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2006 NAA Capitol Conference participation hits record high.

NAA members turned out in record numbers for the annual Capitol Conference in Washington, D.C., last month, taking their offers to provide housing for hurricane victims, as well as their arguments for a balanced housing policy, to 193 members of Congress and one governor.

The recent addition of the California Apartment Association (CAA) helped give NAA its loudest voice ever at the four-day event, which educates NAA members on important legislative issues and gives them the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress and their staff.

The annual conference's timing (March 12-15) matched Congress's floor debate on the issue of financial aid for the reconstruction efforts in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.

"We need all the help we can get," said Michele Shane L'Hoste, CAM, CAPS, President, 1st Lake Properties, Metairie, La., who was part of a group of four from the Apartment Association of Greater New Orleans (AAGNO) who met with six members of Congress.

"This was a successful, productive trip for us," Shane L'Hoste said. "We didn't spend much time on national issues, but focused on local issues. There's nothing more important to us than dealing with Katrina right now."

While news of New Orleans' recovery efforts from last year's hurricanes has dominated the headlines since last September, one NAA contingent from Alabama discovered that one of its Congressmen surprisingly was unaware that the apartment industry had made itself a viable alternative in the efforts to house evacuees.

"This is the first we've heard of apartments being an option to house the evacuees," said the legislative aide of one Alabama Congressman when the outreach was offered by a group of NAA members led by Jeff George, CAS, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Landscaping Associates, Trussville, Ala.

The Capitol Conference welcomed 437 attendees, including several dozen from CAA--and recorded an all-time high 246 Hill visits. The event, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, included legislative and regulatory speakers, a workshop on terrorism awareness and preparedness, industry forum discussions on regulatory and legal issues and a fund raising event for the Better Government Fund. The Capitol Conference also serves as the venue for one of the three Joint NAA Board and Assembly of Delegates meetings.

At the joint board meeting, Shane L'Hoste and AAGNO Association Executive Tammy Esponge, CAM, made a short presentation updating NAA on the New Orleans apartment market's slow but steady recovery from last year's hurricane season. Shane L'Hoste and Esponge displayed powerful images of the lack of clean-up and need for new construction. The recent photos showed parts of the city in great need of structural improvement and entire neighborhoods that are still void of people.

A National Voice

Before venturing to Capitol Hill, conference attendees reviewed the top industry issues during a briefing delivered by the NAA/NMHC Joint Legislative Program staff led by Jim Arbury, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

California members visited 20 members of Congress. "We were well received," said Tom Scott, President, Cambridge Management Services, Santa Clara, Calif.

"Whether it was the member of Congress or an aide, they were all very warm and friendly. They listened to us, were engaged and took notes."

Mike Gorman, CAPS, CPM, CCIM, General Manager, Edward Rose Companies, Indianapolis, who also serves as Chair of NAA's Legislative Committee, was excited about NAA's larger, louder voice on Capitol Hill.

"If we're going to be a national association, it is critical that we have California onboard with us," Gorman said.

Scott said his state's key issue was funding for Section 8 housing. Others, such as Gorman, pressed their congressmen for a balanced housing approach.

"We spoke to [Indiana Rep. Mark E. Souder, R-3rd], who has been a big advocate for home ownership, about the lifestyle choices renters make and the affordability factor with homeownership," Gorman said. "He was receptive."

Expert Opinions

United Dominion Realty Trust CEO Tom Toomey led an eye-opening exercise that featured audience participation during the Government Affairs Roundtable.

In "Mock Disaster Workshop," Toomey, Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable's Homeland Security Task Force, probed a top-notch panel including attorney Roger Platt, Real Estate Roundtable and the Real Estate Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC); Dave Crafton, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Partnerships Division; George Bamford, DHS Intelligence Division; Barbara Childs-Pair, Director, D.C. Emergency Management Agency; Chris Yezzi, Sergeant, Special Operations, D.C. Metropolitan Police; and Chris Combes, Supervisory Special Agent, National Capital Region Response Squad, Federal Bureau of Investigations.

During the 90-minute session, attendees formed break-out groups, discussed specific details about fictitious terrorist scenarios and brainstormed best practices to deal with them. The strategies were then critiqued by the panel, who shared similar, real-life situations they had encountered.

During an industry forum discussion, Stan Houle of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC) discussed how apartment developers can use HUD's online resource to find solutions to state and local regulatory barriers to affordable housing. The RBC contains successful strategies to deal with regulatory barriers in the administrative process, including rent control and planning and growth restrictions.

Real estate industry attorney Robin Hein, Fowler, Hein, Cheatwood, Passino & Williams, reviewed a variety of court cases from the past year, particularly those involving mold claims and accessibility construction code compliance, helping to educate NAA members on how they can counter lawsuits made against them.

