Members Witness the Impact of Association Advocacy in Tallahassee

Posted By: Amanda Gill Legislative Updates ,

On January 31st, over 40 AAGO members traveled to Tallahassee for the Florida Apartment Association’s (FAA) Legislative Conference.  While in our state Capitol, AAGO members met one-on-one with members of the Florida Legislature and their staff to discuss a variety of policy issues.

This year’s Legislative Conference and legislator visits focused on defending the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund, promoting renters insurance, and protecting doorstep trash services. FAA’s annual Legislative Conference provides AAGO members with the valuable opportunity to make lasting connections with members of the Florida Legislature, which allows the association to have a seat at the table during the legislative process. These connections ensure the multifamily industry is at the forefront of legislators’ minds as they are making critical decisions that impact your bottom line. To put it simply, our advocacy efforts protect the industry from policy changes that may inhibit or stifle our continued success.

AAGO members witnessed the importance of the association’s advocacy involvement firsthand at this year’s Legislative Conference when House Bill 529 passed the Florida House. AAGO members were able to watch this important vote from the gallery in between meetings with lawmakers. The passage of this legislation was a direct result of the apartment industry’s advocacy efforts, which prompted association members to call, write, and meet with lawmakers face to face to talk about the importance of trash collection services for the multifamily industry. If signed into law, this legislation will clarify the legality of the trash collection services in Florida’s Fire Prevention Code. We are pleased to report HB 529 passed the Senate by a 37-1 vote on March 9th and was presented to the Governor to be signed into law on March 26th.

Below is a brief summary of the other important policy issues we discussed with Florida lawmakers and how they impact the apartment industry.  If you’re interested in getting more involved in AAGO’s advocacy efforts, please contact Chip@AAGO.org today!

Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Each year, the industry stresses the importance of preserving the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust fund as the legislature works on the state budget. This critical funding is used for affordable housing programs that benefit Florida’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, homeless, and those struggling economically.

Renters Insurance

Senate Bill 678 and House Bill 467 would require apartment communities to specify whether or not they require their residents to carry renters insurance and what types of coverage must be secured.  Unfortunately, this legislation did not advance before the end of the legislative session. The Florida Apartment Association supported this legislation because it would reduce misunderstandings between apartment communities and residents with regard to responsibility and liability in the event of property damage due to natural disaster or other emergency event.