I will say that 2019 is a year I’m happy to see in my rear-view mirror. As I begin my second year as president of Rental Housing Alliance Oregon, I am optimistic about several things:
First, RHA is growing with increased membership, additional educational offerings, new office staff, and an active board including two new members and two more likely soon. I am thrilled to report that from a fiscal standpoint, we finished the year in the black, allowing us to add a full-time marketing and membership services staff person to replace the part-time position being vacated by Diana Lindemann, who (as a landlord herself) has joined the RHA board. Also welcome to the board Melinda McClellan, another small landlord like most of our members.
The board held its annual retreat in early November and set several goals for 2020. We plan to continue growth through recruitment and expanded educational offerings. We are expanding our support of affiliate and dual members that provide goods and services to our industry: we will be holding a Vendor Fair in March and will be bringing back Affiliate Member Spotlights to our dinner meetings each month. The rental housing industry, like so many others, is experiencing an increase in the use of technology to simplify operations and ensure regulatory compliance. RHA is committed to helping our members access these resources; in 2020 we are expanding our calendar to include online training sessions presented by affiliates that provide web-based services to landlords. These services can range from showing vacant units to applicant screening to arranging maintenance services to collecting rent. This will be a great year to evaluate whether adoption of a web-based service might streamline your operations as a landlord or property manager.
We will increase our outreach to other entities to find solutions to community housing problems. This will range from increased participation on local and state advisory boards and coalitions to support of non-profit organizations like SnowCap Community Charities and Portland Homeless Family Solutions to the backing of political candidates at all levels of government that are willing to listen to our positions and take action based on sound analysis of the evidence.
Finally, the Oregon legislative assembly in 2020 is a “short” session that will likely be focused on proposed cap-and-trade legislation. Regardless of your position on that subject, this should mean that landlords will be able to spend 2020 adapting to the several regulatory changes passed last year at the state and local levels. Nevertheless, RHA’s Legislative Committee has a full agenda in 2020. As our past-president Ron Garcia is now running for Oregon’s 37th House District seat, he is stepping back and I will be chairing that committee in 2020. Closely connected with the efforts of the Legislative Committee, RHA is networking with other rental housing organizations in Oregon, California, and Washington. Stay tuned for more information on how we hope to stem the tide of overly burdensome regulations on housing providers like ourselves all along the West Coast.
It’s going to be a great year!