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Return Service Requested

WINTER STORM • BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Houston Apartment Association 4810 Westway Park Blvd. Houston, Texas 77041

ABODE Big THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

www.haaonline.org

April 2021

The

ABODE • APRIL 2021 • VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4

CHILL Houston faced a different kind of storm as Texas was hit with historic freezing temperatures, power failures and busted water pipes. What went wrong and where do we go from here?

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CONTENTS April 2021

ON THE COVER 30 The Big Chill – Houston faced a different kind of storm as Texas was hit with historic freezing temperatures, power failures and busted water pipes. What went wrong and where do we go from here? Cover images used by Evgeny Gromov and Serhill Melnyk/iStock by Getty Images

FEATURES & PHOTOS 28 Texas Lifts Mask Mandates – Status quo is prevailing, but some companies, employees and residents cheer the governor’s decision. 30 #multifamily strong – HAA members and their heroic work during Winter Storm Uri. 36 Texas’ Power Grid Failure – Learn what you can do moving forward in the event Texas experiences another freeze. 40 Texas Energy and the Artic Freeze – Another perspective on the Texas power outage from a utilities consulting firm. 44 Houston, we had a freeze – Supply, pricing and how to move forward with your landscape. 48 Best Kept Secrets: Mitigation and Restoration – What you need to know about who to work with when your property suffers from water damage, mold and smoke damage. 52 Claiming Your Busted Pipes – What can happen to your insurance claim if you didn’t insulate your pipes, if your units become uninhabitable and what to do, not if, but when, your pipes burst in the future. 56 Take Action – Learn more about the benefits of involvement with the HAAPAC from the three Product Service Coucil supplier members. 60 On Site with ABODE – Take a closer look at two of HAA’s Honors Awards communities.

COLUMNS & MONTHLY UPDATES 7 Letter from the President – Advice from HAA’s rich legacy of past presidents. 8 Patron of the Month – Meet and support CSC Serviceworks. 9 Letter from the CEO – HAA took action as the winter storm hit Texas. 11 It’s The Law – Prohibiting gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination. 14 Resident Relations – Learn from a recent case mediated by the HAA Resident Relations Committee. 15 Legislative Update – Legislators propose expanding fair housing law to cover additional groups. 20 Calendar – HAA’s schedule of events for the coming months. 26 NAA Update – The pandemic is forcing industry leaders to rethink the way apartments are designed and managed in the future. 58 RCR Update – The eviction moratorium’s impact on screening. 63 Go-Getters – Join the Go-Getters so everyone knows your name, and they’ll be glad you came. 64 Welcome Mat – Find out about the newest HAA members. 66 The Ambassador ONE Society – Be a part of HAA’s supplier network. 70 Portfolio Changes and In the News – Property updates and industry news clips from our members. 72 Index of Advertisers – See the supplier members who support this publication. 73 MarketLine – The latest area market numbers. 74 Back Page – HAA community outreach news and events.

We welcome your comments. Email us at comm@haaonline.org.

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OFFICERS AND ASSOCIATION LEADERSHIP PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL OFFICERS CHRISTY RODRIGUEZ President-Elect JOHN BORIACK President

SCOTT DOUGLAS Vice President at Large

DAVID LINDLEY, CAS President FSI Construction

GINA ERWIN Vice President at Large

DEREK DEVRIES, CAS Vice President, Camp Construction Services

SHELLEY WATSON Vice President at Large

CANDIS MOHR, CAS Secretary, AAA Plumbers

TRACIE YODER Vice President at Large

JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ, CAS Treasurer, The Urban Foresters

CLAY HICKS Immediate Past President

LAURA LESTUS, CAS Immediate Past President, The Liberty Group

STEPHANIE GRAVES Secretary/Treasurer

HOWARD BOOKSTAFF General Counsel

CASEY WATTS MORGAN CEO

BOARD OF DIRECTORS John Boriack President Clay Hicks Immediate Past President Mack Armstrong Julie Batche Jeff Blevins, CAS Jill Bounds, CAM Michelle Bridges, CAS Kyle Brown Joseph Bryson, CAM, IROP Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton Michelle Croasmun Derek DeVries, CAS Ian Douglas Scott Douglas, CAM, CAPS Gina Erwin Tamara Foster Israel Garza, CAS Diane Gilbert Monica Gracia Stephanie Graves, CAM, CAPS Manu Gupta Bryan Head, CAM Melissa Herrera Deborah Holcombe Crystal Jackson, CAM, CAPS Tyler Johnson Debbie Kelm Jacob Kunath, CAS Barby Lake Laura Lestus, CAS David Lindley, CAS Sonia Lopez, CAM, CAPS Betsy Marshall, CAM, CAPS Kristin McLaughlin, CASE Candis Mohr, CAS Carlos Neto Dean O’Kelley, CAS Jenifer Paneral Mark Park, CAS Velissa Parmer Michelle Pawelek Loyal Proffitt Jackie Rhone Christy Rodriguez Kelly Scott Kurt Seidel Corri Smith Kelley Suess Debbie Sulzer

Ryan Terrell Dana Tucker Starla Turnbo Richard Wall, CAM, CAPS Shelley Watson Quintina Willis, CAM Tracie Yoder, CAPS DIRECTORS EMERITUS Josh Allen Ken Bohan Gary Blumberg Kathy Clem Jack Dinerstein Jenard Gross Darlene Guidry Alison Hall David Hargrove Larry Hill Stacy Hunt Hap Hunnicutt David Jones Mike Koch Dick LaMarche Tim Myers P David Onanian John Ridgway Kim Small Eileen Subinsky Steve Sweet Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley H J Tollett, Jr. Pat Tollett Vic Vacek, Jr. Beth Van Winkle Jerry Winograd ADVISORY DIRECTORS Billy Griffin, CAS Amanda Kelly, CAS Cesar Lima Mary Lawler Bruce McClenny Angelee Kumar Parikh Penny Sprang Theri Tinelli Ruha Vohra, NALP, CAM Tony Whitaker GENERAL COUNSEL EMERITUS Joe Bax

HONORARY LIFE MEMBERS Claude Arnold Kenn Brown Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton Kevin Fenn Diane Gilbert Anita Harrison Dwayne Henson Mike Koch Merry Mount Monette Reynolds Sherry Stevenson Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley Sonny Unverzagt Del Walmsley Nancé Wells H.P. Paul Young Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks PATRON MEMBERS 1961 CSC ServiceWorks 1968 Century A/C Supply 1978 Houston Planned Energy Systems 1982 Cotton Commercial USA Inc. 1984 AAA Plumbers 1985 Gemstar Construction Development 1986 Craven Carpet 1987 Dixie Carpet Installations 1994 Camp Construction Services 1997 Apartments.com 1999 FSI Construction Inc. 2006 Lowe’s Pro Supply

PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL MEMBERS Amanda Kelly, CAS, Angie Aversa, CAM, Brandt Electrical A/C CAPS, CAS, & Heating Services The Liberty Group Debra Knight, CAS, Chris Bell, CAS, Fidus Construction Cotton Commercial Services Marivel Bownds, Stephanie Krop, CAS, Valet Living CASE, Poolsure Dixie Caldwell, Liz Levins, CAS, CAS, ControlByNet Cloud Rasa Floors & Management Video Tracey Moore, CAS, Surveillance Solutions Flooring Warehouse Shaun Callaway, CAS, Karen Nelsen, CAS Earthworks ALN Apartment Neal Conant, CAS, Data Gemstar Matthew Nunn, CAS, Construction Capital Construction Development Doug Oehl, CAS. Sean Cunningham, Flooring Warehouse CAS, Flooring Nikki Sekunda, CAS, Warehouse The Liberty Group Deborah DeRouen, Blaise Spitaleri, CAS, CAS, OneApp Gemstar Guarantee Construction Juana Estrada, CAS, Development Interstate Restoration Blake Subinsky, CAS, Giovanna Gone, CAS, HD Supply Century A/C Supply Mat Tilley, CAS, Clark Gregg, CASE, WeDoTrash Fidus Construction Amber Whitaker, CAS Jimmie Hotz, CASE, FSI Construction Chadwell Supply Dan James, CAS, Redevelopment Services


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APRIL 2021 I VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4 CEO and Publisher CASEY WATTS MORGAN cmorgan@haaonline.org EDITORIAL AND DESIGN STAFF Director of Publications and Design DEBORAH NIX dnix@haaonline.org Managing Editor MORGAN TAYLOR mtaylor@haaonline.org ADVERTISING Vice President of Membership and Marketing AMANDA SHERBONDY, CAE asherbondy@haaonline.org CONTRIBUTING STAFF Vice President and General Manager SUSAN HINKLEY, CAE shinkley@haaonline.org Vice President of Professional Development EMILY HILTON, CPP, CAE. ehilton@haaonline.org Vice President of Public Affairs ANDY TEAS, CAE. ateas@haaonline.org Vice President of Finance NANCY LI LO, CPA. nlo@haaonline.org Director of Resident Relations MATILDE LUNA mluna@haaonline.org Director of Events and Meetings LAUREN RAGIN, CMP lragin@haaonline.org Director of Rental Credit Reporting TINA DEFIORE tdefiore@haaonline.org Assistant Vice President – Outreach LAUREN TURNER, CAE, CMP lturner@haaonline.org Public Affairs Manager ALPA PATEL MANDHANA apatel@haaonline.org Membership and Marketing Manager KAYLON NEWCOMB knewcomb@haaonline.org Webmaster and IT Specialist WILL ALFARO walfaro@haaonline.org PRINTER TGI PRINTED www.tgiprinted.com

HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION COMMITTEES COMMITTEE CHAIR STAFF ADVISOR Executive John Boriack Casey Morgan Program & Budget Christy Rodriguez Casey Morgan Nominating Clay Hicks Casey Morgan Fair Housing Mack Armstrong Casey Morgan Ethics Michelle Pawelek Casey Morgan Investment Stephanie Graves Casey Morgan ByLaws Kyle Brown Casey Morgan Past Presidents Council Kathy Clem Casey Morgan Multifamily Fire Safety Alliance Elizabeth Castro-Gray Andy Teas Developers Todd Triggs Andy Teas Legislative Christy Rodriguez Andy Teas Political Action Stacy Hunt Andy Teas PAC Fundraising Gary Blumberg Alpa Patel Century Club Joseph Rodriguez Alpa Patel Golf Mark Park Alpa Patel Strategic Outreach Stephanie Graves Lauren Turner Leadership Development Alison Hall Susan Hinkley Community Outreach Jackie Aguirre Susan Hinkley Product Service Council David Lindley Susan Hinkley Expo Exhibitor Derek DeVries Amanda Sherbondy Membership Melissa Friend Amanda Sherbondy Doug Oehl Ambassador ONE Society Ryan Weis Amanda Sherbondy Marivel Bownds Independent Owners Connection Ramon Nunez Amanda Sherbondy Education Advisory Council Betsy Marshall Emily Hilton Monica Gracia Emily Hilton Career & Community Development Penny Sprang Emily Hilton Resident Relations A Beverly Norris Matti Luna Resident Relations B Kevin Hartman Matti Luna Resident Relations Appeals Darlene Guidry Matti Luna HAF Fundraiser Mark Park Lauren Ragin Debbie Andreozzi NEXT Ruha Vohra Lauren Ragin Amanda Kelley Property Awards Susan Dear Tina DeFiore Crystal Jackson

Do you need to find a product or service for your property on the go? The Buyer’s Guide is online! Simply search for a member by name or category to find the most up-to-date HAA supplier member listings. You can contact the companies directly or use our “Request for Information” tool. It's quick and easy!

www.haabuyersguide.com

HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MISSION AND VISION: HAA is the leading advocate, resource and community partner for quality rental housing providers in the Houston and surrounding area. HAA develops leadership in the multifamily industry by engaging broadly diverse membership, embracing effective technology and advocating for a geographically inclusive association. ABODE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION serving the multihousing industry in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Waller and Wharton counties. ABODE, APRIL 2021, VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4 ABODE (USPS 024-962) is published monthly by the Houston Multi Housing Corporation. Publishing, editorial and advertising offices are located at 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041. Telephone 713-595-0300. The $50 annual ABODE subscription rate is included in all member dues and additional subscriptions are available. The annual subscription rate is $50 for members, $65 for non-members. Advertising rates are available upon request. Contributed material does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Houston Apartment Association. Copyright © 2021 by HAA. Periodicals Postage Paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ABODE, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77041.

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SPONSOR MEMBERS These companies have generously supported the Houston Apartment Association with their sponsor membership. Please give them careful consideration, whenever possible, in your business. A + Infinity Blue Outdoors LLC A Homestead Specialist LLC A-Affordable Roofing Co AAA Staffing Ltd AAdvantage Laundry Systems Absolute Construction LLC ACT Security Group Action Towing Inc Action Window Coverings Inc ACTIV Answer by Audio Images ACUTRAQ Background Screening Inc Adobe Floors Inc Advance LED Solution Adventure Playground Systems Inc Affinity Hot Water Technoogy Inc Aftermath Services Ages Consulting LLC dba Alternative Green Energy Solutions Alcaraz Lawn Care Alexander-Rose Associates Inc All About Doody Pet Solutions LLC All American Mailboxes of Houston Inc Allegion Allied Powder Coating The Allshouse Group LLC ALN Apartment Data Inc AlphaGraphics of Central Houston AmCap Insurance America Outdoor Furniture American Fire Systems Inc AmRent Andrews Myers PC Apartment Lines ApartmentData.com AppFolio Arbor Contract Carpet Inc arc electric + lighting Archcon ASAP Personnel Inc ASAP Steamers Carpet Cleaning Asphalt Maintenance Inc Atom4 Security Camera AZPartsmaster B&G Construction Belfor Property Restoration Bell’s Laundries Benefits 4 Rent BenefitU Bentley, Bratcher & Associates - PC Bettencourt Tax Advisors LLC BGE Inc/aka Brown & Gay Engineers Inc Big Star Development LLC Bio-One Houston South BioTechs Crime & Trauma Scene Cleaning Blue Eye Defense Blue Heron Technologies LLC BMI Brady Chapman Holland & Assoc Brannan Designs LLC Architecture & Interior Design BrightView Landscape LLC BSI Building Professionals of Texas CAD Restoration Services LLC

Cameras Onsite Cano Electric Inc Cantrell McCulloch Inc Carradine Valet CashFlow Pros LLC Centex Construction CFI Group Chadwell Supply Cinch – Cabinet Refacing Kits Citi Fence & Concrete Classic Same Day Blinds Classic Touch Painting Comcast Contractors Inc ControlByNet Cloud & Management Video Surveillance Solutions CORT Furniture CRE Business Solutions LLC Crowned Eagle Construction CSI LED & Hardware Cypress Landscaping & Irrigation Inc DeNyse Companies Designs by Holmes Diamond Services LLC DNM Contracting Inc DoodyCalls Dooley Tackaberry Inc Door Clearance Center DreamCoat Cloud Services Ecolo Environmental Inc Embark Services Emersyn Electrical Services LLC EnviroSmart Multifamily Pest Solutions Epic Air Conditioning Everest Siding and Windows Fantastic Floors FAST Security, LLC Featherston Sign Partners Fiat Construction LLC Fidus Construction Services Finish Factory Inc First Responders Cleaning & Decon Flavor Finish Resurfacing Floodproofing.com Frontier Waste Solutions Frost Insurance Agency fun abounds Furniture Refinishing Services Gambit Construction Gasof United Remodeling Gateman Inc Giordano Construction Inc Go-Staff Inc Great American Business Products Green City Security LLC Green Garbology GT Security Solutions LLC Guardian Gutters Halo Doors Inc HARCO Insurance Services Higginbotham Hillco Building Service Hive Technology The Home Team Roofing & A/C Hoover Slovacek LLP IGD Plumbing LLC Imperial Hospitality and Security Services Inc