NAA PAC Raises Record Funds

Fund raising for the NAA PAC and Better Government Fund (BGF) during the Capitol Conference set records.

Bob Bentel, CPM, Director of Real Estate Asset Management, Archon Group Deutschland, was the winner of a pair of 1.3-carat diamond earrings as part of a fund-raiser for the NAA PAC. The event raised more than $32,000

Attendees spent an evening at the U.S. Capitol Building as part of the NAA Better Government Fund event, which raised more than $24,000. Attendees were able to enter the Senate gallery and observe debate on the Emergency Supplemental appropriations bill. It would provide funding for state or local governments to pay for utility costs resulting from the provision of temporary housing units. Additionally, the legislation would provide $4.2 billion to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, some of which is targeted for multifamily housing construction. The bill passed the House and is scheduled for vote in the Senate in April or May.

Thank You, Sponsors

NAA would like to thank the 2006 NAA Capitol Conference sponsors: AZUMA Leasing, Fair Collections & Outsourcing, For Rent Magazine, Mac-Gray Corp., Move (formerly RENTNET) and Resident Check.

Conference Attendees Visit Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill Visit Follow-Ups Forms

NAA encourages its members to complete debriefing forms for each Capitol Hill visit. Printable forms are available at the Government Affairs section of the NAA Web site, www.naahq.org.

Hill Visit Summary

Total Visits: 243

Total States Visited: 23

Total Senate Visits: 46

Total Representative Visits: 196

Alabama

Alabama Apartment Association

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R)

Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R)

Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-4th)

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-6th)

Rep. Jo Bonner (R-1st)

Rep. Robert E. "Bud" Cramer Jr. (D-5th)

Rep. Terry Everett (R-2nd)

Rep. Michael D. Rogers (R-3rd)

Arizona

Arizona Multihousing Association

Sen. Jon Kyl (R)

Sen. John McCain (R)

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-6th)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-2nd)

Rep. Raul M. Grjalva (D-7th)

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-5th)

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-8th)

Rep. Ed Pastor (D-4th)

Rep. Rick Renzi (R-1st)

Rep. John Shadegg (R-3rd)

California

California Apartment Association

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-44th)

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-18th)

Rep. Jim Costa (D-20th)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-53rd)

Rep. David Dreier (R-26th)

Rep. Bob Filner (D-51st)

Rep. Jane Harman (D-36th)

Rep. Michael Honda (D-15th)

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-52nd)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th)

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-12th)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-16th)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-21st)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-8th)

Rep. Richard Pombo (R-11th)

Rep. George P. Radanovich (R-19th)

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-1st)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-35th)

Colorado

Colorado Apartment Association

Sen. Wayne Allard (R)

Sen. Ken Salazar (D)

Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-7th)

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-1st)

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-4th)

Rep. John Salazar (D-3rd)

Rep. Thomas Tancredo (R-6th)

Rep. Mark Udall (D-2nd)

Delaware

Delaware Apartment Association

Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D)

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D)

Rep. Michael Castle (R-At Large)

Florida

Bay Area Apartment Association

Sen. Bill Nelson (D)

Sen. Mel Martinez (R)

Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-9th)

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-5th)

Rep. Jim Davis (D-11th)

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-12th)

Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-10th)

Florida Apartment Association

Sen. Mel Martinez (R)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D)

Rep. Alan Boyd (D-2nd)

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-3rd)

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-4th)

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-21st)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25th)

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-24th)

Rep. Mark Foley (R-16th)

Rep. Katherine Harris (R-13th)

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-23rd)

Rep. Ric Keller (R-8th)

Rep. Connie Mack (R-14th)

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-17th)

Rep. John Mica (R-7th)

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-1st)

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-18th)

Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-22nd)

Rep. Cliff Steams (R-6th)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-20th)

Rep. Dave Weldon (R-15th)

Rep. Robert Wexler (D-19th)

Georgia

Georgia Apartment Association

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R)

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R)

Rep. John Barrow (D-12th)

Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-2nd)

Rep. Nathan Deal (R-10th)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-11th)

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-1st)

Rep. John Lewis (D-5th)

Rep. John Linder (R-7th)

Rep. Jim Marshall (D-3rd)

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-4th)

Rep. Charles Norwood (R-9th)

Rep. Tom Price (R-6th)

Rep. David Scott (D-13th)

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland

Indiana

Apartment Association of Fort Wayne-NE Indiana

Sen. Evan Bayh (D)

Rep. Dan Burton (R-5th)

Rep. Steve Buyer (R-4th)

Rep. Chris Chocola (R-2nd)

Rep. Mark Souder (R-3rd)

Kansas

Apartment Association of Greater Wichita

Sen. Sam Brownback (R)

