Apartment Rental News Roundup: June 12, 2008 (Comic Book Vigilante Justice Edition)

Each week, MyNewPlace will provide an update of interesting news articles about apartments for rent, the rental market and other stories from the world of apartment renting.

Apartment Rental Market News

A story from Forbes highlights the effect of the ‘shadow market’ on the apartment rental market. Apartment vacancies have been edging up due to the influx of homes and condos now being offered up as rentals, especially in regions hardest hit by the housing slump such as Florida, Las Vegas and Southern California.

Only the shadow knows how the interaction between apartments and homes for rent will play out.

Immigration Policy and Apartment Rentals

In response to Congress’s failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year, there have been local as well as federal responses to immigration issues, and a few affect the apartment rental market.

The White House announced that President Bush had signed an executive order requiring all employers contracted by the federal government to verify the legal work status of all employees.

In New Jersey, Connolly Properties is being sued by the Immigration Reform Law Institute for taking advantage of illegal immigrants.

The group filed a lawsuit under the RICO Act, a law aimed at stopping organized crime, charging that the property management company recruits illegal immigrants to live in their apartments, hoping that their tenuous legal standing will discourage complaints about living conditions.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute also supported Hazelton, PA and Riverside, NJ in their attempts to pass local ordinances making it illegal to rent an apartment to undocumented immigrants. A judge ruled the Hazelton ordinance unconstitutional, prompting Riverside to repeal its ordinance.

We covered a similar story in last week’s Apartment Rental News Roundup, which related an instance of an almost identical legal struggle in Farmers Branch Texas.

Local municipalities have been ruled to be overstepping their legal grounds on immigration matters by not deferring to ICE, and effectively encroaching on the federal government’s constitutional and legal duties.

The Hulk Leads Green Apartment by Example

This summer, Edward Norton will be going green in a few ways. Not only will the movie star be playing the Incredible Hulk, but as an Enterprise Community Partners trustee, he testified before the House of Representatives select committee on energy independence and global warming.


Norton called on Congress to bring the benefits of green building practices to low-income apartments, arguing that the fiscal benefits of such an effort would pay for themselves in the long run.

Addressing Congress, Norton reportedly opened his statement with “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” and to reinforce the concept of eco-friendly apartments visually, actually turned green, inflated to ten times his normal size and became unruly.

That’s it for this week’s apartment rental news. Be sure to check back with us each week as we relay apartment rental news and feel free to send us stories that you run across.

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