In Service Security LLC Infinity Power Partners J and B Carpet Services J Guzman General Remodeling J National JAK Environmental LLC DBA Legacy Power Washing & Graffiti Removal Johnstone Supply Jonah Digital Agency Kathy Andrews Interiors Keylo Painting & Construction King’s Granite and Marble KONE Leah McVeigh Design and Consulting The Liberty Group Lights Out Production Company Lincoln Jacob Construction Liquid Waste Solutions Lithotech Printed Products/ Forms Center LJL Designs Lopez Carpet Care & Painting Love's Plumbing Company Inc LP Building Solutions: Louisiana-Pacific Corporation LSR Multifamily Maldonado Nursery & Landscaping Inc Marathon Solutions Group LLC Marvin F Poer & Company Masonry Solutions Inc Matrix Construction Services McKenzie Drake Corporate Housing McMahan's Flooring Inc Moen Inc Moveforfree.com Inc MPS Direct Mueller Water Conditioning Inc MV Electric Inc MX2 Commercial Paving Nations Roof Houston LLC Nationwide Eviction Nettles & Co Property Tax Consulting Norman Construction Notifii LLC O’Connor & AssociatesCommercial Property Tax Division O’Conor Mason & Bone PC On Duty Tree and Landscape On Site Towing LLC On-Site Property Services Onesource Moving Outdoor Elements Pace Mechanical Services LLC Parking Management Company/PMC Towing Pathfinder Insurance Group Paul Davis Restoration North Houston PCS Creative Surface LLC Perma-Pier PERQ LLC Pool Knights Professional Resurface LLC Pura Flo Corporation Quick Roofing RAM Construction Ram Jack Foundation Solutions Redevelopment Services

Redstone Payment Solutions Reliable Roofing of Texas Inc Reliant RENCON RentPath RentSense LLC Resto Medic Restoration 1 of Central Houston RezClean Houston RG Miller Engineers Roosevelt General Contracting Roto-Rooter Services Co Royal Painting & Remodeling LLC SafeRent Solutions Saifee Signs & Graphics Saint Clair & Sons Inc SEAL Security Solutions LLC Secure Insurance Security Reconnaissance Team Sherwin Williams Company Sign-Ups & Banners Signal 88 Security SOS-ASAP Softwashing South Central Electric LLC Sparkle Wash Pressure Washing State Patrol Services LLC Storm Maintenance & Monitoring Strata Roofing and Construction LLC Structural Concrete Systems LLC Surface Designers Remodeling Inc Swain & Baldwin Insurance & Risk Management Texas Apartment Pool Services The Texas Bee Yard LLC DBA 3BeeGuys Bee Removal Texas Concrete Professional Company Texas Engineered Roofing & General Contracting Texas Landscape Group LLC Texas Management Group LLC Texas Southwest Floors Inc Texas Waste Management Solutions LLC Text Services LLC The Lane Law Firm Tidal Renovations LLC Total Safety Security Services LLC Two Brothers Foundation Repair United Protective Services Urban Design Constructors LLC USA Patrol Division Valet Living Veteran Supply Services LLC Vima Decor WASH Multifamily Laundry Systems Wayfinder Tax Relief LLC Webb Pest Control Whitmans Contracting and Roofing Wickley Interactive Wildlife Removal Experts LLC Willbanks & Associates Inc


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Letter from the President

By JOHN BORIACK, 2021 HAA President

LEARN FROM THE LEADERS Advice from the Houston Apartment Association’s rich legacy of past presidents.

BEFORE I INTRODUCE the next HAA past president to share their leadership lessons, I want to thank our maintenance teams and our supplier partners for their courage and dedication in the wake of the winter freeze we experienced in the middle of February. Millions of Texans were without power and water in freezing temperatures for days, some were without water for even longer than that. It was an uneasy time for Houstonians. We desperately wanted to go back to our pandemic infused normal. Thanks to our fearless and selfless maintenance teams and supplier partners, we were able to do just that. I know I can speak for the entire apartment industry when I say we thank and appreciate each and every one of you for the long hours you all worked under incredibly harsh conditions to get basic services restored as quickly as possible back to our residents. All of the challenges we have faced over the last couple of years has only made us stronger and so much more creative. These were skills that the iconic HAA Past President, Suan Tinsley, had to harness early on in her property management career. Tinsley started her career during one of the most challenging times in Houston, during the 1980 oil bust. Relying on her creativity and resilience, Tinsley was promoted to vice president of operations. She went on to work for industry moguls such as Marvy and Ronny Finger of the Finger Companies and big-name companies like Greystar. Today, Tinsley is a partner of DayRise Residential, a management company she started with her partners. Tinsley has poured so much of her time, energy and leadership into the association over the decades. Tinsley became HAA president in 2007, and in 2017, she was inducted into the HAA Hall of Fame. She, and so many other HAA veterans, have helped shape this association into what it is today. John: What are some things you wish you knew when you started your career? Suan: That the sky is the limit. Don’t be afraid to investigate all aspects of property management, such as marketing, asset management, business services, training, etc., to ensure you are on the right track with what makes you the happiest. John: What skill do you believe is the most important to perfect for someone who does what you do? www.haaonline.org

I had a boss who once asked me if I had an extra hour in each day, would I focus on revenue or expenses. I was always concerned about spending too much money, so my response was expense control. His advice to me was to focus on revenue and the rest would fall into place. That advice confirmed my main skillset.

Suan: Motivate, motivate, motivate your teams. Be a cheerleader for your employees. Also, hire zest. John: What is the hardest leadership lesson that keeps being presented to you that you either have to learn or relearn? Suan: Keeping up with technology. And, being willing to learn the most effective way of running your business. An owner once asked what my strengths and weaknesses were in an interview. He told me he believed in putting people in positions that complimented their strengths. That was very liberating for me. John: What was either the best career advice you’ve ever received or the worst career advice you’ve ever received? Suan: The best career advice I’ve ever received was that we are in the business 24/7. That advice really struck a chord with me. Also, one owner I worked for always said it’s all about the manager. This is so true. It is the most critical position in our business. John: Describe either a challenge, accomplishment or decision that catapulted you to your success? Suan: Focusing on revenue primarily, then expenses second. I had a boss who once asked me if I had an extra hour in each day, would I focus on revenue or expenses? I was always concerned about spending too much money, so my response was expense control. His advice to me was to focus on revenue and the rest would fall into place. That advice confirmed my main skillset. John: Do you have a morning or daily routine that you feel makes you a more productive or successful person? Suan: I get up early and spend quiet time planning my day. I used to be at the gym by 5 a.m. to workout for two hours. Unfortunately, I let that routine lapse when I started my company and I was on the road constantly. I know what you’re going to say, “You can work out in hotels!”

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These companies have generously supported the Houston Apartment Association with their patron membership. Please give them careful consideration, whenever possible, in your business.

Houston Planned Energy Systems

HAA Member since 1997

Cotton Commercial USA Inc.

Gemstar Construction Development Inc.

HAA Member since 1982

Lowe’s Pro Supply

HAA Member since 1985

CSC ServiceWorks

HAA Member since 1984

HAA Member since 2006

HAA Member since 1961

Craven Carpet

HAA Member since 1986

Camp Construction Services

HAA Member since 1994

April Patron of the Month

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Apartments.com

HAA Member since 1978

AAA Plumbers

FSI Construction Inc.

HAA Member since 1999

Dixie Carpet Installations

HAA Member since 1987

Century A/C Supply

HAA Member since 1968

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Letter from the CEO

By CASEY WATTS MORGAN, HAA CEO

ON FEBRUARY 19, HAA PRESIDENT JOHN BORIACK QUICKLY ASSEMBLED A TEAM OF HAA MEMBERS in order to develop strategies responding to “Snow-vid” membership needs in the aftermath of the state’s unprecedented winter storm. This taskforce was comprised of members of the HAA Executive Committee as well as the VPALs and key industry experts. Their expertise included plumbing, fire sprinkler maintenance and repair, general contracting and local supplies. Meeting twice a week, the main objectives of the taskforce were to identify the immediate needs of the membership and identify ways to provide as much information as possible in a timely fashion. As a result, HAA jumped to action and changed an already scheduled Expert Exchange to focus on winter storm needs. The Expert Exchange on February 24 included plumbing expert Mark Park with AAA Plumbers, fire sprinkler expert David Stone with American Fire Systems and landscaping expert Deborah Winkelman, Rotolo Consultants. This Expert Exchange was packed with valuable winter storm-related information and had record attendance with more than 100 views. It was so popular that TAA circulated the recorded program among state-wide association executive officers days later! HAA also solicited photos from members illustrating the around-the-clock hard work of our vendors, suppliers and property management staff repairing the many plumbing and maintenance needs in the wake of the winter storm. Photos were posted to HAA’s social media and published in the March ABODE. We have more in this issue starting on Page 30. Additionally, HAA staff circulated the HAA Directory and Buyer’s Guide, available online at www.haabuyersguide.com, encouraging members to utilize the services of other HAA members and provided tips on how to remain vigilant against fly-by-night contractors or scam artists. A week after returning from the winter storm, HAA’s General Counsel Howard Bookstaff shifted the focus of an already scheduled Legal Lowdown to address resident rent discount or concession requests as well as lease termination concerns. The related Q&A was also distributed to the members and made available weekly through HAA’s ThisWeek. Finally, the HAA Public Affairs staff stayed in close contact with the City of Houston’s Housing Department, providing status reports on the industry’s recovery process and partnering together in order to provide assistance to some properties that were left without water for extended periods. The staff also stayed in constant communication with the Houston Fire Department so that HAA could help members address miscommunication from the City concerning fire watch protocols and other best practices in the aftermath of the storm. Overall, the HAA staff and Snow-vid taskforce were hard at work behind the scenes troubleshooting on behalf of HAA members and providing critical resources to assist the industry recover as quickly as possible. Thank you to HAA president John Boriack for his leadership in assembling this team in such a timely manner and to HAA members who volunteered their time on the taskforce. Together, the taskforce and HAA staff were able to efficiently respond to member needs during yet another “unprecedented event!”

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It’s the Law

By HOWARD BOOKSTAFF, Hoover Slovacek LLP , HAA General Counsel

PROHIBITING GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION

HUD announces its intent to prevent discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. ON JANUARY 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. The president stated that people should be able to access health care and secure a roof over their head without being subjected to sex discrimination and that all persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. The executive order cites a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, decided June15, 2020, that held discrimination in the workplace “because of…sex” covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The executive order states that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation manifests differently for different individuals, and it often overlaps with other forms of prohibited discrimination on the basis of race or disability. Accordingly, it is the policy of the administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. It is also the policy of the administration to address overlapping forms of discrimination. The executive order requires that the head of each federal agency consider whether there are additional actions that the agency should take to ensure that it is fully implementing the policy of the administration. HUD’s Response: On February 11, 2021, HUD responded to the President’s executive order. The Acting Assistant Secretary of HUD for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity directed HUD’s Office of www.haaonline.org

Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity to take certain actions HUD continues by stating that courts and governments to administer and fully enhave routinely withheld legal legitimacy from loving force the Fair Housing Act to couples because of their sex and denied many persons prohibit discrimination bethe freedom to express a gender that defies norms. cause of gender identity or These injustices have perpetrated across civic institusexual orientation. tions such as the workplace, the marketplace, places of HUD stated that, at the core of its housing mission, is education and many others. But among the most peran endeavor to ensure that all sonal and fundamental of these institutions is housing, people peacefully enjoy a where, when granted the protection of fair housing law, place they call home, where we all can enjoy the happiness and freedom to love they are safe and can thrive, when we choose and safely express who we are. free from discrimination and fear. Yet, this ideal remains unrealized for lesbian, gay, bistrably less favorable treatment than their sexual, transgender and queer-identifying perstraight and cisgender counterparts when sons, who have been denied the constitutional seeking rental housing. promise of equal protection under the law throughout most of American history. History of HUD Enforcement of HUD continues by stating that courts and Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation governments have routinely withheld legal legitimacy from loving couples because of Discrimination: their sex and denied many persons the freeOver the past 10 years, HUD has sought to dom to express a gender that defies norms. address housing discrimination on the basis of These injustices have perpetrated across gender identity or sexual orientation to the excivic institutions such as the workplace, the tent possible in a dynamic public policy and marketplace, places of education and many legal landscape. Beginning in 2012, HUD others. But among the most personal and promulgated a series of rules to ensure that fundamental of these institutions is housing, every person has equal access to HUD prowhere, when granted the protection of fair grams without being arbitrarily excluded rehousing law, we all can enjoy the happiness gardless of their sexual orientation, gender and freedom to love when we choose and identity, or marital status. safely express who we are. In its 2016 harassment rule, HUD reaffirmed HUD further states that it knows this disits legal interpretation that the Fair Housing crimination is real and urgently requires enAct’s protection from discrimination because forcement action. HUD-funded housing of sex included discrimination because of gendiscrimination studies indicate that same-sex der identity. Also in 2016, HUD instructed recouples and transgender persons in commugional offices that discriminate because of real nities across the country experience demonor perceived gender identity is sex discriminaApril 2021

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tion under the Fair Housing Act, and that discrimination against persons because of sexual orientation may be sex-based discrimination when motivated by perceived nonconformity with gender stereotypes. HUD states that limited enforcement of the Fair Housing Act sex discrimination prohibition, while a step forward, is insufficient to satisfy the act’s purpose of providing fair housing throughout the United States to the full extent permitted by the United States Constitution. It is also inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of discrimination because of sex under the Bostock decision, and it fails to fully enforce the provisions of the Fair Housing Act to combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in accordance with the President’s executive order. New HUD Mandate: Effective immediately, HUD has directed its offices, state and local agencies that are supervised by HUD and agencies that receive funds from HUD to fully enforce the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition of discrimination because of sex, including gender identity or sexual orientation.

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How HUD’s Memorandum Affects the Apartment Industry: Although gender identity and sexual orientation are not new protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act, complaints based upon gender identity and sexual orientation will be treated as a complaint based on sex discrimination. Based upon HUD’s history of enforcement of discrimination because of sex, it is apparent that someone who had a claim of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation already had a forum to address their complaints based upon how the complaint was made. However, HUD’s memorandum places formal emphasis on allowing fair housing agencies to include claims based upon gender identity or sexual orientation as part of a claim based upon discrimination because of sex. It would also be reasonable to assume that fair housing agencies and tenant advocates will publicize this memorandum to emphasize that prospective and existing residents may file complaints based upon gender identity or sexual orientation. This may have the effect of creating more complaints.

As with any new guidance from HUD, it is subject to interpretation by HUD as well as the courts. Rental criteria should be reviewed to determine that there is nothing in the criteria that may be interpreted as taking action against someone because of gender identity or sexual orientation. Based upon the language in HUD’s memorandum, it would include taking action against anyone because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer-identifying persons. You should also be sensitive towards taking any adverse action against anyone because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, you want to avoid fostering an environment that allows other persons such as residents and vendors to treat persons differently based upon their gender identity or sexual orientation. This may involve how you enforce community policies on your property. HUD has formally declared its policy to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, however, these concepts have been around for quite some time. By reviewing your documents, policies and procedures, you should be able to avoid any unnecessary problems.

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Resident Relations from the RESIDENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE

CHARGES COME KNOCKING A resident disputes charges for a $300 door frame.

A RESIDENT FILED a complaint with

the Houston Apartment Association to dispute charges following move-out. In the complaint, the resident listed a handful of charges she felt were unfair, but the charge she focused on the most was one for a door frame. The resident, who was willing to pay for it at a reasonable price, said management charged her $300 for a single door frame replacement. Management responded to HAA and that response was forwarded to the applicant. Enclosed in management’s response were copies of the lease, the resident ledger, the application form, the move-in condition form, the notice to vacate, the move-out statement

The HAA Resident Relations Committees provide

and pictures. an impartial review of resident complaints using Management mentioned the documentation provided by both the resident in their response that the and management. make-ready process had not started yet. Because management could not provide invoices to support their charges, this was a fairly easy case The resident’s outstanding water and sewer for the Resident Relations Committee. charges, in addition to cleaning charges stood. The committee ruled in favor of manageAfter the revisions, the resident now owes ment with revisions. The committee removed management $470.21 the door frame charge of $300, the paint charge of $192.24, the sheetrock charge of $175 If you are a manager with a resident and the resurfacing charge of $95, because relations issue, call HAA at 713-595-0300 management could not provide invoices to for direct assistance. support those charges. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

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I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

www.haaonline.org


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Legislative Update

By CHRISTY RODRIGUEZ, HAA Legislative Chair, with ANDY TEAS, CAE, Vice President of Public Affairs

FAIR HOUSING – IT’S A STATE LAW, TOO Legislators propose expanding state law to cover additional groups.

AS WE CELEBRATE Fair Housing Month, it is important to remember that while states and local governments cannot undo any of the protections offered by the Federal Fair Housing Act, they can offer additional protections that go beyond federal law. President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968. The law prohibited housing discrimination because of race, color, religion or national origin. Sex was added as a protected class in 1974. In 1989, Congress extended the original law to cover disability and familial status. Many Texas cities have local ordinances that prohibit housing discrimination against members of groups that go far beyond the categories protected by federal law. San Antonio’s ordinance covers “race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age or national origin.” Austin’s ordinance prohibits housing discrimination “…based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, student status, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or source of income…” In 2014, the Houston City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting housing discrimination based on “sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy.” Voters overturned that ordinance in an election the following year, returning Houston’s ordinance to simply reflect federal law.

Your Vote Matters www.haaonline.org

This year, Texas legislators have filed a number of bills to expand the state fair housing law to cover additional groups. Here are some of the proposals being addressed this year. H.B. 191 by Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) would prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, or on gender identity or expression, adding those two categories to the state’s list of protected fair housing classes. H.B. 392 by Rep. Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland) would prohibit school, employment and housing discrimination based on “a hair texture or protective hairstyle,” which is defined as a hair texture or hairstyle “commonly or historically associated with race.” H.B. 875 by Rep. Ray Lopez (D-San Antonio) would add “age” to the list of Texas’ protected fair housing categories – defining age interestingly as meaning “65 years of age or more.” H.B. 1470 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) would prohibit housing discrimination based on a person’s “source of income,” which is a clever way to say the state would be making the voluntary housing choice voucher program mandatory throughout Texas. The bill would also repeal a section of state law prohibiting cities from doing precisely this, which would be moot were this bill to become law. Beyond vouchers, this bill would also cover rental assistance and rental subsidies from “a non-governmental organization.” H.B. 886 by Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston) would repeal the state’s prohibition against cities adopting “source of income” protection ordinances, without adding it to the state fair housing law.

H.B. 2069 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in a wide range of areas, from housing, public accommodation and employment to the acquisition of marriage licenses. S.B. 233 by Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression in a wide range of areas including housing and employment. S.B. 265 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) is similar to H.B. 1470, and would prohibit housing discrimination based on “source of income.” The Texas Apartment Association is closely monitoring all of these bills, and will monitor many more that will undoubtedly be filed between now and the bill filing deadline. The apartment industry strongly supports fair housing. We’re in the business of providing rental housing to everyone. The key is always in the details. As the list of categories grows longer and more complex, what do housing providers need to do to prove their compliance? What records do we need to keep? What questions do we need to ask – or are we prohibited from asking? Fair housing is about basic fairness and making sure that people don’t face discrimination for things that shouldn’t matter when looking for a place to live. Unfortunately, though, fair housing is also about proving legal compliance, avoiding frivolous complaints and defending yourself from predatory lawsuits. Our industry’s goal remains making safe, affordable housing available to everyone.

The Houston Apartment Association Political Action Committee is the PAC of the Houston Apartment Association, a non-profit trade association representing the area apartment industry. Without political capital, our industry would not be as successful in representing you or your clients’ interests, and thus, your financial well-being. The HAAPAC participates in local and state political campaigns, helping candidates who support the apartment industry and its supplier businesses. You can participate in the HAAPAC on several levels.

For more on HAAPAC, visit www.haaonline.org/haapac/ April 2021

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THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION CORDIALLY INVITES YOU TO JOIN US FOR AN EVENING TO RECONNECT AND CELEBRATE THE 2021 PRESIDENT JOHN BORIACK, OFFICERS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE PRODUCT SERVICE COUNCIL

Gala 2021

Presented by

Premier Sponsors CENTURY A/C SUPPLY

CRESTMARK CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

LOWE’S PRO SUPPLY

Friday, June 11 7 . . 11:30 . . Ballroom at Bayou Place P M TO

PM

500 TEXAS AVENUE

COCKTAIL ATTIRE WWW.HAAONLINE.ORG/GALA

RELIANT


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Calendar HAA Education, Events and Meetings SCHEDULE

As of press time, dates and locations are tentative. Please see www.haaonline.org for the most up-todate information. Social distancing and masks will be required for in-person meetings. HAA has modified procedures to reduce opportunities for the COVID-19 virus to spread as we realize there is a risk associated with interacting with the public. • We are minimizing the number of people allowed in our building. • All guests are instructed to remain 6 feet apart. • We are providing social distance markers to guide access. • We have hand sanitizers in common areas throughout our building. • We have enhanced cleaning of our building. • Guests will be required to wear masks at all times. If you are able to provide your own mask, please do so. We will have disposable masks in case you do not bring your own. • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has the virus or has been exposed to anyone who is sick, we ask that you remain at home.

APRIL S M T

W T 1 4 5 6 7 8 11 12 13 14 15 18 19 20 21 22 25 26 27 28 29

F 2 9 16 23 30

S 3 10 17 24

MAY S M

T

W T

F

2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 30 31

S 1 8 15 22 29

APRIL 1

8

21

Legal Lowdown Thursday, April 1 3 p.m. See Page 23 for details. Sponsored by Outdoor Elements

CAM: Legal Responsibilities Thursday, April 8 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by ALN Apartment Data

CAM: Human Resources Wednesday, April 21 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by CORT Furniture

2

13 CALP III: Why Your Competition Matters Tuesday, April 13 8:30 a.m. to Noon See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

Go-Getter Happy Hour Wednesday, April 21 4 p.m. Location TBA Sponsored by Outdoor Elements and Rent Path

Good Friday Friday, April 2 In observance of Good Friday, the HAA office will be closed.

6 CALP (formerly NALP) I: Bringing in New Residents: Be Prepared Tuesday, April 6 8:30 a.m. to Noon See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing CALP II: Marketing and Maintaining your Community Tuesday, April 6 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

7 CAM: Property Maintenance Wednesday, April 7 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Cotton Commercial

13 CALP IV: Relevant Laws and How to Apply Them Tuesday, April 13 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

14 Expert Exchange Wednesday, April 14 Noon Via Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube (subscribe to HAATV) Originally scheduled for February 24, we will talk to the expert Lana Pistono with Yardi about apartment tours in 2021. Sponsored by Yardi

New Supplier Member Orientation Wednesday, April 7 10 a.m. Via Zoom All new supplier members welcome.

Resident Relations Committee B Meeting Wednesday, April 14 2 p.m. Via Zoom

7

CALP V: The Sales Process and Building Relationships Tuesday, April 20 8:30 a.m. to Noon See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

Ambassador ONE Society Meeting Wednesday, April 7 3:30 to 5 p.m. Kirby Ice House Memorial City 1015 Gessner Road Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

22 CAM: Risk Management Thursday, April 22 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sponsored by Outdoor Elements

27 CALP VII: Market Analysis for Leasing Professionals Tuesday, April 27 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

28 Expert Exchange Wednesday, April 28 Noon Tentative

20

CALP VI: Effectively Meeting the Needs of Current Residents Tuesday, April 20 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. See Page 24 for details. Sponsored by Best Plumbing

UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, all events meet at our Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., second floor, in either the Direct Energy and Liberty Personnel & Executive Search or the Camden and Michael Stevens Interests Room. Meetings located at the HAA Offices, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., first floor, will be held in the Redi Carpet and Winograd Families/Judwin Properties Conference Room. See www.haaonline.org for an interactive calendar. 20

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Please note that dates and times are subject to change. Check the calendars at www.haaonline.org for the most up-to-date information.

For the most up-to-date information, see the calendar on the HAA website:

www.haaonline.org

MAY 5

New Supplier Member Orientation Wednesday, May 5 10 a.m. Via Zoom All new supplier members welcome. Ambassador ONE Society Crawfish Boil Wednesday, May 5 4 to 6 p.m. Location TBA Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org for details.

6-7

Lowe’s Pro Supply Challenge Cup Thursday, May 6 through Friday, May 7 By invitation only

12-13

6

Blue Star Program May 6 The Blue Star Certification Program is a joint effort by the Houston Police Department and the Houston Apartment Association. Created for rental properties of all sizes, the program's goal is to help law enforcement officials and the multifamily housing industry work together to effectively reduce criminal activity in rental properties. Register online at: www.houstontx.gov/police/multi_fa mily. Please direct questions to Officer Leorory Ferguson at: Leoroy.Ferguson@houstonpolice.org. For more information visit the Blue Star Program information page: https://www.haaonline.org/Program. aspx?id=208. Sponsored by American Fire Systems and Century A/C Supply Legal Lowdown Thursday, May 6 3 p.m. Via Zoom Sponsored by RentPath

11

CPO – Spanish Wednesday, May 12 through Thursday, May 13 8:30 a.m.

12

HAA/Northwest Chamber Lunch and Learn Wednesday, May 12 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Via Zoom. Email Outreach to register at outreach@haaonline.org. Expert Exchange – Tentative Wednesday, May 12 Noon Via Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube (subscribe to HAATV). Resident Relations Committee A Meeting Wednesday, May 12 2 p.m. Via Zoom

25-26

Leasing 101 Tuesday, May 25 through Wednesday, May 26 8:30 a.m.

26

Expert Exchange – Tentative Wednesday, May 26 Noon Via Zoom, Facebook Live and YouTube (subscribe to HAATV).

27

Board of Directors Meeting Thursday, May 27 4 p.m. Sponsored by Hire Priority Staffing & Executive Search

31

Offices Closed In observance of Memorial Day, the HAA office will be closed on Monday, May 31

20

NEXT Mix N' Mingle: NEXT Family Reunion Thursday, May 20 5 p.m.

Supplier Education Program Tuesday, May 11 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. See Page 55 for details.

21

IROC Breakfast Friday, May 21 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sponsored by fun abounds

Did they pay their rent? Rental Credit Reporting (RCR) was established in 1977 to solve screening problems the Houston Apartment Association founders felt plagued the local apartment industry. RCR has unsurpassed data on resident rental histories in the Houston region. The Houston Apartment Association and SafeRent Solutions are partnered to expand RCR and include numerous searches in one bundled report with immediate and unlimited inquiry access.

To learn more and subscribe, call RCR at 713-595-0300, email rcr@haaonline.org or visit www.haaonline.org.

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Mark your ca lendars: Cla

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g n i w e i V m a LivestreIn-Person . or nline.org for details aao See www.h

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Sponsored by Follow a road that fits you career journey with Avenues. The Avenues series of seminars feature some of the best nationally-acclaimed speakers in the industry with learning sessions for every level of multifamily professional. Annual Property Subscriptions are available with unlimited attendance for all on-site property staff to all sessions at discounted prices: • Only $199 per year per property for properties with fewer than 200 units • Only $399 per year per property for properties with 200 to 350 units. • Only $450 per year per property for properties with more than 350 units. If you need a single workshop, individual sessions are priced at only $50 per person, a real steal for quality education.

Look for the class schedule and online at www.haaonline.org for details. Contact the HAA Education Department at education@haaonline.org or register online at www.haaonline.org. 22

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Mark your calendars!

April 1 May 6 June 3 July 1 August 5 September 2 October 7 November 4 December 2

Get the lowdown, virtually! 2021 is sure to be another bumpy ride, with many legal implications for the multifamily industry. Stay up to date and in the know via this new monthly series. Join Howard Bookstaff virtually for an update on all things legal, from eviction procedures to local, state and federal law changes.

First Thursday of every month at 3 p.m. Program fee: $45 per person Annual Property Subscription available: $500 per property

Register online today at www.haaonline.org or call 713-595-0300 for details.


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Reunion Reunite with your young professional peers at HAA NEXT's first Mix N Mingle event of 2021. Mark your calendar for fun and socially-distanced games during the NEXT Family Reunion. HAA NEXT Mix N Mingle: Family Reunion Thursday, May 20 Little Woodrow’s - Midtown

2306 2306 Brazos Brazos St. St.

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. $20 per person


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BE A PART OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF HAA LEADERSHIP. This niche group within HAA is dedicated to the networking and professional development needs of HAA’s young professionals and it is open to all members. Network with your peers and grow your career together among the next generation of HAA leadership! To learn how to become involved with NEXT, see online at www.haaonline.org/next.

NEXT Mission Statement: A network of young professionals committed to the growth of future leaders with the Houston Apartment Association through education, peer-to-peer networking, and legislative and community involvement.

NEXT Co-Chairs:

Amanda Kelly, CAS, Brandt Electrical A/C & Heating Services

HAA NEXT programs include free networking events held at various venues across Houston and low-cost Professional Development Breakfasts held virtually or at the HAA Education Center. The Professional Development programs feature special guest speakers on timely topics relevant to enhancing and furthering your multifamily industry career. Register online at www.haaonline.org/next or email us at events@haaonline.org for more information. We look forward to meeting you!

Ruha Vohra, NALP, CAM, Veritas Equity Management

Upcoming NEXT Events: May 20 Mix-N-Mingle: NEXT Family Reunion June 25 Professional Development Breakfast August 5 NEXT Spelling Bee: HAAPAC Fundraiser October 8 Professional Development Breakfast: Master Panel featuring HAA Past Presidents December 2 Holiday Mix-N-Mingle

EXT's N A A for H d e year! n e u h t t y f a o t S roject p r e e t volun


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Industry Update from the NATIONAL APARTMENT ASSOCIATION and the NATIONAL MULTIHOUSING COUNCIL

THE COVID EFFECT

The pandemic is forcing industry leaders to rethink the way apartments are designed and managed in the future. IT HAS BEEN 12 months since the U.S. began sheltering in place as COVID-19 spread across the country. Now, a year later, there doesn’t appear to be a part of business, society and the economy that this novel coronavirus hasn’t touched. As these changes linger, it’s easy to wonder what efforts introduced during (or accelerated by) the pandemic will remain for the long term. After a vaccine, will we abandon offices and keep working from home? Will we eschew brick-and-mortar retail for our Amazon app? Will we become more comfortable making significant decisions through virtual interactions? The answers to these questions can recalibrate how we live, work, eat, shop, play and learn. They could also determine how apartments are designed and managed and maybe even whether they’re bought or sold in the future. Industry leaders are spending a lot of time thinking about what the future looks like and how they’re preparing their organizations to adapt to the post-COVID world. “I think when you see a big paradigm shift like this, it gave us all a scare and forced us to adapt,” says Robert Lee, President of JRK Property Holdings. Management Changes Ask most apartment managers what the most lasting change to their business has been since the pandemic, and they’ll quickly say, “virtual leasing.” Before the pandemic, organizations were experimenting with virtual platforms. Once social distancing measures were imposed, that became the primary method of leasing for many companies. “We’ve taken our game up,” says Greg Mutz, Chairman & CEO of AMLI Residential. “These virtual tours are now really first-class, almost like being in the unit.” While no one argues that virtual leasing won’t be part of the mix in the future, there are questions about how much the industry will rely on technology. Mutz thinks there will still be a de-

