Industry News | Wk of September 3
HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
8 U.S. Cities Pledge to Ensure All New Buildings Are Net-Zero Carbon by 2030
Ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit (Sept. 12-14, San Francisco), 19 global cities have signed the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration. The pledge, signed by eight U.S. cities, ensures that cities will have all new buildings operating at net-zero carbon (no carbon footprint) by 2030. The green initiative also pledges that all buildings, new or old, will meet net-zero carbon regulations by 2050. Six of the pledging U.S. cities are big markets – New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Jose and Portland – while Santa Monica, Calif. and Newburyport, Mass. are also participating. Read Mary Salmonsen’s story in Multifamily Executive.
Does Technology Bring in More Renters?
Tech features give an apartment community a modern edge and provide residents with a multitude of possibilities. But do they actually move the needle when it comes to attracting residents? According to Adrian Goldstein of CGI Strategies, it’s too early to say definitively, but most signs point to yes. Goldstein notes that it’s difficult to diagnose how big of an assist tech features play in the decision to rent, but that prospects are “naturally curious and enthusiastic about it.” Read Kelsi Maree Borland’s article on GlobeSt.com.
How To Impact Google Rankings
Responding to reviews has become commonplace in the industry, as virtually every sophisticated apartment operator understands the importance. But this form of reputation management can go beyond appeasing current residents and reflecting favorable in the eyes of prospects. Properly crafted, review responses can be leveraged to improve a company’s Google rankings, increase traffic to community websites and achieve an increase of quality leads. And the more reviews the better, as communities with a sizable quantity of reviews generally equate to higher-performing properties. Read Joey Campbell’s article in Multi-Housing News.
IN THE NEWS
Housing Crisis Hitting Cities,
Working Americans Harder Than Before
The unemployment rate is below 4 percent for the first time since the 1960s. By most measures, the U.S. has roared back from the Great Recession a decade ago. But rising rents having not been met with congruent wage increases, and many middle-class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck because affordable living has become a less viable option. Adding to the struggle is that market forces in most cities have made it impossible to build housing the middle class can afford. If rent growth continues to outpace wage growth, cost-burdened households will continue to increase. Read the full story by Jon Bainster and Miriam Hall on Bisnow.
Kushner Cos. Fined For Falsifying Construction Permits
New York City has fined Kushner Cos. $210,000 for consistently filing false real estate paperwork over a several-year span. The company, headed by Jared Kusner, son-in-law of the President, received fines for 42 violations at 12 addresses between 2013 and 2016. In addition, the New York City Department of Building said false permits were submitted at 17 of the company’s sites. Kushner Cos. also under-reported, or didn’t report at all, any rent-regulated residents living in its buildings. A spokesperson for Kushner Cos. said the errors stemmed from paperwork errors from third-party consultants. Read Vanessa Romo’s story on NPR.org.
Federal Investigation Sheds Light on Potential Lender Fraud
Through LIHTC Program
Federal investigators are examining whether big banks circumvented the system when issuing affordable housing loans. Wells Fargo and PNC Bank, both of which regular finance affordable housing developments subsidized with low-income tax credits (LIHTCs), have cooperated in the investigation. Investigators want to know whether big banks colluded with developers to accept lower prices for LIHTCs than might have been available from other investors. The ability to provide both debt and equity at favorable terms for a collection of properties could give banks an unfair advantage in the competition for market share. Read Bendix Anderson’s article in National Real Estate Investor.