REPORT: LESS THAN 25% OF FEDERAL RENTAL ASSISTANCE AID DISPURSED
Politico is reporting that less than a quarter of federal rental assistance funding has been delivered to local tenants and property owners, a point GCNKAA President Don Brunner has been making to the media and during a meeting last week that was designed to train property owners on how to apply for the aid.
"State, local and tribal officials had disbursed about $10.7 billion in rental assistance as of the end of September, representing less than a quarter of the $46.5 billion Congress authorized in two tranches since last December," according to the article.
Local organizations - including Hamilton County Job & Family Services and the Community Action Agency (CAA) - have an estimated $70 million to distribute. So far, they have assisted approximately 10 percent of the renters in Hamilton County. As the need increases, these organizations working with landlords to absorb past due rent is a great way forward to keep tenants in their homes.
"By making sure these funds are distributed, it gives people the time to get back on their feet, back working again and able to pay their rent," President Brunner said. "These funds are there and collectively we are trying to work in tandem to make sure those funds are distributed to the folks in need."
CINCINNATI HOUSING COURT PROPOSAL SHOT DOWN
A proposal by Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley to create a housing court has been rejected by Hamilton County's common pleas judges, which according to a Cincinnati Enquirer article must approve the creation of a specialized court for housing along with the state legislature.
The judges voted 14-2 against forming the court.
PROPERTY OWNERS RECEIVE TRAINING TO HELP TENANTS WITH RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Property owners have partnered with area organizations and government agencies to get trained on online portals in order to assist tenants with their rent.
The The Oct.19th training session will enable landlords to access the online portals and submit tenants who are behind on their rent.
"This is a cooperative effort focused on how property owners and tenant advocates are working together to keep tenants in their homes, while making owners whole during this pandemic," said GCNKAA President Don Brunner, the President and CEO of BRG Realty Group, LLC.
The training will be held at the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority and will include the following organizations:
“CAA has distributed more than $16 million in funding to over 5,000 households,” said CAA President/CEO Mark Lawson. We still have funding that can be used to help more tenants. Training landlords on our portal is a great way to provide the assistance needed.”
Local leaders applauded the organizations for coming together to work on rent assistance.
"I am encouraged that these organizations and agencies are coming together to connect resources to residents who may be facing eviction," said Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus.
"To keep children and families in their homes, getting what is an unprecedented amount of rental assistance out to everyone who needs it will require unprecedented partnerships," said Cincinnati Councilman Greg Landsman. "I am so grateful for the Apartment Association and all of our rental assistance providers for coming together the way they are. It will make a huge difference in staving off thousands of evictions.”
NATIONAL MEDIA: FLOOD OF EVICTIONS DID NOT TAKE PLACE AFTER MORATORIUM LIFTED. Media outlets, political pundits, politicians, housing advocates and others were predicting a flood of evictions after the federal government's eviction moratorium ended in August following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But recent stories in two nationally-circulated newspapers - The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal - reported the high number of predicted evictions did not occur as predicted.
The Washington Post's story was published in late September under the headline, "The feared eviction 'tsunami' has not happened". The Wall Street Journal was out last week with this story: "Mass evictions didn't result after U.S. ban ended, despite fears".
The Journal's story reported that "landlords ... say the risk of an eviction epidemic was always overstated and that most building owners have been willing to work with cash-strapped tenants."
The Post reported that "there does not appear to be concrete evidence that the predicted surge of evictions has materialized over the past month since the ban ended, according to several interviews with housing experts, academic researchers tracking local filings, and administration officials."
FAKE SERVICE DOG IDS USED TO TRAVEL WITH PETSStretching the rules to take pets into grocery stores, amusement parks and restaurants has become so commonplace that online merchants are selling official-looking service animal certificates and vests for as little as $50. For full story, click here.
2016 GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIREProvided for member information only. Click here.
METROPOLITAN SEWER DISTRICT SEWER BACKUP CLAIM FORMUse this form in the event of losses due to sewer backups in the MSD service region.
NAA EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL TOOLKIT NOW AVAILABLEThe National Apartment Association (NAA) has recently released the “NAA Toolkit, Emotional Support Animals: A Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Requests.” Property owners have seen a significant increase in reasonable accommodation requests for emotional support animals in recent years and are concerned about possible abuse. While NAA seeks legislative and regulatory solutions to address concerns, NAA felt it was important to provide members with resources giving practical guidance on this emerging issue.
As background, a lack of clarity in federal regulations opens the door for abuse and imposes an unfair burden on property owners, undermining the intent of the Fair Housing Act to help those truly in need of an emotional support animal. In cases where a property owner may request documentation on the disability-related need for an emotional support animal, the regulations allow for a broad range of individuals to provide the verification. These individuals include a physician, psychiatrist, social worker or other mental health professional.
Additionally, an individual certifying the resident’s need for an emotional support animal is not required to have an actual treatment relationship with the resident. In some cases, the documentation supplied to property owners is in the form of a letter purchased online for a fee. This documentation may be obtained with little or no contact with a mental health professional, other than a brief consultation, and not as a result of an actual treatment relationship.
