WMFHA’s Government Affairs team and Government Affairs Committee strives to build strong, healthy relationships with public officials at the federal, state and local level. Our role is to be aware of any legal or political trends, policies, bills or ordinances which might affect the multi-family industry, and advocate support of or opposition to any policies that impact our members.
WMFHA’s team includes experts in multifamily housing, and our state and local lobbying firms act as a liaison between WMFHA members and state and local public officials.
These strong relationships enable the WMFHA team to educate policy makers on the effect and any unintended consequences potential legislative action will have on the rental housing industry, and the importance of the rental housing industry to the local economy.
At the same time the Government Affairs team provides critical educational opportunities to all members on changes to residential landlord-tenant laws across all jurisdictions, and provides educational seminars to our membership on specific policy issues. From fair housing basics to limitations of resident screening, the WMFHA Government Affairs team makes complicated laws easy to understand and apply to on-site multifamily housing management.
We Protect Multifamily Housing by:
- Supporting local, state and federal public officials who understand the value and importance of the multifamily industry;
- Building relationships with all public officials and like-minded groups;
- Educating local, state and federal public officials through lobbying;
- Teaching members through educational seminars on changes to residential-landlord tenant laws.
Through Our Collective Work We've:
- Worked together with like-minded groups to defeat a capital gains tax in Olympia;
- Defeated a statewide source of income bill;
- Preserved the ability to charge additional rent for keeping a pet in Seattle;
- Maintained the holding fee in Seattle;
- Built partnerships across a broad spectrum of like-minded groups to build strength to our voice and ensure we are heard loud and clear;
- Monitored all state legislative bills and local policy proposals to protect our members from legislation harmful to the multifamily industry;
- Identified on-going opportunities to increase public relations and media relations to highlight and provide credit to the efforts our members make to give back to the local communities.
Day on the Hill
Join WMFHA and other state rental housing associations at our annual Day on the Hill, as we meet with state leaders and decision makers to discuss proposed legislation that directly impacts the multifamily industry. This is your opportunity to educate public officials through your personal stories on the issues critical to the success of our industry. We welcome all of our members to join us for this important and educational grassroots advocacy effort for our industry.
Come prepared to meet the public officials that represent you to discuss key legislative proposals before the State legislature.
2018 Rental Housing Legislative Priorities
As a member of WMFHA, your voice will be heard throughout Washington State and in Washington D.C.
As a member of WMFHA and the wider multifamily industry, you are in a unique position to establish yourself as a credible resource for information dealing with aspects of multifamily housing. It takes just a few minutes of your time, and makes a world of difference to the way in which we operate multifamily properties across Washington State.
- Know Your Audience. Prior to contacting a legislator, perform some research about them. Find out what their experience is with multifamily housing, and how they have voted on issues that have directly impacted the multifamily industry in the past.
- Plan Your Meeting. Define your message in two to three points that get to the heart of your position. Share any personal experiences you have with the issue or the experience of others you know to illustrate your point. Touch both the mind and heart of the matter you are speaking to.
- Meet the Legislator. The most effective meeting occur in the home district. They are less hurried than meetings at the legislative offices, and they provide home field advantage. Consider inviting public officials to meet in your professional setting. Importantly, unless you are a personal friend of the legislator, it is not necessary to speak directly with them. You can leave a message about yoru concerns with the individual who answers the phone, or better yet, speak to the public official’s staff member who handles housing issues.
- Be Concise in Your Introduction. Be clear about why are you speaking with the public official, why they should be interested and what you want them to do.
- Create Dialogue. Building a conversation between the public official and yourself makes it easier to educate the public official on multifamily housing issues and your issue in particular. Listen to what they say and invite the public official to ask questions of you. Focus on alternatives and solutions that work without regulation.
- Have a Leave Behind. Create and provide a brief one-page summary of the issue and your ask to encourage the public official to have further reflection on your issue after you leave their office. Include your contact information, a business card, with your one-pager so the public official may contact you in the future. If you call, offer to forward a one-pager to the public official.
- Follow-up. After an in-person meeting with a public official, send a thank you note. The note should thank them for their time, and provide any additional information that was promised, and when and how they may expect to receive it, and reiterate the commitment you are seeking from them.