well.
Next, we have the Real Estate Investors: Yes we have local associations across the country. MAREI is a local Association so is WinVestors and Landlords Inc. and Landlords of Eastern Jackson County and you know what . . we are all individual groups that didn’t even speak to other much until this past year when we united to deal with this situation. We do have a National Association of Real Estate Investors, but it is not well funded and it does not connect all groups like NAR or NAA, its doing its best but it seems the Real Estate Investors and Single Family Landlord manage this issue from the local group going up. There are not even many statewide Organizations.
In MAREI’s research the past year we found a state organization that was functional in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, that’s it, nowhere else. Yes we have TALK, The Associated Landlords of Kansas, that is virtually one person fighting for your rights and this past year MAREI, WinVestors and the Landlords of Easter Jackson County came together to form the Missouri Property Owner Association, that has a ton of followers, but we only have about TEN people who have stepped up to support the industry.
So here’s what YOU Can Do:
Join a local group, maybe join several . .
Join say MAREI and then the Landlord Group over where you actually invest. Follow their emails, take action when they ask you to, go to city council meetings when they ask you to. Send an email and call an official when they ask you to. If they have a fundraiser, take part help them raise funds. If you are not sure of a group in where you own property, please contact us here at MAREI, tell us where you the majority of your investing is located and we will connect you with the Landlord Group for that area.
In the Kansas City Metro we highly recommend the following groups.
If the state you invest is in Kansas I strongly recommend joining your local city landlord group and work with them to become a member of The Associated Landlords of Kansas. The two groups here in KC would include Johnson County Landlords and Landlords Inc of KCK.
And it’s not enough to join, attend their meetings and get involved. The one or two people at each of these groups working very hard to protect YOUR interest can’t do it alone, they need more people stepping up and taking an interest and taking action.
Join the State Wide Group
So based on where you live and vote as well on where you invest, seek out the local state wide group if you can find one. If you can’t find one, then come together and partner with the local city groups and National REIA to form a state wide group.
In Kansas the State Wide Group is The Associated Landlords of Kansas and they have one and only one volunteer working hard on your behalf and doing fairly well, so imagine what could be done in the State of Kansas if more than one man was involved.
If you invest in Missouri or if you live and vote in Missouri, join the Missouri Property Owner Association. MAREI has joined on behalf of their members, Landlords of Eastern Jackson County has joined on behalf of their members and Metro East Landlords Association from St Louis has joined on behalf of their members, but those membershp dollars do not put a dent in the budget needed to hire a professional lobby firm to help us protect our interest. Missouri POA needs to either find a very connected member that has the time and the ability to lobby on behalf of our industry or we need to hire a professional lobby firm. To hire a professional lobby firm we are looking at between $30,000 and $50,000 a year. So please take the time to join Missouri POA as an individual . . it’s only $99 and that combined with the membership dollars of all of us across the state of Missouri would hire a lobbyist to work on our behalf and maybe fund a few attorneys to find on our behalf.