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Governmental Affairs Update: August 21, 2023

Executive Director's Report Summary

Overview:


The Legislature continues to be on break through the end of the month. There are three session days scheduled for next week however no attendance or votes are expected to be taken. There may be committees scheduled but there are none at this time. Things will begin in earnest after Labor Day.

  • One of the main things to take note of is that the Legislature may adjourn by the end of November of this year. The usual end of the legislative session would be December 31, 2024, however for certain bills to take effect by early next year, including the presidential primary date, the Legislature needs to adjourn. The Governor does have the ability to call the House and Senate back to special session which would be done to start work on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget in January. This early adjournment may move policy bills along on a quicker path. We should have more details in September. No matter the situation on adjournment fall should be busy in Lansing.

  • LOBBY DAY! We are getting members to sign up for our lobby day on September 20th. There is a deadline for sign up of September 5th. The day will consist of members meeting at Karoub Associates in the morning and being given talking points and a schedule of legislative members they will be meeting with in person. The meeting should last about 15 minutes and will be scheduled with the legislators to give an overview of RPOAM and discuss our concerns about the proposed housing legislation that has been introduced. After the meetings we will all meet back at Karoub for lunch with House and Senate members and/or their staff. Please note that this is not a fundraiser and has nothing to do with campaigning or raising money. We are specifically there to discuss bills that have been introduced and the position of RPOAM on those bills.

Legislation:


Source of Income

  • SB 205 (Sen. Cavanaugh - D); SB 206 (Sen. Bayer - D); SB 207 (Sen. Irwin - D)

  • Senate Housing and Human Services Committee Tuesday, May 16, 2023

    • Testimony only

  • The package of bills would require all government subsidized income be considered for any rental property. This would include housing assistance, public assistance, emergency rental assistance, public assistance, veterans benefits, social security and any other programs administered by federal, state or local government and nonprofit entities. If found to not allow these funds to be considered towards rent a landlord would be subject to damages up to 4.5 times the monthly rent. SB 207 would amendment the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include this language.

  • SB 205-207 was voted out of committee on Tuesday, June 13th. RPOAM along with coalition partners are continuing to work with Sen. Irwin on substitutes and amendments for Senate floor action. The bills are not expected to move until the fall.

Condemnation

  • HB 4273 (Rep. O’Neal – D)

  • House Regulatory Reform Committee

  • The bill would require if any rental premise is found to have a violation of ‘serious and imminent hazard’ the enforcing agency inform the owner and each occupant.

  • HB 4273 was passed off the Senate floor o June 8 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Housing and Human Services.

Tenants Bill of Right

  • Spoke with Rep. Dievendort regarding her proposed legislation. The Representative has not shared any language with us at this time however has requested we supply a one page document on any concerns we have with the basic outline of the package. I requested that we be included in any workgroups going forward. They did tell us at the meeting they have compiled the 29 housing bills that have been introduced in the House and is planning on incorporating those ideas into the package.

  • We are continuing to wait for more information and language from the Representative. We will work with the Representative throughout the summer and into the fall.

Lead

  • HB 4532 (Rep. Hood – D)

  • Referred to the House Health Policy Committee

  • This bill was just introduced this past week. It revised the public health code dealing with lead abatement. There are specifics for buildings that are used specifically for children and the elderly. The fee schedule for fines has also been changes and allows for DHHS to raise fees along with Treasury every three years. Guidelines for dust testing and training for inspectors has been defined. The bill is in the beginning of the process.

  • Tabitha and I spoke with Jonathan from the Representative’s staff. We had several questions and concerns that we passed along. He said that they are continuing to work on the bill and would like to work with RPOAM. We have not received any new language and do not see this moving until the fall.

Mold

  • Proposed legislation by Rep. Carter – D

  • The bills have not been introduced and we are working with Rep. Carter.

  • Accessory Dwelling Unit

    • The bill would allow for a separate dwelling to be constructed on the owners property if the local municipality allows it but the HOA does not.

    • The bill has not been introduced.

  • Credit Score

    • HB 4818 (Rep. Carter – D)

    • The bill would disallow property owners from using a credit score for determining a prospective tenant’s eligibility for a lease.

  • Criminal Background Checks aka ‘Fair Chance’

    • HB 4878 (Rep. Aiyash – D)

    • The bill would prohibit property owners from using crime committed more than one year ago to as a reason to not lease a property to an individual. The expected crimes are arson; criminal sexual conduct; and kidnapping.

  • Rental application refund

    • HB 4891 (Rep. Andrews – D)

    • The bill would require property owners to refund a prospective tenants application fee if they are not given the rental.

  • Prompt Pay Act

    • HB 4837 (Rep. Conlin – D)

    • The bill would require that contractors pay subcontractors in a certain timeframe.


Meetings:


Tabitha and I met to discuss what is coming up for the fall. Below are items that we will be taking action on over the remainder of the year:

  • Inviting MSHDA to our board meetings over the next several months to give information and updates on several programs that run through the Department.

  • Working with United Way and their 211 program connecting property owners who may be able to assist with housing.

  • Meeting with our coalition members i.e. Home Builders, Management Association, Apartment Association, Community Bankers, Realtors to configure our group response and actions for the fall legislative session.

  • Working with our coalition partners on creating a survey for all membership regarding rental prices, types of properties, what does the rent pay for?

  • Tabitha met with Speaker Tate’s office and we were asked to put together a list of policy priorities for RPOAM.

  • We met with Rep. Grant (D-Grand Rapids). She is a rental property owner and has been tasked by Speaker Tate to lead the House on housing policy. Rep. Grant is reasonable and sees the concerns we have regarding the housing policy. She believes that the majority of the bills that have been introduced are socially motivated and she would like a more holistic approach. She has also asked we submit a list of our priorities.

  • We met with Rep. Hoskins (D-Southfield) who is the chair of the House Committee on Economic Development. We had a productive conversation however he did say that any housing bills that are referred to his committee will be sent to the Housing Subcommittee for consideration.

  • Detroit News article: the Detroit News ran a frontpage article on high rental rates. I was quoted in the article. RPOAM/RPOA were the only property owner associations that made comment putting us at the forefront of the conversation. If we do not comment it will be one sided which does not help our membership or the industry.

Action Items:


Executive Board meeting: Monday, September 11th at 10:00 am

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