The National Apartment Associations CEO Doug Culkin recently shared his views on the apartment industry, which houses about 100 million citizens across the United States.
Culkin finds optimism in the apartment industry, with the current occupancy rate being about 96-97%. Home ownership rates have been down since 2008, a large part of that is due to apartments. Apartments have tremendous flexibility and require no maintenance.
Thus millennials and baby-boomers alike are attracted to these very features Culkin believes that intrigue will develop into residents stating that 150 million people in both groups are considering apartments as a viable option.
Culkin spoke on a couple of challenges that are currently facing the apartment industry. Legislative and building regulations, opposition to building, and construction costs are all industry problems that have existed for years. Culkin also mentioned that the NAA and Airbnb are in talks on a temporary renter screening process to benefit the safety and liability of residents.
The industry is now taking an initiative on homelessness and teaming up with the Department of Veterans Affairs. One idea that is currently benefiting the homeless in Florida is taking vacant apartments complexes and using them to house homeless.
The NAA is also working with Veteran’s affairs on an initiative titled HUD - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing or HUD-VASH for short. This program provides voucher rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management aside with clinical services provided by the VA. Both programs are apparently doing very well.
Although there are concerns about the apartment industry it is nice to see that the NAA’s CEO is being transparent about what is working and what the NAA is doing to solve problems fiscally and socially.
Written by Nicholas DeMasi