2019 Annual APA Legislative Summit

On December 9th and 10th APA National conducted its 2019 State Legislative Summit in Richmond, Virginia.  The State Legislative Summit program is an opportunity for APA Chapter legislative and policy leaders to gather and discuss trends in state-level legislative issues.  This year’s summit focused on a brief discussion of current legislative issues and anticipated actions in 2020 from the 22 APA chapters in attendance. It also included sessions on the APA’s new Housing Policy Guide , and techniques on preparing and conducting an issue campaign.  Legislative experts from National APA discussed the range of legislative advocacy tools that are available to state chapters (such as digital action alert templates) as well as techniques for messaging to representatives and members of the public.  

One of the most interesting and important topics of discussion was discussion of President’s Trump’s Executive Order 13878, “Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.”  This executive order calls for the establishment of a White House Council on eliminating regulatory barriers to affordable housing and has resulted in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s issuing of a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comment on “land use requirements, and administrative practices that artificially raise the costs of affordable housing development and contribute to shortages in America’s housing supply.”  Read more here.

We hope this is not the beginning of a federal charge to state governments to pre-empt local controls over housing that are perceived as regulatory barriers.  North Carolina local governments have some experience with state pre-emption in the form of limitations on design controls for one- and two-family residential structures.  It is possible that Executive Order 13878 could compel the General Assembly to consider further local government regulatory pre-emptions in the future. We will keep the Chapter posted on this issue as it evolves.

Author: Chad Meadows, Legislative Chair