In light of these concerns, NAA organized a working group of members, affiliated association staff and attorneys specializing in fair housing to collaborate on resources to help members navigate this complicated issues; the resources are compiled in the toolkit, including:
TRASH TICKETS UNFAIRLY PUNISH LANDLORDSSee the link below for an article published June 10, 2015 in the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati.com.
TENANT INCOME VERIFICATION RELIEF ACT OF 2015Linked you will find copies of the National Apartment Association, National Multifamily Housing Council and an Industry letter sent to the members of the United States House of Representatives supporting House Resolution 233. HR 233, the “Tenant Income Verification Relief Act of 2015” was introduced by Congressman Perlmutter (D-CO) and Congressman Stivers of Ohio. It is believed that the passage of this legislation will improve the federally assisted housing rental programs for residents and owners saving taxpayer dollars and eliminating inefficiencies.This legislation is very important to our industry. Please contact the Representatives in all districts in which you have properties and urge them to vote for HR 233.
CITY OF HAMILTON NEW TRASH CAN POLICYRumpke will provide the smaller, 35 gallon trash can if you want that one instead of the 96 gallon they will begin dropping off in a week or two. Call 785-7270 and request it. No hassles. They’ll put you on their list.
DON’T LET NEW WATER HEATER RULES SURPRISE YOUChanges coming this year will make water heaters more energy efficient, but may create some difficulties for homeowners.
Who knew that the standard storage tank water heater needed a makeover? But that’s what’s coming April 16, 2015. This change could limit which water heaters are available for you to choose from, and increase the cost.
Per the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, water heaters manufactured after April 16, 2015, must meet new energy requirements. This goes for gas, propane, oil and electric water heaters. But this win for conserving energy and reducing emissions is not without growing pains.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, new mandatory standards will “result in approximately $63 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2015-2044. The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles.”
For more information, click here.
NAA RELEASES EBOLA GUIDANCEOn October 10th, NAA sent a communication to our affiliate executives and Board of Directors with guidance and resources on dealing with Ebola. Following the October 15th announcement of a third confirmed case of Ebola, NAA felt it was important to communicate updated guidance and resources from official sources and share it with all of our members.
Our primary concern is for employees and residents and while the existing known cases are currently reported to be in one specific area of the country, we are acting out of a sense of precaution and concern for all of our communities regardless of locale.
We have prepared a document that includes the most recent general guidance, possible questions you may receive, and resources to use. Should you have further questions, we encourage you to stay current with local health officials as well as the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and also log onto the NAA website which we will update regularly.
NAA will continue to monitor news from the CDC and communicate with you accordingly.
ESL and INTERLOGIX SMOKE DETECTOR RECALLSMore than 150,000 smoke alarms that can fail to alert consumers when a fire occurs are among this week’s recalled consumer products.
DETAILS: ESL and Interlogix brand 400/500 series smoke detectors which are hard-wired into a security system. The smoke detectors were made for professional installation and used primarily in commercial buildings, schools, hotels, motels, apartments, dormitories and homes as part of the fire alarm system. Recalled units have date codes 13084 through 14059. The initials ESL, the date code and the model numbers are printed on a label on the back of the detector’s cover and on the product’s packaging. The 400 series model numbers include 429AT, 429C, 429CAD, 429CRT, 429CST, 429CT, 429CTAD, 449AT, 449C, 449CRT, 449CSRH, 449CSRT, 449CST, 449CSTE, 449CT and 449CTE. The 500 Series model numbers include 511C, 518C, 521B, 521BXT, 521B-10PKDMP, 521B-10PKG, 521BXT-10PKG, 521BXT-DMP-10PKG, 528B, 528CRXT, 541C, 541C-10PKG, 541CXT, 541CXT-10PK and 548C.
WHY: Radio frequency interference can cause the smoke detectors to fail to alert consumers of a fire.
INCIDENTS: None reported.
HOW MANY: About 141,000 in U.S. and 13,000 in Canada.
FOR MORE: Call Edwards at 800-655-4497 and select option 5, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m Monday through Friday or go to .edwardsfiresafety.com and click on Contact Us. Interlogix contacted at 855-286-8889 and selecting option 2, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or go tp interlogix.com and click on Customer Service for more information.
RENTAL DROP BOX – WARNINGSeveral years ago a group of self-proclaimed “gypsys” was travelling through Ohio and created quite a stir by perfecting the theft of checks and money orders from rental drop boxes.
It has come to our attention that a community was just hit this weekend in Cincinnati.
PLEASE BE AWARE: Utilize lighting and video, as well as regular clearing of the drop boxes, to help minimize the threat.
If additional reports occur, we will recommend the temporary suspension of these boxes.
Internal boxes are safer, but not perfect.
If your community has been hit by this kind of theft recently, please let us know.
Thank you for your attention to this issue!
KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT RULING – LANDLORD RESPONSIBLE FOR DOG BITE BY TENANT’S DOGFrom the Lexington Herald-Leader, 3.19.14
Kentucky’s landlords should beware of liability for injuries caused by their tenants’ dog bites. A 2012 Kentucky Supreme Court ruling (Benningfield v. Zinsmeister) changed the way the law is interpreted to make a landlord the owner of a tenant’s dog for purposes of legal liability.
Read more here: