Pillow Talk: Counter Errorism

by Perry Pillow, AATC's Director of Government Affairs

Governments make mistakes:  These errors can be collective (the bridge to nowhere, lead-contaminated water supply, segregation, etc.) or individual (Watergate, appeasement, police brutality, etc.). Often, well-meaning government decisions have unintended consequences (generational dependency on social services, 55 mph speed limits, Amtrak, etc.).

AATC members constantly navigate the challenges posed by numerous government failures.  The abundance of tax accountants and tax attorneys demonstrates the overly complex and burdensome federal and state tax laws.  Shared responsibilities between appraisal districts and taxing entities mean multifamily owners/operators can win the battle (lower their appraisals) but still lose the war (pay more property taxes). The lack of uniform, nationwide clarity on service/emotional support animal regulations creates confusion and frustration.

More than two decades ago, to lower density and curtail poverty, many Tarrant County cities enacted zoning ordinances that reduced the number of multifamily units per acre allowed for new construction.  The unintended consequence of all new multifamily development in Tarrant County post-enactment has either been high-end, class A deals or include some form of affordable component.  Workforce, B/C projects just don’t pencil-out under these restrictions. Cities also enacted ordinances that require both a code compliance inspection and a certificate of occupancy inspection upon a change of ownership.

Bureaucratic redundancy exemplified.

Cities continue to enact egregious, illegal fees applied solely to multifamily properties.  From inspection and registration fees to crime reduction and recycling, cities throughout Tarrant County specifically target multifamily properties to generate revenues.

Government officials err when their perception of AATC members fails to align with reality.  AATC members own and operate more than $1 billion in real estate assets in Tarrant County.  AATC members employ more than 5,000 workers and provide homes to more than 800,000 Tarrant County citizens.

AATC members counter government errors by proactively engaging with elected and career government officials.  Advocacy overcomes errors.

Arlington Recycling – The Arlington City Council unanimously approved mandatory recycling for all new apartment construction during the August 4 council meeting.  The adopted ordinance:


requires all multifamily properties constructed after November 5, 2018, to provide recycling collection services.  A proposal to discuss recycling for existing Arlington apartment properties was sent to the council committee for further study and discussion.  AATC’s Arlington advocacy team will be actively involved in any discussions about recycling at existing multifamily properties.

Voter Registration Deadline– The deadline to register to vote and be eligible to vote in the November 6, 2018 election is October 9, 2018. To register to vote, go to http://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/

Fort Worth Municipal Summit– If you own or operate rental property in Fort Worth, then mark your calendar for Wednesday, September 12th, and plan on attending the second annual Fort Worth Municipal Summit from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Victory Forest Community Center(3427 Hemphill, Fort Worth, TX 76110).  To register your team, go to:

https://apartmenttarranttxassoc.wliinc20.com/events/Fort-Worth-Municipal-Summit-2018-921/detailsThe Fort Worth Municipal Summit is a premier opportunity to network with city officials that impact your Fort Worth properties. It is an opportunity to interact with city code, fire, police, and social services staff.  It’s a chance to learn where they are coming from and, even better, an opportunity for government staff to hear from multifamily housing professionals. This event is about honest, frank discussions about ways to improve the relationships between the multifamily industry and city officials.

Arlington City Council Term Limits– Arlington voters will have a retroactive, city council term-limit proposal on the November ballot.  The proposal limits council members to three two-year terms.  If enacted, 5 current city council members (included the mayor) would be impacted.

Business Exchange– The 2018 AATC-AAGD Business Exchange presented by Maintenance Supply HQ was a huge success!  This year, 287 executives from 65 DFW multi-housing companies and 326 suppliers from 177 product/service companies conducted more than 4,300 one-on-one meetings. The Business Exchange is the premiere multi-housing networking event in the nation.  We raised a record $146,000 for NAA PAC.

State of the Industry – AATC and AAGD annually host a State of the Industry (SOI)– an economic forecast event held over lunch.  This year’s event coincides with fall budget season.   Mark Tuesday, September 18th, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on your calendar at the Westin Galleria (13340 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75240) and plan on joining your DFW multifamily colleagues for a look into the future. Per usual, it is $55 to attend the SOI.  To register yourself and your team, go to https://apartmenttarranttxassoc.wliinc20.com/events/State-of-the-Industry-Luncheon-942/details

This year’s SOI speakers are Jessica Heer, Senior Vice President Talent Attraction, with the Dallas Regional Chamber and Carl Whitaker, Market Analyst, with RealPage.