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Rising to the challenge again.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents were left homeless. As it has before in such tragic situations, the apartment industry stepped up to the challenge, working around the clock to provide an outpouring of assistance for the evacuees.

Units were sought nationwide, and NAA's members made an abundance of them available--many at no cost for a short-term basis, and most every at a discounted rate.

Owners have waived most if not all administrative fees and made screening exceptions to some who were unemployed due to the catastrophe. Utility services and vital supplies were collected by the truckload.

From independent owners to the nation's largest real estate investment trusts, I would like to recognize and sincerely thank the people behind all of the efforts, some of whose contributions are highlighted on page 16 in Katrina Aftermath: A Flood of Generosity.

Stuck on the rooftop of her community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with nearly 200 residents, one property manager fought for survival--and won. Read her story of heroism and triumph in the face of disaster on page 28, Stranded: A Property Manager's Story of Survival, by John Keim

This issue of UNITS also touches on several builders, owners and developers issues. Apartment buildings are becoming more like single-family homes in terms of the comforts and possibilities they offer. See what the experts are recommending in Closing the Divide on Single-Family Living, page 36.

On page 40, When the Roof Falls In, by John Keim, one Florida independent rental owner hopes his real-life horror story will help others avoid the pitfalls of a hastily executed 1031 Exchange. And on page 43, independent owner Ken McElroy shares how to avoid the most common exit strategy mistakes in Planning an Exit Strategy.

Is Your Building Envelope Design Causing Mold Problems? Ron Nickson raises this question on page 44 and describes new computer modeling software that can help developers accurately design moisture-resistant apartment communities.

All too often, impact fees assessed on apartments are disproportionate to the impact on their communities. On page 48, Impact Fees: Desperately Seeking Equity, Arthur C. Nelson, Ph.D, FAICP, urges industry leaders to become involved in the decision-making processes to ensure that impact fees are assessed fairly.

William J. Malleris, a disabled suburban Chicago developer, describes how he went above and beyond code in creating a barrier-free apartment community that suits renters with disabilities and without. See page 56, More Than Accessible.

HUD's study of housing discrimination based on disability offers valuable lessons for industry professionals. Theresa L. Kitay encourages a renewed commitment to legal compliance with the Fair Housing Act on page 64, Passing the Test. And Nadeen Green offers tips on how to better serve residents and prospects with hearing impairments on page 70 in Reaching Out to Prospects With Hearing Impairment.

Whether designing top-quality apartments, reaching out to varied renter demographics or providing housing for disaster victims, members of the apartment industry continually rise to the challenge. Updates on all hurricane-related information can be found at

NAA's President, Tom Day, CAPS
COPYRIGHT 2005 National Apartment Association
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Title Annotation:OBSERVATIONS
Author:Day, Tom
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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