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mand for in-person tours from many prospective residents. “Most people want to see the space before they actually lease it,” he says. “But they’ll narrow it down to two [with virtual leasing] rather than take the time to go look at five or six places. Time is valuable and in the age of COVID, so is health.” Mutz also thinks self-guided tours are here to stay. Many times, he says, people want to look at an apartment at their own pace without someone else along. “Our self-guided tours are likely to continue to be a preferred way to look at an apartment by some people,” Mutz says. “Others want somebody to chat with and don’t want to walk around alone. They want to ask a bunch of questions in person rather than on an online chat room or the phone.” While some REITs are reportedly moving exclusively to virtual leasing, Lee thinks the industry still needs in-person leasing. When he does due diligence on potential acquisitions, particularly in the suburbs, he finds that traffic lags in some suburban communities with virtual leasing. “You can capture more leasing when you’re open is what we’re finding,” Lee says. “We still think having the ability to try to close them in person and selling them on the amenities, touch and feel is a competitive advantage.” But there are some changes in virtual communications and ACH payments (versus physical checks) that Lee, whose portfolio is a mix of A- and B-class apartments, thinks will stick. Instead of residents calling with work orders, they can now send that electronically. “It is an amazing thing for leasing staff to just focus on leasing and for the manager to just be able to focus on running his or her property operationally and not have to worry about all the administrative tasks and residents coming in,” Lee says. Joe Lubeck, CEO, American Landmark, says his team has dramatically increased its

resident communication and came up with creative ways to have virtual resident events. “I believe trying to maintain a high level of service and a high level of contact will continue going forward,” he says. Virtual communication hasn’t just taken off with residents, it is also working with inspectors. About half of Avanath Capital Management’s portfolio is Section 8 housing, which requires the company to interact with about 45 housing authorities. Historically, they’ve required a physical inspection of apartments before the resident moves in. Now, they’re doing virtual inspections. “Those are significant improvements in our business,” says Daryl J. Carter, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Avanath. “Since March, we’ve done over 3,000 new leases or renewals, all of which have been done virtually. This new process has made us more efficient, and we see it as a change that is here to stay for the long term.” Development and Design Trends While COVID will change the way onsite staff interacts with residents and prospects, the most noticeable long-term change from the pandemic may be in the way apartments look. Most of this will be driven by residents working from home more often. “I do think that a permanent shift from [COVID] could be a lot more people, especially professionals working from home either two days a week, three days a week or permanently,” Lee says. “So how do we make spaces where they can convert from where you sleep to where you work very easily?” As Chief Executive Officer of Trammell Crow Residential (TCR), one of the nation’s largest developers, Ken Valach spends a lot of time thinking about that very question. He sees developers adding small dens with modular desks in one-bedroom apartments to make it easier to work from home. Right now, that is TCR’s most popular unit. “You can feel like www.haaonline.org


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you’re not working in your living room all the time,” Valach says. Lubeck expects to see slightly larger apartments, which would return to the sizes of 10 to 15 years ago. “I think we’ll see home office equipment and home office centers with builtin [desks] so that people can accommodate work or even school better from their apartment,” he says. TCR is also looking at putting in bigger windows to let in more light. Soundproofing has always been an essential concern for developers. But in the telecommuting world, it’s not just enough to limit sound between apartments. With one person working in the living room and another in a bedroom, limiting noise is essential. “There’s been talk in the industry a lot about more soundproofing within units, which is something we haven’t focused on in the past,” Valach says. Common areas will also adapt to telework. Valach is intrigued by WeWork-type amenities for people who want to get out of their apartment and work. Just as telework has taken off during the pandemic, so have deliveries of both goods and food. TCR is experimenting with refrigerator areas for frozen food and evaluating whether it is putting in enough package rooms. “We have gone to larger parcel rooms and bigger shelving for overflow parcels, mattresses and all sorts of things,” Valach says. The arrival of a deadly airborne virus has focused apartment developers and owners on air quality. For AMLI, it has always been a priority. “AMLI has invested a lot of capital in terms of clean air, more air circulation and more volume of air moving into both apartments and amenity spaces,” Mutz says. Valach is thinking about improving air filtration throughout his buildings, including common areas. “We’re looking at all sorts of different filtration,” Valach says. “The good news is all these split [HVAC] systems that most of us use are more efficient and better for filtration than a big centralized system, even in our high-rises.” TCR is even going so far as installing materials that could conceivably neutralize bacteria, like copper, brass and bronze, in common areas. It has also investigated Silestone antimicrobial countertops. “We’re looking at a lot of different surfaces,” Valach says Other developers are also thinking about limiting the spread of germs on surfaces. In high-rises, Lubeck sees touchless elevators in the future. “You’re going to see a number of / See COVID EFFECT, Page 65 www.haaonline.org

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Status quo is prevailing, but some companies, employees and residents cheer the governor’s decision. By

PAUL BERGERON

Texas Lifts Mask Mandates This article was written on March 3 and originally published by MultifamilyInsiders.com on March 4.

T

he announcement this week by Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifting the state’s requirement that its citizens wear masks in public has Texas apartment operators split over whether to change their mask protocols for employees and residents. Property management professionals’ emotions have ranged from “loud cheers in the corporate office” to “relief and gratitude” from staff members; while for others, creating a still greater fear about the health consequences could be caused by Abbott’s decision. Those making adjustments will put them in place immediately or next week. Others are in a wait-and-see mode while the continue to recover from the state’s late-February freeze. Gina Y. Erwin, president, GWR Management, Houston, said, “We literally just sent an email out today to our teams telling them that we will no longer require masks of employees and that they can remove the signs from the doors as of next Wednesday. Of course, we certainly will allow staff members to wear masks if they feel more comfortable by doing so. Most are thrilled. “We watched the announcement live at our corporate office and I could hear cheers down the hall. There are few in the field who expressed concerns and will continue to wear masks, but overall, the majority are happy to have their smiles paroled.” Prior to this, GWR mandated masks at every property. Staff were required to wear masks at all times while in the office and while in occupied apartments. “As long as they could maintain 6-foot distances from others while outside, they were not required to wear masks,” Erwin said. “We also required all guests, residents and customers to put on a mask before entering our leasing offices and we posted mask-wearing signs on every entry point.” For inside common areas, GWR posted signs that essentially put the onus on residents for taking “safe steps” about the pandemic, Erwin said, including keeping safe distances, wearing masks and only allowing a certain number of people inside depending on size and capacity. Pools and outside common areas had the same restrictions as far as capacity and distancing, but no masks required. David Mintz, vice president of government affairs, Texas Apartment Association (TAA), said of the Governor’s Executive Order, “Apartment communities and other businesses can determine what policies regardwww.haaonline.org

ing masks and the use of amenities are best for their residents and employees. TAA will continue sharing best practices and other guidance on steps property owners can take to help reduce spread of the virus.” “Mask Up” Camden will continue to require its team members and anyone entering our offices to wear face-coverings. And effective March 10, all amenity spaces will resume standard occupancy requirements for each area. Face-coverings will remain a requirement for indoor amenity spaces and elevators. This [mask-wearing] is consistent with the advice of health professionals and guidelines from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Julie Keel, vice president of marketing, Camden, said. Camden’s company memorandum sent this week states, “While we know many of you are excited about the changes, please understand not all are comfortable being around others in close proximity, not wearing face-coverings. We strongly encourage face-coverings to be worn throughout the community and to continue with social distancing.” Thus far, Keel said, “It’s being received favorably by the majority of our residents.” John Boriak, president, Veritas Equity Management, Tomball, Texas, said his company is still sorting through rental assistance programs and storm recovery [from the late February freeze] and hasn’t given this new mask development a lot of thought yet. “Internally we are excited and feel like it’s confirmation that we are headed in the right direction when it comes to recovering from this pandemic,” Boriak said. “We will probably still request that team members who are interacting with residents – such as maintenance techs when going into homes and office staff when speaking with residents – wear masks until Harris County gets out of ‘threat level red.’ But beyond that, we’ll just ask team members to respect the wishes of others who still choose to wear masks (and reciprocate when around them) but won’t have any requirements beyond that.” “Our Property. Our Rules.” Some observers are suggesting that lifting the mask mandate could deter prospects, especially those who live out of market in states that require masks from touring properties that do not require masks – virtual tours or not. Like many things that have occurred since the pandemic began last March, the Blue State vs. Red State debate applies again. / See Masks, Page 35

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g n o r t s y l i m a f i t l u m #

The return of the masked onsite superheroes!

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ast month, we featured a few of the onsite personnel who were back in action helping their residents during the Texas winter storm. This month, we feature more, including some of our supplier partners who were hard at work helping their clients and communities. Don’t forget HAA has a strong contingency of supplier partners ready to address your needs in the aftermath of this storm and beyond, visit www.haabuyersguide.com to find supplier partners today. Save time and use the “Request for Information” tool to request bids or services from multiple companies in one communication.

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Thank you to all of our multifamily industry essentials!

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Property management professionals’ emotions have ranged from “loud cheers in the corporate office” to “relief and gratitude” from staff members; while for others, creating a still greater fear about the health consequences could be caused by Abbott’s decision. Masks, continued from Page 29 Tabulating responses on a Facebook group where the question was posted, the reply, “No change. Mask up!” received 30-plus likes. Another posted, “No changes. Our property. Our rules.” Another wrote that their company is updating its policies to be “open” as it was pre-pandemic, “but we are still requiring masks for all until ‘further notice,’ the post read, which will likely be until the end of April, depending on whether cases increase or decrease.” Christy Rodriguez, director of multifamily, Judwin Properties, Houston, said her company is not changing its protocols at this time. “Masks and social distancing guidelines are still in place and will be for at least the next 30 days,” Rodriguez said. “Several team members expressed a sense of relief and gratitude. One mentioned that, due to her current health condition and autoimmune deficiency, she felt a sense of relief and wanted me to personally thank ownership for this decision. “Another mentioned that her residents are accustomed to doing business in our offices and maintenance technicians in their apartments with masks and social distancing, and that she didn’t foresee any issues with us not changing our requirements. She believed that her residents would be more satisfied with the decision and it would make the customer service experience better.” Rodriguez said she has not received any feedback from team members stating that they were dissatisfied with the decision to maintain current protocols. “However, I do foresee a state divided on this topic for the foreseeable weeks,” she added. The Virtual Tour Alternative Shelley Watson, executive vice president of operations, Morgan Group, Houston, said her company is taking a conservative approach and is requiring teams to wear masks when in the office interacting with each other and residents, and when entering residents’ apartments or while conducting a property tour. “We have received positive feedback today from our team members about this,” Watson said. “Most have experienced being short-staffed due to COVID-19 illnesses or quarantines and are supportive of wearing a mask.” Morgan Group also will continue to require prospects to wear masks while on tours (if they do not want to wear a mask, then our teams can invite prospects the option for a virtual tour). Offering prospects to virtual tours was the default response by several when it came to prospects who choose not to wear masks. To that, on Facebook, a person from Florida said her state has never had mandates, and the Florida governor left policy setting up to the counties. As a default, she wrote, many businesses have followed CDC guidelines. Other businesses do not require customers to wear masks. And in some counties that require one, she added, customers or merchants are ignoring the mandate. Another wrote, “I don’t envy the position of Texas members. If it were www.haaonline.org

me, [revisiting COVID-19 challenges] would be the last thing I would want to start dealing with again.” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Wednesday that Starbucks, CVS, Hyatt Hotels and Target are among companies that will still mandate masks in Texas despite Abbott’s announcement. While fitness company Life Time and grocer Albertson’s will drop their mask mandates. Political Fallout Florida and South Dakota are two states that have not required maskwearing during the pandemic. Iowa lifted its mask-wearing mandate in February, Mississippi this week relaxed its mandate and Alabama is reportedly doing the same as soon as Friday. On a LinkedIn discussion thread, one commenter wrote, “Sadly, businesses will now be forced into confrontations with customers if they try to self-impose. Texas has had a sect of its population that has been adamant and sometimes violent over the requirement to wear masks (even when mandated). “This decision was made too soon, for sure, she wrote, as [12.5%] of the Texas population had received at least one shot of the vaccine [as of Tuesday, according to the CDC].” More than 43,000 Texans have died of COVID-19. The state has logged about 6,600 new cases in the past week, an increase from mid-February, but a significant decrease from January, WSJ reports. In Texas, only healthcare workers, people over 65 years old and adults with preexisting conditions are eligible for the vaccines. President Joe Biden weighed in the day after Abbott’s decision, calling the decision “Neanderthal thinking.” Kate Good, principal, Hunington Properties, Houston, said, “We all have the intelligence to know that Covid [COVID-19] is still contagious and a real threat. I appreciate that my government allows me to make my own decisions for myself and my company. We are not ‘Neanderthals.’ We are responsible thinkers. Besides, Abbott did not ban masks, he just said that citizens and business owners should make decisions for themselves, families and businesses.” Abbott’s spokeswoman Renae Eze said in a statement that Abbott “was clear in telling Texans that COVID [COVID-19] hasn’t ended, and that all Texans should follow medical advice and safe practices to continue containing COVID [COVID-19].” “It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed. We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans,” Eze said. “The governor’s focus has been, and always will be, protecting the lives and livelihoods of Texans.” Paul Bergeron is a freelance reporter who covers the apartment industry. You can reach him at pbergeron333@gmail.com or 703-434-0280.

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So, what happened and where do we go from here? Rightfully so, there has been a lot of finger pointing and politicizing about this event.

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Texas’ Power Grid Failure This article looks at what happened, but more importantly, what apartment owners can do moving forward in the event Texas experiences a freeze again from a full-service energy management and consulting firm. By

WILL MCGINNIS, CAS, Infinity Power Partners

Images © Igor Borisenko and alperguzeler | iStock by Getty Images

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s of March 5, 2021, when this article was written, a U.S. House subcommittee is currently investigating the oversight and operations of the Texas electric grid. As many of us felt first-hand, the Texas electric grid encountered major outages throughout the state and Houston region for numerous days throughout the week after Valentine’s Day. It was a historic event that caught the attention of both local and national news stations. What happened, how will my communities be affected and who is to blame? At press-time, many people received egregious electricity bills from their energy providers. Many are now curious how the pricing and energy market work in Texas and the deregulated markets within its conservative confines. Retail Electric Providers (REPs) were stranded with limited information to provide their customers. Some didn’t know how they were going to make it through the winter events. (Some REPs have been selling off pieces of their book or closing shop altogether.) The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has enforced emergency orders

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that put a freeze on all utility payments until further notice. The PUC has also been ordering the utilities to not process utility disconnects. These orders are everchanging and are being reviewed and may change again very soon. The goal is to protect the Texas electricity customers. So, what happened and where do we go from here? Rightfully so, there has been a lot of finger pointing and politicizing about this event. The Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic research firm, projects that the storm could cost a total of $195 billion to as much as $295 billion. For reference, Hurricane Harvey cost ~$40 Billion and Hurricane Katrina cost ~$160 Billion. This event is, possibly, projected to cost Texans more than both those storms combined. What Happened? Texas suffered a perfect storm of bad luck, infrastructure issues, mistakes by operators and surprises. Normally, when Texas residents have seen issues like this due to weather, we see rolling outages for short periods of time, i.e., Dallas region(s) in 2011. But with this event, weather events lasted almost an entire week and the grid was not prepared.

Many folks questioned how and why there were “rolling blackouts.” There were no blackouts. There were outages enforced where and when necessary to avoid a major catastrophe, which could have happened in minutes. Blackouts are a complete failure of the power grid. Texas’ electricity grid is setup and protected more for summer weather and major heat, as opposed to states in the north that are already weatherized for extreme cold that last for long periods of time. This created a multitude of failures across our generators, both green and thermal energy. There has been a lot of politicizing of green vs. brown energy during this situation, all of them failed to some extent, some more than others, but neither one is to blame completely. Natural gas had issues as supply was not available due to well heads and transportation lines being frozen, but it saved Texas in the end as it was the most reliable source. Wind and solar dropped off almost completely, while also losing battery storage due to the cold. Texas generates ~28.6% of its electricity via these green sources, so this is over a 25% impact to the grid when we saw the most demand in our history.

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So now we are asking the question, what do we do now to ensure this doesn’t happen again? How can we ensure we do not experience rolling outages or blackouts moving forward? Ultimately, we believe this will flow down to the rate payers – you and me.

Nuclear was shut down due to safety precautions which is standard operating procedure. Ultimately, the Texas grid is different from other grids in the U.S. for one main reason, it is not a capacity market. In other markets, power plants are paid for producing energy but also for simply being on standby to have the capacity to provide that energy. Texas is not a capacity market and this also was the cause of the initial prices skyrocketing. ERCOT, in the end, made the right call to order shutdowns through local utilities like CenterPoint. If not, we would have seen a major grid failure and a true blackout that likely would have taken weeks (possibly months) to restore power across the state. Simply put, not one source of energy was protected, therefore, it was not a matter of these sources failing as a power generator. In the end, Texas power planning and the overseeing bodies left its citizens in a tough situation. What Comes Next? So now we are asking the question, what do we do now to ensure this doesn’t happen again? How can we ensure we do not experience rolling outages or blackouts moving forward? Ultimately, we believe this will flow down to the rate payers – you and me. The end-user or consumer will always end up paying for the cost to adjust and protect. This is similar to hurricane recovery costs that you see included in your utility costs on your invoice. This will create legislation that will, to an extent, require generators to weatherize their equipment and generation plants. This will be passed down to the suppliers and then the consumers. Now the big question or questions for the residents and citizens are going to become, which energy source do we wish to focus on stabilizing and how do we ensure we have a grid that is secure from failure like this? Do we continue to focus on green energy and pro-

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grams designed around those energy sources, wind and solar? These are great ways to procure energy, but as you can understand, it will take weatherizing the equipment and researching better battery storage. For base thermal power, natural gas and coal, Texans historically lean on these resources and have large supplies of clean, thermal power. Again, same as above, the thermal generators will need to weatherize their equipment and transportation lines. Either way, this will be voted on at the ballot box and paid for accordingly by the residents of the state. The Houston Apartment Association will be in a prime spot to voice concerns from their apartment owners and operators on which area to improve on first or the most. What Can I Do for my Community? As stories continue to unfold for the residents in Texas regarding the energy situation and processes for moving forward, here are a few things to think about in the meantime to ensure you are secure from major costs associated with future changes. First, no customer that was on a truly fixed program was affected and will not see any major costs from February. However, it is always good to ensure you are aware of the status of your electricity contracts with your suppliers. Multifamily apartment communities usually have two main accounts, your common area meters (CAA) and your vacant units (CSA). Ensuring these accounts do not roll on to month-to-month programs is ideal. Second, working with your consultant or energy broker allows you to better understand the differences between retail electric suppliers and which may be the best fit for you. There are numerous suppliers in the electricity game but only a few in Texas are geared toward multifamily clients. These electric providers can be great partners to work with on many fronts but mainly ensuring that you

have a credible, credit-stable provider. This can also be a benefit to your onsite team and residents as they likely have concerns and questions regarding their accounts. Your consultant can work with your provider on any items your residents or onsite teams may have and this can help your onsite team(s) focus on leasing units. Lastly, you are able to lock in contracts and pricing well-before your contracts expire, learning about the timing and the best situation for your assets is the best approach to ensuring you get the lowest rates available. These three items are great starting points to ensure your costs stay as low as possible. Our teams are expecting to see pricing in Texas creep upwards as the suppliers feel the weight of the costs associated with this historic event. Make sure your communities are setup for future events because we expect to see historic weather events like these more regularly than previously seen. Utilities are one of the top three costs associated with multifamily owners and understanding the energy markets and your agreements, as well as being proactive, can be the difference in thousands of dollars a year in energy costs. Will McGinnis, CAS, is the vice president of business development for Infinity Power Partners, an energy management and consulting firm based in Houston. Infinity Power Partners work with electricity and natural gas customers nationally. They also provide procurement management solutions, risk management services and market insight throughout the development of client-specific strategies. McGinnis can be reached at 713-559-0559 or via will@infinitypowerpartners.com.

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Texas Energy and the Arctic Freeze Another perspective on the Texas power outage from a utilities consulting firm. By

KURT SWENSON, Property Cost Systems

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e have all heard the assignment of blame to those responsible for the recent blackouts. The most popular scapegoats are the green energy initiatives, government policies, the lack of preparation and the grid operator. However, the reality is that there were failures on several levels. Why did blackouts happen? Unlike most states, the Texas electricity grid is independently operated and not overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Texas grid operator is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Every generator, distribution company and supplier provides data to ERCOT so they can make sure that Texas has sufficient power generation to meet the electricity needs of the state. In just over a decade, Texas has increased wind and solar energy generation from 10% to 27%. The total power generation is divided amongst the categories in the chart on Page 42. According to renewableenergyworld.com, Texas is among the top five states with renewable energy installed capacity. This is an admirable achievement. The majority of the shift toward renewables has been in wind generation, accounting for a quarter of total electricity generated in the state. During the polar vortex, wind turbines were frozen and solar panels were covered with ice and snow, so nearly all of the 27% of electric generation was rendered useless.

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Texas also had some freeze-offs in the natural gas production, transmission, and distribution system. A “freeze-off” is a phenomenon in which ice blocks gas flow, clogging pipes. Since 38% of electricity generation in the state is fueled by natural gas-fired generators, having a portion off-line compounded the issue of diminished electricity generation. Texas has benefitted from low energy prices for decades, but the arctic freeze shed light on weaknesses within the electricity grid and natural gas system. The blackouts ultimately resulted from lack of planning and the loss of access to natural gas. ERCOT, the renewable electricity operators, the Public Utility Commission, the natural gas drillers and the gas transmission and distribution companies all share the blame. How do we prevent future blackouts? The most important preventative steps are to weatherize both the electricity and natural gas systems and to continue a broad-based electricity generation strategy. It is imperative for Texas to implement the winter weather practices used in colder climates. The electricity and natural gas markets in Chicago, New York and Boston operate through even colder temperatures than those recently experienced in Texas. Taking steps to winterize our energy complex may be expensive, but the cost is small compared to the human and financial costs of the midFebruary 2021 arctic freeze. Weatherizing our electricity grid and natural gas production, transmission and distribution syswww.haaonline.org


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Texas has benefitted from low energy prices for decades, but the arctic freeze shed light on weaknesses within the electricity grid and natural gas system.

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At this time, the need for base load generation is as important as the push for renewable sources. We must continue employing both base load generation and renewable generation until technology provides the necessary reliability for green energy to dominate.

tems should prevent blackouts for future cold winter conditions. Broad-based electricity generation supply is also necessary to ensure that this never happens again. While the trend in electricity generation is toward renewable sources, current technology is not sufficient to achieve 100% renewable electricity supply in the foreseeable future. We need to rely on numerous energy sources to meet current and growing demand. Even if solar and wind generation are weatherized, neither source is reliable enough to meet growing needs on days without sufficient sunshine or wind. Only with significant advancements in battery storage can wind and solar be fully reliable sources of electricity generation. Regulators also need to provide the necessary incentives to make our electricity and natural gas supply more reliable. As is the case for wind and solar disruptions, if the natural gas supply is disrupted for any reason, gasfired generation stops. A possible countermeasure is to require generators to use guaranteed gas delivery contracts versus the cur-

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rent interruptible contracts. Interruptible gas contracts are used because they are cheaper than guaranteed delivery. An alternative might be to require electricity generators to store sufficient natural gas on-site to meet the needs for several days. Many coal and nuclear plants have been or are scheduled to be mothballed. A third countermeasure would be for ERCOT to pay electricity generators to keep inefficient plants operable to meet peak demand. Several other states use annual “capacity market” auctions where electricity generators are paid to keep inefficient plants operable to meet peak demand times. Both nuclear and coal plants maintain sizable on-site storage of fuel supplies so they can continue to operate in emergencies like the arctic freeze. ERCOT should consider maintaining some nuclear and coal generation plants so they are available to maintain reliability in emergency situations. The cost of these countermeasures would be borne by all rate payers. At this time, the need for base load generation is as important as the push for renewable sources. We must continue employing both base load generation and renewable generation until technology provides the necessary reliability for green energy to dominate. Possible impact of future bills? By the time this article is published, bills for the polar vortex will have been issued and the impact of the immediate cost is known. Some small suppliers who guaranteed a fixed price but purchased power in the spot market were

forced to send customers to the “Provider of Last Resort” (POLR), sell their business and/or file for bankruptcy. In some of these situations, suppliers reneged on their contract obligations and customers were required to execute new electricity contracts with other suppliers. The impact of the arctic blast on electricity prices in the weeks following the freeze was an increase of a 5 to 10% on the energy portion of the bill. Much of this increase was due to increases in emergency ancillary services to the grid. These higher ancillary costs will likely be permanent given the dramatic need to call on emergency resources in times of need. This event illuminated the pitfalls of our current infrastructure. The increased cost of emergency ancillary services as well as the countermeasures discussed in the previous section are all likely to result in higher future prices for electricity. The arctic freeze was a shock to all Texans and many harsh lessons were learned. The lack of planning by several parties caused the February electricity crisis. There is much work to be done to protect the electricity grid and the natural gas system in the future. Although Texas may not experience an arctic freeze like this for many years to come, it is incumbent on ERCOT and other regulators to be prepared before next winter. Kurt Swenson is the owner of Property Cost Systems, a utilities consulting firm that specializes in helping multifamily dwellings manage the purchase of electricity and natural gas by negotiating with suppliers and auditing bills. Property Cost Systems has been a proud HAA member for nearly 30 years. You can learn more about Property Cost Systems by visiting their website: http://www.propertycostsystems.com/about-us/. You can read Swenson at kurt.swenson@propertycostsystems.com. www.haaonline.org


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Houston, we had a freeze. Supply, pricing and how to move forward with your landscape. By

DEBORAH WINKELMAN

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he extreme drop in temperatures we experienced in Texas in mid-February has many of us in the multifamily workplace asking ourselves a few questions. How do we plan for events similar to this in the future? Could we have prevented the damage we sustained? How do we help our residents and staff during this rebuilding and recovery phase? Many of those questions were asked and discussed during the Special Edition Winter Storm Expert Exchange held on February 24. Through this article, I’d like to delve deeper into the impact on landscape and your landscape budget. After I walked a property with a client recently, I asked a handful of questions to my vendors about supply and pricing. Landscapers buy from wholesale nurseries and growers for their trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. In Texas, we tend to buy more from growers in Texas and Louisiana, and then California and Florida as well as other states. “We buy from growers all over the United States. Texas and Louisiana growers are where we spend the most money, and some of them lost crops but many didn’t. We are utilizing vendors farther away to make up for what we can’t find close to home. What this means is that added freight and supply and demand come into play and prices will go up some,” Ginger Crawford with TreeSource

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Many plants are starting to show signs of recovery, but many just didn’t survive. Utilizing a landscape professional can help you determine what needs to be removed, replaced or cut back in order to give it time to flourish again. Wholesale Nursery said about availability and price increase. Crawford was quick to point out that in the past, soaring fuel prices led to increased plant prices, and, last year, COVID-19 and a few other smaller factors impacted some price increases. So, the good news and bad news is that we will have the plants we need, but the prices may go up a little to get those plants. What Survived, What Didn’t and What Will Return Many plants are starting to show signs of recovery, but many just didn’t survive. Utilizing a landscape professional can help you determine what needs to be removed, replaced or cut back in order to give it time to flourish again. Across the board, many Gardenias, Oleanders, Viburnum and Indian Hawthorn are not salvageable. Yaupons, ligustrum and boxwoods are shrubs that

shined through the freeze and are starting to show new growth. Salvia is the number one perennial I see flourishing right now. Trees and/or large shrubs with the exception of bottle brush and Japanese boxwoods made it through with little to no damage. With the proper fertilization and hard pruning, many plants will fill out and thrive again in our landscapes. When it comes to irrigation systems, we are seeing most repairs being associated with the backflow unit or the PVB. The PVB is the most vulnerable part of the system during a freeze as it is a challenge to empty all the water out of all the small spaces. These PVBs have small brass parts that can bust during a freeze if any water is still inside there. I’m not seeing many pipes busted as most professional irrigators/landscapers know how to properly drain and freeze protect an irrigation system. The demand for PVB parts was high www.haaonline.org


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Use Local Suppliers! Don’t forget HAA has a strong contingency of vendor and supplier members. Remember to visit HAA’s online Buyer's Guide to find supplier partners today. Save time and use the "Request for Information" tool to request bids or services from multiple companies in one communication. Suppliers and vendors, thank you for all of your hard work especially in the days following the recent winter storm!

Finally, I recommend patience with your plants. Understand they need extra time to come back to life and fill out. Our landscapes will recover.

the first couple weeks after the freeze and supplies ran low. This was mainly a shipping problem, trying to get the parts needed to the area as quickly as possible to meet the demand. This is starting to ease up a bit and the repairs are getting completed and systems are back to running. When moving forward and planning for the future, the first step is partnering with your landscape maintenance provider to formulate a plan. Make sure your irrigation system has been thoroughly checked for leaks and repairs have been made. Make plant choices based on those that thrive in our heat and humidity as a freeze like this past one could happen more than once in a lifetime. If you have areas you need dressing up quickly, like around the leasing office, add seasonal color for now. Finally, I recommend patience with your plants. Understand they need extra time to come back to life and fill out. Our landscapes will recover. We will recover. #HoustonStrong. Deborah Winkelman was a panelist for HAA’s Special Edition Winter Storm Expert Exchange. You can watch that session here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcMTtpdfL0&t=3s. Winkelman has over 20 years of experience in the landscaping industry. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in horticulture. She is a licensed pesticide applicator in the state of Texas and has a Green Garden Certification through the city of Austin. You may reach out to her for any of your landscaping needs and questions at debfwinkelman@gmail.com.

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Best Kept Secrets:

Insurance claims for water damage can be very complicated because so many areas can be impacted: baseboards, carpets, walls, insulation hidden behind walls, built-in cabinetry, and personal property.

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Mitigation and Restoration What you need to know about who to work with when your property suffers from water damage, mold and smoke damage. By

LUIS R. ESTEVES, Jansen/Adjusters International

Image © tapui | iStock by Getty Images

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fter your home or personal property has been damaged, both mitigation and restoration companies can assist in your recovery. A mitigation company works to prevent further damage from happening to your home. A restoration firm performs additional services to stabilize or rebuild your property. After a property loss, it may seem easier to choose to work with the vendor your insurance company recommends, but without clear boundaries established within a work contract, that vendor may not always be the correct choice for the type of work you need done. There are several things you can do to protect your best interests when hiring a mitigation or restoration company depending on the type of claim that you make. Insurance Claims for Water Damage Insurance claims for water damage can be very complicated because so many

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areas can be impacted: baseboards, carpets, walls, insulation hidden behind walls, built-in cabinetry, and personal property. Policyholders need to know the extent of their coverage and if it will cover all the damages, as soon as possible. What you experience as a normal state of confusion during the first days of a claims process can put you at a disadvantage in dealing with vendors. While most insurance policies cover water damage, they can vary substantially depending on the cause of the damage. Basic policies will cover interior water damage resulting from a leak in plumbing and heating systems. However, if the leak is a result of an old or defective pipe, it is considered to be a maintenance issue, so the insurer will not pay for the cost of the repairs to the plumbing itself but only for the ensuing water damage. If the leak in the plumbing was caused by freezing, the plumbing repairs are covered as long as reasonable care was taken to maintain heat in the building, prior to the loss.

Under a basic insurance policy, any water damage to the interior is only covered if the exterior of the building was first damaged by a covered peril, e.g. wind tearing off shingles or siding creating an opening in the roof or walls. Wind driven rain is usually not covered. However, broader policy coverage (all risk) will cover this type of damage. Water which backs up through sewers or drains is commonly excluded, or if included, it is subject to very low limits. It is possible to add a specific policy endorsement that can provide varying amounts of coverage. The rules continue to change based on the cause of the loss and your policy provisions, thus the mitigation company needs to be aware of the conditions in your policy before they start with a “one size fits all” repair process that might put you in a compromising financial position if coverage doesn’t exist. Mold Remediation Warning Unfortunately, insurance coverage for

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Mitigation companies sometimes recommend extensive dry-out areas where water damage has occurred. The work may very well may be necessary, but you should be aware of the process and the potential cost up-front. Primarily you should be aware that you may be responsible for any unreimbursed expenses.

mold damage is usually limited and it only applies if the mold is a direct result of a covered peril. For example, from a covered water damage event or from extinguishing a fire. Mold that occurs on its own without being a direct result of a sudden and accidental covered event is not covered under most policies, and if they are, the limits are usually below the 15,000 threshold. Claims involving mold remediation may result in unreimbursed expenses unless your policy includes adequate mold coverage. Mitigation companies sometimes recommend extensive dry-out areas where water damage has occurred. The work may very well may be necessary, but you should be aware of the process and the potential cost up-front. Primarily you should be aware that you may be responsible for any unreimbursed expenses. Insurance Claims for Smoke Damage When smoke mitigation measures are needed, property owners have household items packed up and removed. Meanwhile, the building and items within can be left in a toxic environment from chemicals from fire and smoke, especially if the power has been turned off and there is no climate control. Acidic smoke mixed with moisture can leave permanent stains. Mitigation companies should make sure that all the building’s hard surfaces are properly wiped down to avoid further damage. Where the cleaning exceeds the price of replacement of the article, the

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choice to replace should be documented and given to the insured. Policyholders need to be vigilant when dealing with mitigation and restoration companies. We recommend every policyholder make sure that the following protection is included in their contract: “The insured will only be responsible for the insurance-approved pricing and scope of repair." Property owners also need to think through what to save and what to restore after a property loss damages a building or its contents. In some instances, you may not want to move or keep all the items in your home. Some items may have a real value that is much less than the fee a mitigation company charges for packing it, you may want to rethink what items you keep. The same situation can apply when textile cleaning companies are involved in the mitigation process. Homeowners need to know if the items are worth cleaning, particularly in the case of clothing. If items are out of style or you haven’t worn them in years, it may not be cost-effective to have these items cleaned. Ask Questions: Hold Your Contractor Accountable Always check the credentials of your mitigation contractor. Make certain they are approved by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification by visiting this website: www.iicrc.org. If you suffer a loss from water damage or

fire, you will likely employ a mitigation company early on. You may even hire the insurer’s preferred vendor if you feel comfortable with that firm. But remember to be vigilant and hold the contractor accountable. Stay knowledgeable about the services that will be performed, such as renting equipment to clean up water damage, mold remediation, packing up the home, and textile cleaning. Remember that restoration companies and contractors are not allowed under law to perform property damage insurance adjusting services on your behalf, but licensed public adjusters can help. This article first appeared on Jansen/AI’s newsroom at: www.jansenai.com/newsroom/hiring-mitigation-and-restorationcompanies-what-you-should-know. If you become overwhelmed with your fire damage or water loss property damage claim, give the Jansen/Adjusters International team a call at 281-617-2994. Luis R. Esteves is a principal at Jansen/Adjusters International. He handles around $1 billion dollars in losses annually and has more than 20 years of experience with adjusting complex claims. You can find out more about him on the Jansen/AI website: https://www.jansenai.com/aboutai/meet-our-team/luis-esteves.

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Unmute Yourself

Join ABODE and turn on your message! Zoom straight to your customers with ABODE magazine, the multifamily industry’s resource for what’s happening in the Houston-area apartment market. Reach your potential customers even when you can’t meet them in person. We are there, online and in their mailbox. Every month, our members-only publication highlights industry news and trends. ABODE is your resource for industry-specific legal and legislative news as well. Share your promotions and new hires in our “In The News” column, or the latest development in your area of expertise by writing an article. And get your name out there by advertising. Contact Amanda at asherbondy@haaonline.org to advertise and contact the Communications Department at comm@haaonline.org for details on editorial.

ABODE is there even when you can’t be! Look for ABODE in the mail the first week of each month, or read online at issuu.com/haa_abode.


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There are several things to pay attention to when it comes to property insurance and the damage that could be incurred from a pipe bursting. First off, you want to make sure that this is a covered peril (exposure to risk) in your policy.

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Claiming Your Busted Pipes What can happen with your insurance claim if you didn’t insulate your pipes, if your units become uninhabitable and what to do, not if, but when, your pipes bust in the future. By

BRADEN GRIFFITH, Higginbotham

Image © Yevhenii Orlov | iStock by Getty Images

I

know what you’re thinking, “Thanks for providing this info three months too late.” And I would respond by saying, “I do what I can.” The truth is, there are a number of reasons why your pipes could bust again in the future. Plus, there’s a chance we could experience another prolonged freeze in Texas. As the City of Houston is stitching itself back together from the damage suffered from Winter Storm Uri, the Houston Apartment Association would like to offer easily digestible solutions regarding busted pipes, mitigation and the claims process. Bursting pipes stem from a number of causes – some of the most common are water pressure, pipe corrosion, clogs, the moving of pipes, and as we’re all aware, freezing temperatures. In an ideal scenario, pipes would be made of a corrosion-resistant and temperature-resilient material with the ability to withstand a wide array of pressure variances. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Most apartments are stuck with outdated pipe systems due to the date of their original construction or most recent renovation. You could be looking at pipes

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made from galvanized steel to PEX and everything in between. For apartment communities, completely updating your pipe systems is time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. Those of you in the value-add space understand this pain all too well. Proper property maintenance goes hand in hand with effective risk management and mitigation. There is frontend risk management in the form of upkeep, care, signage and security. And then there is backend risk management in the form of risk transfer and the purchase of insurance policies – both from a liability and property perspective. There are several things to pay attention to when it comes to property insurance and the damage that could be incurred from a pipe bursting. First off, you want to make sure that this is a covered peril (exposure to risk) in your policy. Even though 99.9% of policies provide this coverage, you should read your policy to make sure that is the case or that you’re working with a broker who you trust to properly insure you. This coverage does come with a few exceptions including mold damage or sewage back up. Additionally, an apartment owner needs

to properly maintain their pipes. A lack of maintenance and standard upkeep can lead to an insurer denying a claim. This also applies if an owner fails to effectively protect against known potential causes of loss. i.e. not insulating pipes when a freeze is on the horizon, etc. Secondly, owners and management companies should seriously consider including business interruption (BI) or loss of rents (LoR) coverage on their property policies. Although the policy will respond to the physical damage suffered – if units are damaged to a degree where owners are unable to collect rent – without BI/LoR coverage, they will effectively be self-insuring against this loss and will be short on collections while the unit is out of commission. In an effort to provide our owners and managers with a step by step guide the next time space city expects a freeze, please see mitigation and response suggestions below. What to do before a probable freeze: • Ascertain what the temperatures might be, how low and for how long. This will help in your decision making, it’s better to be safer than sorry.

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Proper property maintenance goes hand in hand with effective risk management and mitigation.

• Obtain the phone number of the disaster recovery contractor authorized by your commercial insurance carrier. • Ensure that all visible exterior piping is insulated in some manner. • Know where all renters with physical disabilities are located, including the elderly or infirmed, to periodically check in on their welfare during a freeze scenario. • If your property has the residential fire systems, ensure the “required heater” in the riser rooms are working and being used. Electrical systems may be under stress, and you may need the automatic sprinkler system. • Ensure that your residents know not to use gas powered generators in their apartments or burning propane grills or charcoal in their units. Carbon monoxide kills. • Consult your pool maintenance contractor to determine if you should run the pool pump overnight to prevent freezing. • Drain water lines that do not affect renter use and comfort. • Don’t forget the laundry rooms. If heated, use the heaters, close the doors and windows. • Run the heat in the leasing office and vacant apartment units if possible, opening the basin/sink cabinet doors to allow heat in. This is especially useful if the kitchens and bathrooms are on the outside walls. • Don’t forget to insulate any exposed piping in maintenance rooms, shops or storage rooms. Take the same precaution as the resident spaces. • If there is a possibility of losing power, residents can fill bathtubs and sinks with water to operate commodes. • Only if necessary, drip some faucets overnight where and when required. We do not want to lose too much water pressure. What to do after a freeze event where there are busted pipes: • Contact your insurance agency or the insurance carrier directly to report a claim, in the event of a water claim. • Take a lot of pictures and draft detailed descriptions, including the location(s) of damage. • Call the disaster recovery contactor that is authorized and/or contracted by your property insurance carrier.

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• Turn off the water to the affected building notifying all the affected residents. Start remediation efforts. • Try to prevent any further damage to the unit or other units from water. • If directed by management, remove carpets and padding from floors. Granted, this isn’t an exhaustive list but provides a solid framework of procedures and policies to put in place if not already in effect. Unfortunately, property damage from pipes is rarely and “if” scenario, but rather a “when” scenario. To best prepare your portfolio for the “when” on the horizon – remember effective risk management in the form of maintenance, renovations and upgrades, along with the purchase of comprehensive insurance, can leave you breathing a bit easier when the inevitable happens. Braden Griffith is an associate for Higginbotham, a single source for insurance, risk management and financial services. Griffith is a commercial insurance broker, focusing his practice and managing risk within the commercial real estate, habitational and private equity worlds. Primarily focused on working with firms with portfolios in Texas, their team is experienced with clients in excess of $4 billion in assets and understands development (new and existing), construction, management and acquisition/exits. Higginbotham provides access to commercial and personal property/casualty coverage, employee benefits, retirement plans, life insurance and executive compensation plans. Their in-house consultants also deliver custom loss control and benefit plan administration solutions. Higginbotham's breadth ensures that clients of every scope and size have competitive options without engaging multiple brokers. Feel free to reach out to Griffith with any questions at bgriffith@higginbotham.net. You can also learn more about Higginbotham by visiting their website: https://www.higginbotham.net.

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Suppliers: Get your foot in the door by taking a step back to learn how your clients and potential clients want to be engaged. Build your brand with real communication and true meaningful relationships.

Rules of Engagement Are you a new supplier member? Get advice from top industry leaders on how to be successful in the multifamily industry and how to connect the right way during these difficult times. These supplier partners and property management executives will share their experience, insight and policies to know. Don’t miss this free program that will be beneficial to any supplier. Panelists (from top): Ryan Weis, HAA 2020 Supplier of the Year, Crestmark Construction Services Ruha Vohra, CAM, NALP, Veritas Equity Management Darlene Hunter, CAM, Greystar Oscar Fiallos, CAMT, CWS Apartment Homes Shelley Watson, The Morgan Group A market report from ALN Apartment Data Moderator: 2021 Product Service Council President David Lindley, CAS, FSI Construction

Tuesday, May 11 1:30 p.m. – Registration 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Program HAF Education Center 4810 Westway Park Blvd. (located off Clay Road and the Beltway)

Sponsored by the HAA Product Service Council

Free for all supplier members. Register online at www.haaonline.org/supplierprogram


Font image © iarti | iStock by Getty Images

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SUPPLIER PARTNERS SERVING TO FACILITATE GROWTH AND STRENGTHEN THE INDUSTRY. The Product Service Council is a group of active supplier members whose objectives are to promote the active involvement and participation of supplier members. For more information on the council and how you can make your membership work for you, see online at www.haaonline.org/psc or contact Susan Hinkley at shinkley@haaonline.org.

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The Houston Apartment Association’s Product Service Council is here to help supplier partners navigate the association. Learn how you can get the most out of your membership. By

MORGAN TAYLOR, HAA Staff

T

his month, PSC members Dan James with Redevelopment Services, Clark Gregg with Fidus and Blaise Spitaleri with Gemstar Construction share why it is important for supplier partners to join the Houston Apartment Association Political Action Committee and how the PSC can be a resource to you. Why is it important for supplier partners to join the Houston Apartment Association Political Action Committee? Clark: Many people think that the most important aspect of membership at HAA is the socialization and networking that come along with membership. What they don’t realize is that being an active member of the HAAPAC has an impact on our day-to-day work in the multifamily industry. The HAAPAC enables our voices to be heard in the local, state and national political arena. It allows HAA focus on legislative matters that benefit apartment owners, operators and, in turn, their supplier partners. I cannot think of a more important role one can take within HAA than that of an active HAAPAC member. Dan: It’s so important for suppliers to be plugged in to what is happening legislatively in our industry, especially for suppliers targeting high-level management executives and property owners. Learning about the legislative issues that may affect apartments’ bottom line gives us common ground with the owners, developers and management companies. It allows us to take part in discussions important to them and it helps us tailor our services to better fit their needs. Blaise: The HAAPAC is a platform exposing the legislation that directly impacts the industry we serve. It is a safe forum to discuss and educate current issues affecting our communities.

How does representation from our supplier partners help HAA make a legislative impact for our industry as a whole? Clark: Supplier partners are, in many key aspects, the backbone of HAA as a whole. Because of our longstanding cooperation

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with our management partners, suppliers help HAA thrive in legislative settings. We play the role of support to management companies, owners and investors, which further strengthens HAA’s ability to lobby for legislation that better protects our management partners. Dan: For one thing, HAAPAC dues help support efforts surrounding public policy and legislation that impact our industry. Supplier HAAPAC involvement also benefits the industry by increasing political awareness so we as suppliers can vote and influence others to vote in ways that further industry goals. Blaise: There is power in numbers. The stronger we can be collectively, the more effective our industry becomes. What is your favorite HAAPAC event? And why? Clark: There are several that I personally enjoy. The top two probably are the golf tournament as well as the Flights and Bites Wine event. Both enable supplier partners to have some one-on-one time with our management/owner counterparts and they are always enjoyable events. Dan: The annual wine tasting event (benefiting the National Apartment Association Political Action Committee) is always a favorite of mine. It is an opportunity to mingle after hours with industry leaders as they present their favorite wines in a fun competition that also showcases some of Houston’s premier multifamily properties. We also get great feedback on the impact our HAAPAC has on the NAAPAC through our yearly fundraising contributions. Blaise: I should choose TopGolf because it is the most fun, but I truly enjoy the monthly luncheons (in person or virtual). At the luncheons, we have the opportunity to be updated on the current political climate on local, state and national levels. An added benefit is our guest speaker(s) vary from political science experts to our elected state or local representatives. The luncheons allow us to be on the front line of understanding the effects of politics of our industry.

Explain to our new supplier partners what the Product Service Council is all about. Clark: The PSC is designed to be a counterpart to the HAA Board of Directors. We Gregg strive toward the same goals as the board, and we act as a support network to the members of the board. Our primary function is to define and pursue ways in which we as supplier partners can continue to strengthen HAA as a whole and support the James board in those efforts. Dan: The PSC is all about supplier members helping supplier members! When I came into this industry over 20 years ago, I was amazed at how welcoming my fellow suppliers were. Even my Spitaleri supposed competitors welcomed me and ushered me into the group. Today, I am still impressed and amazed at the friendly nature of competition here. I can honestly say that within this group my competitors are also my friends. Being on the Product Service Council helps me further that spirit of inclusiveness. Blaise: The PSC is a group of supplier leaders who have been at the forefront of our association. We have been the ones volunteering and organizing many of the events orchestrated. In addition to countless hours of volunteer, sponsorship and leadership, we have all earned our Certified Apartment Supplier designation through NAA. These classes are the beginning steps in embracing the multifamily industry as a long-term career.

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RCR Update

By TINA DEFIORE, Director of Rental Credit Reporting, with RANDALL C. PATTON, SafeRent Solutions

THE EVICTION MORATORIUM’S IMPACT ON SCREENING Finding the right resident in this climate can be tricky.

OVER A YEAR later, COVID-19 continues to impact how we conduct daily business, interact socially and how we live our lives. The rollout of vaccines and federal aid packages provide us with some hope, but there are still risks for apartment owners, such as leasing to someone who has a history of not paying rent and has a record of evictions. This article will discuss the rental market state and how landlords can navigate these trying times. The eviction moratorium has impacted the rental market from the lens of both renters and apartment owners. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, renters have certain protections from both the federal government and local municipalities to help them stay in their homes without paying rent. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an agency order back in September 2020, preventing residential

evictions, now extended through March 31, 2021 (as of March 12). This order protects certain tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent. The moratorium applies ONLY to those tenants who meet the outlined criteria and can view it here: https://sites.utexas.edu/covid19relief/tenant-protections/. The tenant must also submit a declaration to the landlord to qualify for the moratorium and is subject to the penalty of perjury. Under the moratorium, renters are still liable for their rent and subject to late fees, penalties and interest for nonpayment of rent. An analysis by the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities revealed, around one in five tenants said they were not up to date on their rent in January. It's important to note, the CDC order does not wipe away a tenant's debt or supplement the landlord for delayed rent payment. It merely proposes to keep people in their homes while the virus contin-

ues and mitigate the spread. According to the National Rental Home Council, "Over half of all rental properties in the United States, 23 million, are single-family homes. Ninety-seven percent of these properties are held by "mom-and-pop" landlords, who own between one and three properties. At the end of 2020, many of these landlords will have foregone rent for nine and a half months.” Institutional landlords are likely to have the resources to stay above water, despite unpaid rent. This hasn't been the case for smaller landlords. Many have struggled and drained reserves to keep paying their property taxes, mortgages and routine maintenance, even though they have not consistently received monthly rental payments. In some states, small landlords have found some reprieve through moratoriums, which have temporarily prevented mortgage lenders from foreclosing due to financial hardships.