Sen. Pat Roberts (R)

Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-4th)

Kentucky

Greater Lexington Apartment Association

Sen. Jim Bunning (R)

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R)

Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-1st)

Michigan

Detroit Metropolitan Apartment Association

Sen. Carl Levin (D)

Sen. Debbie A. Stabenow (D)

Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-9th)

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-11th)

Property Management Association of West Michigan

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-3rd)

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-2nd)

Rep. Fred Upton (R-6th)

Washtenaw Area Apartment Association

Sen. Debbie A. Stabenow (D)

Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-7th)

Missouri

Missouri Apartment Association

Gov. Matt Blunt (R)

North Carolina

Apartment Association of North Carolina

Sen. Richard Burr (R)

Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R)

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-2nd)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-5th)

Rep. Robin Hayes (R-8th)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-10th)

Rep. Brad Miller (D-13th)

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-9th)

Rep. David E. Price (D-4th)

Rep. John Spratt (D-5h)

Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D-12th)

Ohio

Columbus Apartment Association

Sen. George V. Voinovich (R)

Rep. Bob Ney (R-18th)

Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-4th)

Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-15th)

Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi (R-12th)

Oklahoma

Apartment Association

of Central Oklahoma

Sen. Tom Coburn (R)

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R)

Rep. Dan Boren (D-2nd)

Rep. Tom Cole (R-4th)

Oregon

Metro Multifamily Housing Association

Sen. Gordon Smith (R)

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-4th)

Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-5th)

Rep. Greg Walden (R-2nd)

Pennsylvania

Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia

Sen. Rick Santorum (R)

Rep. Charles W. Dent (R-15th)

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th)

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-13th)

South Carolina

South Carolina Apartment Association

Sen. Jim DeMint (R)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)

Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-3rd)

Rep. Henry Brown (R-1st)

Rep. James Clyburn (D-6th)

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-4th)

Rep. John Spratt (D-5h)

Rep. Joe wilson (R-2nd)

Tennessee

Greater Nashville Apartment Association

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)

Sen. Bill Frist (R)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-7th)

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-5th)

Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-4th)

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-2nd)

Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-9th)

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-6th)

Rep. William L. Jenkins (R-1st)

Rep. John S. Tanner (D-8th)

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-3rd)

Tennessee Apartment Association

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)

Sen. Bill Frist (R)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-7th)

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-5th)

Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-4th)

Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-2nd)

Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D-9th)

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-6th)

Rep. William L. Jenkins (R-1st)

Rep. John S. Tanner (D-8th)

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-3rd)

Texas

Apartment Association of Greater Dallas

Sen. John Cornyn (R)

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)

Rep. Joe Barton (R-6th)

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-26th)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-4th)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-5th)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30th)

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-3rd)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-24th)

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-32nd)

Apartment Association of the Panhandle

Rep. William "Mac" Thornberry (R-13th)

Apartment Association of Tarrant County

Rep. Joe Barton (R-6th)

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-26th)

Austin Apartment Association

Sen. John Cornyn (R)

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)

Rep. John R. Carter (R-31st)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-25th)

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-10th)

Rep. Ron E. Paul (R-14th)

Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-21st)

Bryan College Station

Apartment Association

Rep. Chet Edwards (D-17th)

Houston Apartment Association

Sen. John Cornyn (R)

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)

Rep. Kevin P. Brady (R-8th)

Rep. John R. Carter (R-31st)

Rep. John A. Culberson (R-7th)

Rep. Al Green (D-9th)

Rep. Gene Green (D-29th)

Rep. Ron E. Paul (R-14th)

Rep. Ted Poe (R-2nd)

Lubbock Apartment Association

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-19th)

San Antonio Apartment Association

Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-23rd)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-28th)

Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (D-20th)

Texas Apartment Association

Sen. John Cornyn (R)

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)

Rep. Joe Barton (R-6th)

Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-23rd)

Rep. Kevin P. Brady (R-8th)

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-26th)

Rep. John R. Carter (R-31st)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-28th)

Rep. John A. Culberson (R-7th)

Rep. Tom Delay (R-22nd)

Rep. Chet Edwards (D-17th)

Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez (D-20th)

Rep. Al Green (D-9th)

Rep. Gene Green (D-29th)

Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-4th)

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-5th)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30th)

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-3rd)

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-24th)

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-19th)

Rep. Ron E. Paul (R-14th)

Rep. Ted Poe (R-2nd)

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-32nd)

Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-21st)

Rep. William "Mac" Thomberry (R-13th)

Utah

Utah Apartment Association

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R)

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-1st)

Rep. Chris Cannon (R-3rd)

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-2nd)

Washington

Washington Multi Family

Housing Association

Rep. Brian Baird (D-3rd)

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4th)

Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-5th)
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