AAGO Represents Central Florida on Capitol Hill

Posted By: Amanda Gill Legislative Updates ,

On March 14th, AAGO members traveled to our nation’s Capitol for the National Apartment Association’s (NAA) Capitol Conference. This annual advocacy event provides AAGO members with the privilege of meeting one-on-one with federal lawmakers to discuss policy issues that are of prime importance to the multifamily industry as a whole. 

During their day on the Hill, AAGO members walked the halls of Congress and met with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Congressman Darren Soto, and Congressman Bill Posey’s Legislative Director. As a result of these productive meetings, AAGO made lasting connections with members of Congress and their staff, which allows the association to have a seat at the table during the federal legislative process. These connections ensure the multifamily industry is at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds as they are make critical decisions that impact your bottom line. 

This year, we focused our advocacy efforts on: ADA accessibility, the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), data security, and the need to invest in infrastructure. AAGO members also had the opportunity to thank some of the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation for supporting H.R. 620, which recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill is one of NAA’s legislative priorities because it seeks to address the industry’s concerns regarding unnecessary and litigious lawsuits related to ADA compliance issues. 

Below is a brief summary of the policy issues we discussed with members of Congress while in the nation’s Capitol. If you have any questions or would like to get more involved in AAGO’s advocacy efforts in the future, please contact Chip@AAGO.org. The AAGO members who help support the association’s advocacy efforts play a critical role in the industry’s success. A special thanks to all of the AAGO members who took the time to make the trip to Washington, D.C. for this year’s trip. We couldn’t do it without you! 

Accessibility: Fair Housing & ADA 

  • Multifamily properties across the country have become targets of drive-by lawsuits, which do not improve access for individuals with disabilities. Typically, these costly lawsuits result from tester visits to a business for the sole purpose of finding ADA violations. Plaintiffs then demand settlement money in lieu of filing a lawsuit.
  • In light of this fact, we support the passage of H.R. 620. If signed into law, this legislation will ensure business owners receive proper notice of alleged ADA compliance issues and provide an opportunity to cure an alleged deficiency prior to a lawsuit. 

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) 

  • Federal law requires apartment owners with federally-backed mortgages to purchase flood insurance. The NFIP was reauthorized by a short-term spending deal through July 31, 2018.
  • The NFIP ensures that affordable flood insurance is available at all times in all market conditions. We asked Congress to enact a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP to prevent market disruption and make reasonable reforms to enhance the NFIP.  

Data Security 

  • Apartment management companies often operate in multiple states, which requires businesses to comply with different state laws related to data security. This patchwork of policies drives up costs and ultimately impacts housing affordability.
  • In order to address this issue, we asked members of Congress to pass legislation that will:
    • Create a single national data security and breach notification standard.
    • Provide a clear assignment of financial and legal liability in the event of a breach.  

Infrastructure 

  • In order to meet the market’s housing needs, we anticipate the need to build 4.6 million new apartments by 2030. As Congress considers infrastructure improvements, we asked for lawmakers to support legislation that will:
    • Remove regulatory barriers that hinder new construction.
    • Update municipal infrastructure and stimulate transportation options.
    • Promote improvements and the development of affordable housing units.
    • Leverage federal spending to spur investment through public-private partnerships.

o Update municipal infrastructure and stimulate transportation options. 

o Promote improvements and the development of affordable housing units. 

o Leverage federal spending to spur investment through public-private