Did they pay their rent? Rental Credit Reporting (RCR) was established in 1977 to solve screening problems the Houston Apartment Association founders felt plagued the local apartment industry. RCR has unsurpassed data on resident rental histories in the Houston region. The Houston Apartment Association and SafeRent Solutions are partnered to expand RCR and include numerous searches in one bundled report with immediate and unlimited inquiry access.

To learn more and subscribe, call RCR at 713-595-0300, email rcr@haaonline.org or visit www.haaonline.org. 58

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Resources for Owners/Operators As the eviction moratorium is expiring at the end of March, some resources are available to help keep landlords operational. There has been a $25 billion emergency rental relief fund established for tenants earning 50 to 80% of their average income. The relief fund can provide funds for both back and future rent for up to 12 months. The silver lining is that payments are made directly to the landlord to make them whole again, rather than the tenant. To find emergency relief near you, visit https://nlihc.org/rental-assistance. Real-Time Rental History Reporting Finding the right resident in this climate can be tricky. To help navigate through the pandemic, tap into a real-time tool that reports skips and evictions. The Houston Apartment Association and SafeRent Solutions (formerly doing business as CoreLogic) have partnered to expand Rental Credit Reporting (RCR) to provide more resources to make consistent, accurate and fair housing compliant leasing decisions. RCR delivers unsurpassed data on resident rental histories in the Houston region, which gives your leasing staff immediate access to information about which prospects have fulfilled their leases and who have been residents in good standing. Leasing agents can search more than 34 million landlord-tenant court records, including filings, judgments and liens. They can also access tenant history data bundled in one report with immediate and unlimited inquiry access. Find out during the applicant stage who hasn't paid rent, who has broken leases and who has received their deposit refund. Even though landlords cannot evict a tenant during the mortarium, they can still utilize RCR to report real-time skips. SafeRent Solutions (formerly CoreLogic) has been a valued partner for HAA’s Rental Credit Reporting for 13 years. Randall C. Patton is a senior professional in sales with over 15 years of credit experience in the multifamily industry, including applicant screening, online leasing, renter’s insurance and more. Patton supports the partnership between SafeRent and HAA by helping to expand the RCR presence for Houston-area apartment owners and management companies. He holds a CAS designation, has been a licensed insurance agent for 13 years and is regarded as an industry expert on applicant fraud and identity theft. www.haaonline.org

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On Site with ABODE

Photos provided by The Cabochon at River Oaks

THE CABOCHON AT RIVER OAKS

Honors Awards Property of the Year for a high-rise apartment community built before 2010.

Property: Cabochon at River Oaks Owner/Management: Greystar Location: 2828 Bammel Lane Units: 137 Built: 1966 Web: www.cabochonatriveroaks.com Interesting features: The Cabochon at River Oaks underwent a full renovation in 2016 with the intention of elevating the apartment community to appeal to renters who wish to live in a luxury apartment in the River Oaks area. Because the property was built in the 1960s, this remodel was a major undertaking. The renovation was completed in 2019, turning the property into an entirely new community. The HAA Honors Property Committee was so impressed with this community for its renovations and customer service, it decided to split the HAA Honors Awards Property of the Year for a high-rise apartment community into two categories. It was clear that Cabochon at River Oaks was standout community and deserving of an award for going above and beyond its competition. The onsite team took great pride in achieving their goal to overcome the negative reputation it received during the construction process. Because of their efforts, Cabochon at River Oaks improved rent growth and NOI rose above its projected performance. Congratulations, Cabochon at River Oaks!

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I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

www.haaonline.org

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that


On Site with ABODE

Photos provided by Aris Market Square

ARIS MARKET SQUARE Honors Awards Property of th e Year for a high-rise apartment community built between 2010 and 2018.

Property: Aris Market Square Owner/Management: Hine/Greystar Location: 409 Travis St. Units: 274 Built: 2017 Web: www.arismarketsquare.com Interesting features: Aris Market Square embodies what it means to be an HAA Honors Awards Property of the Year. Located in the Downtown Houston Historic District, this apartment community has become one of the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers. Every apartment community has a “resort-style swimming pool,” but no multifamily pool in Houston has the same view as Aris Market Square’s. Because the apartment community’s pool is on the ninth floor, it feels like you are suspended in the city’s skyline, surrounded by other skyscrapers. On the same floor, the property has a library and a gym. In addition, the property’s amenities include a pet parlor, a bike repair room, a “Hi-Fidelity” vinyl listening room furnished with a circular bench, top-of-the-line acoustics and its very own record collection, which residents are welcome to add to. This property’s amenities do not end there – its location alone is an amenity in itself. Congratulations, Aris Market Square! www.haaonline.org

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a

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On Site with ABODE

Photos provided by Oasis on Ella

OASIS ON ELLA

Honors Awards Property of the Year for a tax credit apartment community.

Property: Oasis on Ella Owner/Management: Allied Orion Group Location: 13655 Ella Blvd. Units: 135 Built: 2019 Web: www.oasisonella.com Interesting features: You can see from the photos Oasis on Ella is not your ordinary tax credit apartment community. Because this property offers a mix of market units and Section 8 housing, Oasis on Ella can provide premier housing to individuals and families with varying income. Located on the Northwest corner of Ella and Rankin, the neighborhood had a history of crime. Oasis on Ella has helped revitalized the greater community, and most importantly, brings luxury living to renters who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. With a 4.4 Google review rating, it’s clear the onsite team’s customer service is aligned with its goal to provide luxury living. Residents have access to amenities such as a massive pool with sun decks, grilling stations, a clubhouse, a media room equipped with large TV screens and a cozy library. Built in 2019, the lease-up phase was completed in eight months, occupied at 100%. Congratulations, Oasis on Ella!

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I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that

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The Go-Getters HAA’s MEMBERSHIP RECRUITERS

CHEERS TO MEMBERSHIP! Join the Go-Getters so everyone knows your name and they’ll be glad you came!

2021 Chairs:

Join our Quarterly Meetings! Be the top recruiter for each quarter and win $500 cash! Plus, for each new member you recruit, you’ll earn a chance to win gift cards ranging from $25 to $250!

Melissa Friend Greystar

JOIN A TEAM and build relationships with like-minded members. Get involved with Go-Getters and make lasting industry connections. Visit www.haaonline.org/gogetterscorner to get all the information you need.

Doug Oehl, CAS Flooring Warehouse

Honorary Life Members

Claude Arnold Kenn Brown Tina Cavaco Terri Clifton Kevin Fenn Diane Gilbert Anita Harrison Dwayne Henson Mike Koch Merry Mount

Monette Reynolds Sherry Stevenson Kirk Tate Suan Tinsley Sonny Unverzagt Del Walmsley Nancé Wells H.P. Paul Young Jeanne Marie Zublin Dicks

Check the Go-Getters Corner for upcoming quarterly meeting dates The first meeting is April 21! Location to be announced. Visit www.haaonline.org/gogetters for more information.

THE GO-GETTERS ARE THE BACKBONE of the Houston Apartment Association. By recruiting new members, the Go-Getter Club helps both new management and supplier companies and the association grow for the future. To join the club and get going on recruitment, see online at www.haaonline.org or contact Amanda and Kaylon in the Membership Department at members@haaonline.org. www.haaonline.org

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Welcome Mat

Introducing HAA’s NEW MEMBERS

OWNERS

Haven Residential / 29th Street Capital Tawanna Stewart 710 Barret Ave. Louisville, KY 40204 720-409-1679 Avana Sterling Ridge Estates

The Management Place Daniel Ellison 1830 Johanna Dr ATTN: Office Houston, TX 77055 713-542-5001 Catalina Apartments 1818 Thonig Apartments ABA Travel Park Mosaic on Hermann Park

JC Investment Properties Jeff Jenkins 1475 Texas St. #2403 Houston, TX 77002 713-569-3440

SUPPLIERS

1-800-Plumber+Air Mike Collins 3905 Halik St. Pearland, TX 77581 281-412-4284 Plumbing Drain/Sewer Cleaning, Plumbing Contractors, A/C Contractors, A/C Systems Cleaning AZPartsmaster Theresa Tollett Lamar 3750 Regency Crest Drive Ste. 200 Garland, TX 75041 888-924-7278 Appliances - Dealers, A/C Supplies & Parts, Cabinets, Janitorial Equipment & Supplies, Lighting Fixtures & Supplies, Swimming Pool Equipment & Supply, Hardware, Plumbing Fixtures/Parts/Supply, Water Heaters & Boilers Referred by Billy Griffin Bentley, Bratcher & Associates - PC Bill Pilkington 515 W Greens Road Ste 710 Houston, TX 77067 281-875-8181 Accountants-Certified Public, ConsultantsPlanning/Economic Referred by Stephanie Graves

John M. Crosby John M. Crosby 22706 Two Rivers Lane #22706 Katy, TX 77450 281-794-4303 JT Smith JT Smith 2407 Florence Drive League City, TX 77573 281-814-3256 Referred by Randa Dick Paul Stemke Paul Stemke 12423 Palo Acebo Lane Humble, TX 77346 571-216-0454 Referred by Randa Dick Real Century Property Management Brian Watson 11601 Shadow Creek Pkwy #111-173 Pearland, TX 77584 281-630-9550 Wainwright Red Door Management Inc dba RDM Realty Mark C. Brown 2028 Sedona Drive League City, TX 77573 832-297-2450

BrightView Landscape LLC Ramon Martinez 6225 Shadowbend Place The Woodlands, TX 77381-3148 346-201-1989 Lawn Maintenance, Mulch

Silverstone Management Viviana Rodriguez 9401 Coventry Square Drive Houston, TX 77099 281-741-5503 Coventry Park Apartments I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

FTK Construction Services Kim Goodman 7 Prestige Circle Allen, TX 75002 214-446-1500 General Contractors, Roofing Contractors, Mold Remediation I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

ALL SUPPLIER MEMBERS are listed online

at haabuyersguide.com, searchable by product/service category or company name.

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JM Sales & Service Inc Jack Muecke 2211 Rayford Road #111-28 Spring, TX 77386 713-294-3805 Concrete Contractors, Paving Contractors, Asphalt & Asphalt Products, Parking Area Maintenance & Marking OdorDeFence/BugDeFence Harold Jordan 1903 Treble Drive #A Humble, TX 77338 713-895-0444 Odor Control, Mosquito Control Palm Pools Troy Montgomery 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. #H120 Katy, TX 77494 832-723-1415 Swimming Pool Contractors, Swimming Pool Equipment & Supply, Swimming Pool Repair & Resurfacing, Swimming Pool Service & Maintenance Referred by Aaron Potier Preventive Pest Control Nicholas Nunnery 10050 W Gulf Bank Road #214 Houston, TX 77040 713-382-2906 Pest Control Services Referred by Trey Brandt Quality Design Martha Duran P.O. Box 1091 Bellaire, TX 77401 281-769-7557 Landscape Designers, Landscape Contractors Redstone Payment Solutions Tim Sterba 11427 Todd St. 10406 Lake Road Houston, TX 77070 800-311-1225 Credit Card Processing, Credit Card Merchant Services Rotolo Consultants Emily Thickner 38001 Brownsvillage Road Slidell, LA 70460 800-641-2427 Landscape Contractors, Lawn Maintenance I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”

www.haaonline.org

I wasn’t expectin surprised that the said, laughing. “ I business for 15 ye anything. For me or get it right, I’m don’t need recogn resident and my m owner are happy, good experience, way. I didn’t know watching!”

I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was surprised that they nominated me!” he said, laughing. “ I’ve been with this business for 15 years. I never expect anything. For me, if I get my job done or get it right, I’m satisfied with that. I don’t need recognition. As long as my resident and my management and the owner are happy, I’m happy. It was a good experience, though, feeling that way. I didn’t know that someone was watching!”


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COVID EFFECT, continued from Page 27 other things that enable people to have a more sanitary experience when they’re out in public,’ he says. New Competition While the rise in teleworking and online shopping will make developers re-evaluate their apartment design, other sectors’ problems are forcing apartment owners to take a closer look at their portfolios. As properties in other assets, namely retail and hospitality, have been battered, investors are leaving those sectors and chasing apartments. “The equity today is chasing multifamily and industrial, and that’s a global phenomenon,” Lubeck says. “People are not looking to buy office or retail generally. Some people are looking to pick up hotels at a discount, but I’m not aware of anybody who’s actively pursuing retail or office.” This increased competition has made it more challenging for companies like JRK to buy. “Unfortunately, for guys like me that are trying to put out capital, the pandemic has made multifamily even more competitive because it’s a safe haven,” Lee says. “It’s become competitive to buy assets. People are yieldstarved. As poorly as multifamily has per-

formed, it’s still better than most other places because you can get yield.” Valach took advantage of a healthy appetite for apartments and sold some communities in the fall. “We closed a couple of new deals and sold five deals between Thanksgiving and the end of the year at pre-COVID pricing or maybe better than pre-COVID pricing,” Valach says. If apartments sit in the suburban and Sun Belt areas that people have been migrating to during the pandemic, investor interest only grows. “We see very significant growth in interest in the Sun Belt strategy, and there’s an awful lot of equity coming in from around the world and from New York and elsewhere who are now looking to buy,” says Lubeck, whose portfolio is in the Southeast. “That is driving up prices.” The investment interest is also showing up in the affordable sector. In January, Avanath closed its fourth discretionary fund with a total of $760 million in equity commitments. In the beginning, Carter anticipated raising only $550 million. “There was a lot more investor interest,” Carter says. “Affordable housing has performed well over the years, but the demand has grown much stronger since the pandemic began.”

Need Social Distancing Meeting Space? The Houston Apartment Foundation Dinerstein Reed Prokop Education Center is here for you.

But Carter thinks there might be another reason that his fourth discretionary fund exceeded expectations. Avanath launched a wellness initiative during the past few years to “keep our residents healthier for longer,” Carter says. Even before the pandemic, there was a larger focus on housing and health care, with medical giants such as Kaiser Permanente getting involved in housing. Now, after living through a health crisis like COVID, Carter’s investors are even more interested in Avanath communities, especially since the firm’s predominately Black and Latino resident base has suffered disproportionately from both a health and economic perspective through COVID. “We have two or three investors that are really involved in the health care business that wanted to align some of the things that we do in housing and health care,” Carter says. “They liked the fact that we’ve been at the forefront of promoting health and wellness at our communities for a number of years now.” If the pandemic has taught apartment operators across the spectrum anything, it’s that the health and wellness of residents and staff comes first. And that might be the biggest lesson that ultimately comes from the pandemic. – Les Shaver is a freelance writer

The HAF Education Center is located at the HAA/HAF facility, 4810 Westway Park Blvd. in the Westway Park Development at Clay Road and Sam Houston Parkway. This premier location with easy access for members and their employees offers several options to choose from. • Large Conference Room • Computer Lab • Open Event/Training Space • Presentation/Projection Equipment Available Keep the education center in mind when your company is in need of a facility for your next meeting or employee training. The center is available for rental to members and is the perfect venue for budget meetings, planning sessions and more. For more information, contact Susan at 713-595-0300, e-mail shinkley@haaonline.org or visit us online at www.haaonline.org.

For more information, visit us online at www.haaonline.org www.haaonline.org

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The Ambassador ONE Society HAA’s WELCOMING COMMITTEE

KEEPING IT GOING The Ambassadors meet up outdoors for another “silent” meeting.

Mark your calendars and join us! Ambassador ONE Society meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month: April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3 The first quarter meeting spot is Kirby Ice House, 1015 Gessner Road, 77055 Photo below: “ONE of the Month” Janell Cornelius, Stay Classy, with 55 points for February. In second place is Amanda Kelly, Green Machine, with 42 points and Austin Lawley, Stay Classy, with 15 points in third place.

