Rental regulations continue to dominate as we move into the second quarter of 2021. Ordinances establishing “pay to stay” policies along with adding “source of income” as a protected class continue to spread across our region and Ohio. ACAR has met with many different local elected officials and staff on the topics to share comments through the lens of the housing provider and private property rights. The most recent action has been in Akron City Council. Follow the Housing & Neighborhood Assistance Committee, which meets on Mondays at 3:15 p.m., for the latest discussions.
Earlier this month, ACAR did submit comment to Cleveland Heights City Council regarding its ordinance to make ‘source of income’ a protected class. ACAR recognizes how important access to affordable housing is. When we talk about source of income as a protected class, the focus is generally on participation in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. ACAR agrees that programs like the HCV program are valuable and a much-needed resource. However, our organization does not believe local governments should mandate participation in a voluntary federal program. Instead, let us focus efforts on improving the program to encourage more participation by housing providers. We hear time and time again, it is not the tenant or the check, but rather the strings, or red tape, that are a deterrent to participation. Ohio REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® have similar positions. If you are a housing provider, we encourage you to share your thoughts with your mayor and members of council.
Learn about the HCV Program – We will be hosting a meeting with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority on May 13, 2021, to give members an opportunity to not learn about the latest updates to the housing choice voucher program, but to also ask questions and share concerns about the administration of the program. Learn more and register here.
Community Watchdogs Needed – Do you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your local city council? If so, we want you to join our team of local community watchdogs. It’s as easy as 1 – 2 – 3:
- Tell us what community you’ll help us monitor.
- Follow your city’s social media, newsletter, and/or council distribution lists.
- Let us know when there’s something impacting real estate (inspections, zoning issues, sign regulations, rentals, homeowner or buyer incentives, etc.).
Finally, mark your calendars for June 16, 2021. The ACAR RPAC Trustees and our auction workgroup are working hard to ensure a successful RPAC Auction, which we are pleased to share will be hybrid with an in-person option ($100 each) and virtual participant option ($25 each). Registration fees are an RPAC investment. Tickets are limited and selling very quickly.
If you have any questions or would like to more about our advocacy efforts, please do not hesitate to contact me at jmcmillen@AkronClevelandRealtors.com or 216.525.4834.