is an embodiment and demonstration that free market principles in housing mostly works, where $519 billion of rent was paid in 2016 (according to Bureau of Eco- nomic Analysis estimates.) Rental Payments in Housing alone represents 2.8 percent of GDP, three times that of Agriculture, and nearly the size of the Auto Industry at three percent to the GDP. Each of those industries have large membership organizations that are highly influential advocates for their respective industries. Providing housing is a humanitarian offering, and the idea that both sides of the transaction experience an equi- table exchange in a free market is exemplary of what I’ve been referencing as humanitarian capitalism . Modest profits allow housing providers to significantly contribute to the overall economic impact, viability, and stability of housing markets. They are essential providers of low-income and low-cost housing. Profitability is stability in housing. Lack of profit is a cost burden that can lead to under-repair or disrepair and prevent re-investment into low-cost housing for families to call home.

neither side desires to be perceived incorrectly, we must be willing to change our words. However, isolated incidents are often responsible for bad policy and legislation. These policies continue to fail those who are most vulnerable. Housing instability and affordable hous- ing are decades-old nationwide problems. Supply for affordable housing of habitable quality in suffi- cient quantity to meet demand is not currently being met. Low-cost housing availability is worsening at an unprecedented historical level. While market symp- toms change with time, the impediment to progress is frequently caused by government departments operat- ing as a silo. The result is no single entity is exclusively responsible for housing policy outcome. I’ve had a front-row seat at the table with local and national politicians and lawmakers who, to both my surprise and dismay, were relatively clueless about evi- dence-based initiatives that can reverse and stabilize low-cost housing supply. The good news is they have


by BrianWojcik

he psychology of word association is fascinating and powerful. In the following sentences, fill in the blank with the first word that comes to your mind: T

Read these headlines:

Offering rental housing is a demon- stration of humanitarianism in real estate . Rental housing providers are essential for 44 million households. It’s time to bridge this rhetorical divide and for both sides to end the class- war rhetoric to villainizing the “haves” against the “have nots.” Why do the largest amount of rental property owners and their tenants, who largely operate without dispute, not have an organization that advocates for their best interests? The increasing trend to regulate for the one percent, which disenfranchises 99 percent will result in death by a thou- sand cuts unless a counterbalance is put in place to monitor, engage, and advocate for the majority. Hence the creation of a new organization to embody free-market princi- ples: FAIR Housing ( F oundation to A dvance I nnovation in R ental H ousing). FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS ARE IMPOTENT ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING In reality, landlords are typically people of high ethics and integrity, and most tenants pay their rent on time and are also gener- ous people of high ethics and integrity. If

“Why Are There So Many Scumbags in Real Estate?

“My Pain in the Ass Tenants”

________ is where the heart is.

Any emotions get triggered now? These are the words of our industry. This is how ten- ants speak about landlords and vice versa, and unfa- vorable emotion and negative connotation often lie at the root of the conversation. Why is there such a dis- parity between rental housing and humanity ? Whereas, “Habitat for Humanity” evokes mostly positive emotions. What’s the difference? Perception. And more specifically, perception of profit, which is mostly negative. There are 44 million occupied rental households (36 percent of all housing) in the United States. The rental housing system is not perfect; delinquent rent disputes average about eight percent nationally, and most are temporary and eventually cured. Most visible to the public are issues that occur as a result of the approximate one percent chronic delinquent rent (often repeat tenants), and the majority of evictions. This one percent is largely responsible for the public misperception. The result is additional reactionary policy and legislation that lack new ideas or innovation to solve root causes. One percent of renters adversely impacts the other 99 percent. Approximately 99 percent of rental housing is an equitable exchange between two responsible parties 44 million times over, where rent is paid each month. It

Habitat for _____________.

Most likely you chose Home and Humanity . What feel- ings do those terms conjure for you? Now, let’s play a variation of this word association game. What is the first word or word phrase that comes to mind in response to each of the following:

• Philanthropic • Nonprofit • Ethical • Generous

Do these terms evoke a positive feeling? Probably so. In general, public consensus is charities and nonprofits are generous and ethical. Now, what comes to mind in response to each of these words:

• Eviction • Slumlord • Profit

Do you experience a different emotional reaction? More negativity? Maybe some defensiveness?

32 | think realty magazine :: january / february 2020

thinkrealty . com | 33

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