Ambassador ONE Society members with at least 10 points, ranked by points earned: Susan Alvarado Janell Cornelius Amanda Kelly Stephane Leveque Giovanna Gone Xochitl Flores Tracey Leach-Moore Austin Lawley Danyell Wilkerson Blake Subinsky Tammy Broadway Karen Nelsen James Gregory Eddie Maher Blaise Spitaleri Lindsey Veliz Ryan Carson Marcy Holmes Alex Fanning Bo Hang Chris Bell Tiffany Torres

Century A/C Supply 125 JMI Contractors 55 Brandt Electrical A/C & Heating Services LLC 52 Onesource Moving 49 Century A/C Supply 46 BG Multifamily 27 Flooring Warehouse 24 Furniture Refinishing Services 22 ApartmentData.com 20 HD Supply 18 American Fire Systems, Inc. 17 ALN Apartment Data, Inc 16 Fidus Construction 16 Redi Carpet 15 Gemstar Construction 14 Matrix Construction Services 12 Gemstar Construction 12 Designs by Holmes Interior Design 10 Johnstone Supply 10 Redi Carpet 10 Cotton Commercial 10 Johnstone Supply 10

Ambassadors earn points by sharing leads, making introductions and visiting communities to promote HAA events and news.

THE AMBASSADOR ONE SOCIETY is an organized network exchange that helps supplier partners build their business contacts within HAA. It’s the perfect way for new suppliers to get started with the association. Group members share leads, make introductions and support HAA and its members. For details on how to join and for meeting dates, visit www.haaonline.org/ambassadors or contact Amanda in the Membership Department at 713-595-0316, or email asherbondy@haaonline.org. 66

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Team photos at left, from top: First place team Stay Classy with 142 points for February. Second place team Green Machine with 103 points. Third place team The Bomb Squad with 88 points.

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Get Involved

Volunteer HAA The Houston Apartment Association’s committees and clubs are some of the most productive tools we have to ensure that we remain the nation’s largest and most effective apartment association. Members of the association dedicate their time to lead and serve on the various clubs and committees. Some general responsibilities of committee and club members include a commitment to attend all meetings and help develop marketing strategies (i.e. telemarketing, developing handouts, fliers, articles). To serve on any of these committees and clubs, please contact the HAA office at 713-595-0300, online at www.haaonline.org or email the departments listed below. Education education@haaonline.org Education Advisory Council HAF Fundraiser Committee* Career and Community Development Committee Public Affairs public_affairs@haaonline.org HAA Political Action Committee* Century Club* Media Relations Committee Fair Housing Committee Strategic Outreach Committee Membership members@haaonline.org Ambassador ONE Society Go-Getter Membership Recruitment Club Expo Exhibitor Committee* Street Team* Community Outreach shinkley@haaonline.org Community Outreach Committee Product Service Council* Resident Relations resrel@haaonline.org Resident Relations Committee *Note: These committees have specific requirements. Contact HAA for details.

www.haaonline.org

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Portfolio Changes The following owner/management companies have added the listed properties to their portfolios: The following owner/management companies have added the listed properties to their portfolios: • Asset Living: Huntington Chimney Rock, 100 units at 16360 Chimney Rock Road; Zion Village Apartments, 50 units at 3154 Gray St.; West Oak Village, 232 units at 15059 Caseta Drive; Somerset Lofts Apartments, 120 units at 8506 Hempstead Road; Palisades of Inwood Apartments, 127 units at 5800 W. Mount Houston Road; Mansions at Hastings Green Seniors, 252 units at 11707 Fallbrook Drive; Mansions at Hastings Green Apartments, 230 units at 11950 FM 1960 Road West; Magnolia Place Senior Apartments, 144 units at 4647 Wenda St.; Lake Jackson Manor Apartments, 100 units at 120 Garland Drive, Lake Jackson; Kensington Place Apartments, 216 units at 711 FM 1959 Road; The Huntington at Lake Jackson, 294 Abner Jackson Pkwy, Lake Jackson; Huntington at Sienna Ranch Road, 149 units at 6427 Sienna Ranch Road, Missouri City; Huntington at Sienna, 132 units at 4522 Trammel Fresno Road, Missouri City; The Huntington at Missouri City, 120 units at 2424 FM 1092 Road, Missouri City; Elder Street Artist Lofts, 34 units at 1101 Elder St. #306; Catalon Apartments, 142 units at 6013 Queenston Blvd; and Big Bass Resort, 200 units at 9701 Market St. • Better World Properties - Sumar: Arielle Springwoods, 340 units at 21145 Spring Plaza Drive, Spring. • Blue Magma Residential: Park at Cumberland, 484 units at 505 Cypress Station Drive. • Capstone Real Estate Services: Synott at Square, 108 units at 9402 Synott Road.

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• Cooper Street Capital Management: 524 Heights, 10 units at 524 Heights Blvd. and The Vintage, 72 units at 219 Marshall St. • Creative Property Management: Hidden Park Apartments, 52 units at 4225 Mangum Road. • Del Rio Apartments: Del Rio Apartments, 36 units at 1318 Ave. A South. • Disrupt Management: Gallery at Katy, 316 units at 1007 S. Mason Road, Katy. • Fairmont Oaks: Fairmont Oaks Pasadena, 60 units at 4210 Young St., Pasadena. • Gray Spear Capital: Hidden Pines Apartments, 46 units at 7611 Jalna St. • Greystar: Domain Town Center, 352 7100 Uvalde Road. • Grund: Violet St., 15 units at 2718 Violet St., Pasadena. • Haven Residential/29th Street Capital: Avana Sterling Ridge Estates, 254 units at 6900 Lake Woodlands Drive, The Woodlands. • Herman & Kittle Properties: Magnolia Station, 44 units at 320 W. Magnolia St., Winnie. • K&D Schroeder: The Villa Apartments II, 14 units at 6004 Schroeder Road and The Villa Apartments I, 14 units at 5938 Schroeder Road. • Lincoln Property Company: The McKinley, 278 units at 9757 Katy Frwy. • Magnolia Property Company: Co-Op at Summer Street, 198 units at 3275 Summer St. • The Management Place: Mosaic on Hermann Park, 1 unit at 5925 Almeda Road #11906 and ABA Travel Park, 3 units at 1711 Jacquelyn Drive. • Property One: Enclave at Mary’s Creek, 240 units at 2900 Pearland Pkwy, Pearland. • Real Century Property Management: Wainwright, 13 units at 812 Wainwright St.

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• REEP Management: Savoy Manor, 192 units at 5915 Flintlock Road. • Ria Cotton: Ria Cotton - Properties, 1 unit at various locations. • Roscoe Properties: Regalia Bella Terra, 227 units at 24151 Bella Dolce Lane, Katy. • Silverstone Management: Coventry at Towne Lake, 366 units at 17807 Lakecrest View Drive, Cypress. • Stonemark Management Company: Cantera at Towne Lake, 366 units at 17807 Lakecrest View Drive, Cypress. • SWA Property Management: Town Square Apartments, 40 units at 1200 Hospital Drive, Angleton and Casa de Dali, 46 units at 2810 Beauchamp St. • Topaz Asset Management: North Forest Trails, 168 units at 9550 N. Wayside Drive. • Valiant Residential: Heights at Harpers Preserve, 328 units at 17116 Harpers Trace, Conroe. • Wood Residential Services: Alta River Oaks, 364 units at 3636 W. Dallas St.

In the News

Vohra

Nye

The National Apartment Association selects Veritas Equity Management’s Ruha Vohra as a member of its 2021 NAA Diversity Leadership Program. Vohra is also the co-chair of the HAA NEXT Committee. Bill Nye joins Madera Residential as vice president of operations in Houston. SMI Realty donated 42 computer monitors, 32 CPUs and three keyboards to Urban Outreach Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing after school enrichment for at-risk youth and vulnerable families in apartment communities, schools and camps in the greater Houston area. For the third consecutive year, J Turner names The Dinerstein Companies as the the number one Student Housing Manager by Online Reputation. Allied Orion Group breaks ground on Granary Flats, a 324-unit, three-story, luxury apartment home community located in the Harvest Green Master-Planned Development in Richmond, Texas. Its targeted to open in the 4th quarter. www.haaonline.org

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ad index pg 72.qxp_Ad Index pg 74 3/17/21 3:42 PM Page 1

Index of Advertisers By CATEGORY

A/C Supplies

Landscape Contractors

Century A/C Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 281-530-2859 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.centuryac.com

Outdoor Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 713-955-0990 . . . . . .www.outdoorelementstx.com Texscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 281-846-3779 . . . . . . . . . .www.texscapeservices.com

Carpet Installation Dixie Carpet Installations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 281-261-6334 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.dixiecarpet.com

Laundry Equipment & Supplies

Texas Southwest Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 800-719-4321 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.texasswfloors.com

Scott Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 713-686-7268 . . . . . . . . .www.scott-equipment.com

Collection Agencies

Locks & Locksmiths

Alexander-Rose Associates Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 713-644-4441 . . . . . . . . . . .www.alexanderrose-inc.com

CKI Wholesale Lock Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 713-462-0704 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ckilock.com

Electric Contractors

Personnel Agency

Affordable Quality Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 713-695-5992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.acuityelectric.com

ASAP Personnel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 972-432-6667 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.asapdo.com

Brandt Electrical A/C & Heating Services . . . .33 281-693-3383 . . . . . . . . . . .www.brandtelectrical.com

Plumbing Contractors AAA Plumbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 713-462-4753 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.aaaplumbers.com

Foundation Repair Church Foundation Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 713-468-8400 . . .www.churchfoundationrepair.com

Resident Screening Service SafeRent Solutions . . . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover 888-297-8821 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.corelogic.com

General Contractors Camp Construction Services . . . . . . . .Back Cover 713-413-2267 . . . . . . . .www.campconstruction.com Cotton Commercial USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 877-511-2962 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.cottongds.com Crestmark Construction Services . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 713-426-6161 . . . . . . . . . . .www.crestmarkservices.com FSI Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 832-767-1115 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.fsiconstruction.com Gemstar Construction & Development . . . . . .47 281-821-1195 . . . . . .www.gemstarconstruction.com Guardian Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 832-672-4196 . . . . . . . . . . . .www.guardianconst.com MultiFamily Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 713-266-9100 RENCON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Back Cover 713-666-3636 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.rencon.com

Glass – Plate, Window, Etc. Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

Resurfacing Perfect Surface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 713-952-0202 . . . . . . . .www.perfectsurfaceinc.com

Screens Ameristar Screen and Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 713-683-6767 . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.ameristarglass.com

HAA reserves the right to reject any advertising if its content is inappropriate or inconsistent with HAA’s standards for publication or HAA’s business interests, in HAA’s sole opinion.

TARGET QUALIFIED LEADS With HAA’s job board, you’ll discover a professional community that’s committed to helping you find the right candidate or your next job opportunity in the greater Houston and surrounding areas.

www.haaonline.org jobs@haaonline.org 713-595-0300

Security Control Equipment/Systems SentriForce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 888-671-2202 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.sentriforce.com

Swimming Pool Service Poolsure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 800-858-POOL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.poolsure.com

HAA Products & Services Rental Credit Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 713-595-0300 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.haaonline.org/rcr

Insurance Harco Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 713-681-2500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .www.harco-ins.com

www.haaonline.org/rcr

Want to see current and previous issues of ABODE online? Go to http://issuu.com/haa_abode. Or view this issue on your computer, iPad or smartphone at http://issuu.com/haa_abode/docs/abode_apr2021.

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Marketline pg 73.qxp_Layout 1 3/17/21 3:43 PM Page 1

MarketLine By BRUCE MCCLENNY, President, ApartmentData.com

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1050 – • • • • • •

HOUSTON Snapshot 88.8% $1,046/mo. $1.18/sq.ft./mo. 885 sq.ft.

Recently Opened (12 months): 86 communities 24,021 units

1000 –

– 90.0

975 – – 89.0

– 88.0

Under Construction: 63 communities 16,716 units

Occupancy (%)

Operating Supply: 2,915 communities 687,562 units

Rental Rate (¢/sq.ft./mo.)

Past 12 Months: -1.4% rental rate growth 12,932 units absorbed

1025 –

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Feb 21

Jan 21

Nov 20

Dec 20

Oct 20

Sep 20

Aug 20

Jul 20

Jun 20

May 20

Apr 20

Feb 20

Mar 20

Jan 20

Dec 19

Nov 19

Oct 19

Sep 19

Aug 19

Jul 19

Jun 19

May 19

Proposed Construction: 94 communities 27,608 units

Apr 19

Mar 19

– 87.0

History of Effective Rental Rate & Occupancy for All Units

Hottest Submarkets Over the Past Three Months

Concessions

Annualized % of Market Rank Submarket Absorbed 1 Katy/Cinco Ranch/Waterside 7.8% 2 Heights/Washington Ave 7.4% 3 Highland Village/Upper Kirby/West U 7.7% 4 Med Center/Braes Bayou 5.0% 5 Brookhollow/Northwest Crossing 7.6%

Rental Rate Growth % 2.3% 4.5% 1.5% 1.5% 0.7%

Total Units Class w/Concessions All 341,706 A 100,867 B 146,734 C 82,605 D 11,500

% of Total Units 50% 65% 50% 44% 24%

Average Special -3.9% -6.7% -2.8% -2.4% -1.6%

Citywide Effect -7.4% -9.9% -5.8% -5.3% -6.2%

One Month Free = -8.33%

THE FIRST TABLE ABOVE GIVES A SNAPSHOT of the current market conditions. The graph displays the overall occupancy and effective rental rates over the past 24 months. These statistics are derived from a continuous survey of all apartment communities in the Houston region. The effective rental rates are the calculated net of concessions and utility adjustments. The second table lists the five hottest submarkets in the Greater Houston area. There are a total of 42 submarkets, and the ranking is based on the best combination of rental rate growth and absorption over the past three months. The third table distributes and analyzes concessions (specials) by classification. Concessions generally are represented by three types of specials: move-in, months free or floor plans. The effect of these specials is captured and prorated over a lease term to arrive at a percentage reduction in market or street rents.

TEXAS

Dallas/Ft. Worth

San Antonio

Austin

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

Occupancy: Price: Rental Rate: Size:

91.0% $1,179/mo. $1.34/sq.ft./mo. 877 sq.ft.

90.5% $992/mo. $1.16/sq.ft./mo. 855 sq.ft.

89.0% $1,276/mo. $1.46¢/sq.ft./mo. 875 sq.ft.

Past 12 Months: 0.4% rental rate growth 20,465 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: 1.1% rental rate growth 6,953 units absorbed

Past 12 Months: -4.2% rental rate growth 7,742 units absorbed

Operating Supply: 3,248 communities 773,964 units

Operating Supply: 952 communities 203,921 units

Operating Supply: 1,073 communities 253,452 units

www.haaonline.org

ApartmentData.com has been providing apartment data and marketing products since 1986. ApartmentData.com provides real-time access for property specific information, market surveys and historic submarket data for more than 3.5 million apartment units in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, North Carolina and Tennessee. For more information, contact Bruce McClenny at 800-595-8730. © 2021 ApartmentData.com April 2021

ABODE

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Back Page

with News from around the COMMUNITY

Welcome Kit Drive benefiting Houston Welcomes Refugees March 1 to April 30 https://www.houstonwelcomesrefugees.com/ Purchase items for delivery at: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2ZDZJP XSPKRFD?ref_=wl_share

HAA is partnering with Houston Welcomes Refugees for a “welcome kit” drive. Many refugees arrive in the United States with next to nothing. Help them rebuild their lives by putting together a Welcome Kit that will provide them with essentials to help them begin again with hope and honor. If you would like to help, please purchase one or more items from the list below and drop them off or have them delivered to the HAA office, 4810 Westway Park Blvd., 77041 by Friday, April 30. The Amazon link to purchase items from the list is above. If you like, you can include a handwritten note to the families receiving the welcome kits.

Cleaning Kit Items: • Iron • Pack of sponges • Toilet brush • Toilet cleaner • All purpose spray cleaner (2) • Liquid laundry detergent • Light bulbs (2) • Tissue box (2) ª Cleaning rags • Dish soap (not dishwasher soap)

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April 2021

• • • • • •

Trash bags (13 gallon) Paper napkins Paper towel holder Paper towels Dustpan and Broom Laundry basket

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Return Service Requested

WINTER STORM • BOOTS ON THE GROUND

Houston Apartment Association 4810 Westway Park Blvd. Houston, Texas 77041

ABODE Big THE HOUSTON APARTMENT ASSOCIATION MAGAZINE

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April 2021

The

ABODE • APRIL 2021 • VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4

CHILL Houston faced a different kind of storm as Texas was hit with historic freezing temperatures, power failures and busted water pipes. What went wrong and where do we go from here?

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Profile for HAA Publishing

ABODE April 2021  

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