Four years ago, we launched a first-of-its-kind public relations campaign aimed to educate federal, state and local policymakers about the economic value of apartments. The centerpiece of the award-winning campaign was the dynamic WeAreApartments.org website.
This unique, interactive site quickly became a go-to resource for apartment executives everywhere, providing critical information and useful tools for communicating the benefits of building and operating apartment communities at the local, state and national level.
But we didn’t stop there. Today, we, along with our industry partner, the National Apartment Association, are excited to announce the rollout of the next phase of our pro-apartment public relations efforts.
Called Vision 2030, this new campaign focuses on the fact that we will have to build 4.6 million new apartments between now and 2030 to keep up with growing apartment demand-or risk exacerbating today’s existing housing shortage. That means building at an average pace of 328,000 new units each year when the industry has averaged just 225,000 completions per year over the past five years.
There are many challenges to bringing new apartments to local communities, and finding ways to grow production in step with the demand won’t be easy. But the repercussions of inaction are great as housing affordability constraints continue to hold our economy back.
To help tell this story to policymakers everywhere, we’ve developed a series of tools for multifamily and housing stakeholders:
- New demand research. The new report “U.S. Apartment Demand-A Forward Look,” prepared by Hoyt Advisory Services, Dinn Focused Marketing and Whitegate Real Estate Advisors, estimates future demand for apartments in the United States, all 50 states and 50 metro areas, including the District of Columbia. The research also digs into the drivers of the demand, from delayed home purchases to immigration, and identifies national trends to watch, as well as key state- and metro-level issues.
- Barriers to Apartment Construction Index. Taking into consideration local regulations, available land and other factors, this new tool scores 50 metro areas by the difficulty to build new apartments. The index goes up to 19.5 in the most difficult market to add apartments (Honolulu) and all the way down to -5.9 in the easiest (New Orleans). Any score above the median of 1.8 means that it is harder to add new apartments in a specific metro compared to other metros.
- Vision 2030 report. To be able to meet demand, the apartment industry will have to work with urban, suburban and rural communities across the country. Our “Vision 2030” report outlines the multitude of ways policymakers at all levels of government can create effective partnerships to address local housing needs.
- New improved website. The flagship WeAreApartments.org website has gotten an upgrade, with new data and new resources for visitors. Browse apartment data by state, 50 metro areas or congressional district. Use our Apartment Community Estimator - or ACE - an online calculator tool that values the economic impact of building and operating apartments in local communities. Or print out some fact sheets to take with you to your next meeting with local officials or state or federal lawmakers. It’s all at your disposal.
In addition to these resources, we will be taking a multipronged approached to spreading our message about meeting the future demand for apartments. Media outreach in all major metro areas is currently underway and digital and print ads targeting lawmakers in the nation’s capital will launch in the fall. We are also working with key partners, including other real estate groups and think tanks, to take our message further.
As the industry’s leading trade organization, we’re in the business of creating more apartment-friendly environments-from Capitol Hill to local metro areas. This latest public relations campaign is just one of the ways we continue to support the multifamily industry.