Annual Meeting of the Membership Inspires Hope Despite Challenges Ahead 


Thank you to the members who joined SCRHA on October 6 at the Riverwalk Golf Course to approve the new Board of Directors and Officers for 2024. After the vote and an Association update from Executive Director Alan Pentico, the group was treated to a panel discussion by state and national industry leaders.   

Leading the discussion was moderator Lou Penrose of Slater & Lou on KOGO radio. Lou led off with a shared love of the industry, having previously served as the Association Executive for the Apartment Association of Orange County and a rental owner himself. He also acknowledged the struggles that come with being a rental housing provider.  

The panel wasted no time launching into a recap of the bills and the fights coming to California. Allison Pfister, one of SCRHA’s California Rental Housing Association (CalRHA) delegates, shared that nearly 200 bills were on the industry list this year and highlighted the major bills that still might become law. Christine LaMarca, SCRHA’s other delegate and CalRHA past president, talked about the rent control ballot measure coming November 2024 and how important that fight will be. Both Christine and Allison mentioned property tax measures that will be on the ballot as well. When asked about engagement, the two shared the importance of grassroots involvement, such as responding to Action Alerts and fundraising to support or oppose ballot measures, as well as fundraising to help get people elected who understand business issues. Christine went on to describe some of the coalition building that has already been cemented by CalRHA, how they will build on that going forward, and how it will be key in defeating ballot measures. She called rental housing providers “heroes” and reminded the room that they are in the business of providing something that they should be extremely proud of.   

Not to be outdone by California this year, the federal government has also stepped up its focus on the rental industry. SCRHA representatives to the National Apartment Association (NAA) were on hand to share how NAA intersects with SCRHA and the challenges at the national level. SCRHA Past President, Rick Snyder, will serve as Chair of NAA in 2024, the first time California has had the leadership role in many decades. With Rick at the helm, NAA, California, and SCRHA will be in excellent hands. Rick called himself a disruptor and pledged to undertake change for the good of the entire industry. There is a new focus on protecting rental housing providers from ideas that, up until recently, were often unique to California and other more progressive states. He discussed the efforts that started at the White House to prevent “junk fees” and how that would upend operations for rental housing.   

 Jay Lopeman represents SCRHA as a Supplier partner at NAA, where he served as the 2022 Supplier Council Chair. Jay has long been a champion for bridging the gap between owners/operators and the Supplier community, namely as it relates to Suppliers understanding the impacts of legislation on their businesses. He shared NAA Political Action Committee fundraising statistics that clearly point to success in that messaging. Despite being a relatively small segment of the overall NAA membership, Suppliers contributed significantly to the NAA-PAC, and those numbers have risen in recent years. This is yet more proof that rental housing is community.  

SCRHA members asked questions of the panel and shared their concerns about the face of the industry in the community. It was clear that members are as fed up with the narrative of “bad landlords” and support SCRHA’s strategic goal of changing the image of a landlord, further cementing the role of rental housing as essential in the community.   

Panelists all agreed that while the last few years have been challenging for the industry, and while 2024 will be as well, there is renewed hope. People everywhere are frustrated with many facets of the economy, such as gas prices, and we may be reaching a tipping point that will translate to the political environment. NAA, CalRHA, and SCRHA are all prepared to be more proactive and are ready to seize opportunities to improve the rental housing ecosystem for owners, managers, suppliers, renters, and the overall community.    

 Join SCRHA for the installation of the approved Officers and Directors this December at the Holiday Open House. More details are coming soon!