In an era of rising housing costs and outright shortages in fast-growing North American cities like Boston, Vancouver, and San Francisco, housing policy is front and center.

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Countless organizations work on the front lines, striving to make state and local housing policies work better for residents and property owners alike. Among the most successful regional examples of these tireless advocates is the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas, an industry association representing hundreds of thousands of housing units in 11 North Texas counties.

AAGD, as it’s known, is a model for similar organizations elsewhere in the United States, and for residential policy advocates in general. Here’s why others need to stand up and take notice.

The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas: An Overview

The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas serves the owners and managers of about 2,700 rental properties in the Dallas Metroplex, covering more than half a million units in 11 counties. Membership includes about 750 professional services companies that work directly with AAGD property owners to maintain high-quality housing stock throughout the region.

AAGD has a number of verticals, each described in detail below: legislative advocacy (policy), education for property owners and occupants, and professional support. The organization holds its members to a strict code of ethics designed to promote fairness and civility in housing — leveling the playing field for residents and landlords alike.

AAGD Membership: Industries and Membership Requirements

AAGD’s membership is not limited to commercial property owners. Indeed, its membership roster reads like a who’s who of prominent Dallas-area service businesses. Some highlights include:

  • Notable Dallas-area regional banks and community financial institutions
  • Home finish companies like carpet and flooring retailers
  • Domestic service providers such as HVAC companies
  • Energy utilities and communications companies

All told, AAGD’s members employ tens of thousands of Metroplex residents in living-wage jobs, supporting a thriving regional economy.

There’s More to AAGD

AAGD is a busy organization. Here’s a brief overview of its efforts on behalf of commercial property owners and residents:

  • Advocacy: AAGD effectively lobbies local, state, and federal lawmakers and executive branch officials to further fair, commonsense housing policies that work for all Texans.
  • Education: AAGD provides a wealth of educational opportunities for first-time property owners and management company staff, as well as credentialing courses and job-seeker support. For those who work in the multifamily industry, there’s no better resource.
  • Events: AAGD’s busy event calendar includes an annual trade show, multiple kid-friendly events, and business meetings for members and vendors.

Making Life in Greater Dallas a Little Better Every Day

You don’t have to convince the average Apartment Association of Greater Dallas member that the Big D is a great place to live and work. Were that not the case, they’d have long decamped for Houston, OKC, or — heaven forbid — Austin.

But that’s not stopping AAGD and its active members from working tirelessly to convince others that Dallas is an amazing place. Judging by the Metroplex’s brisk population growth and perennial economic boom, they appear to be doing a good job. Ask any of the thousands of residents served by an AAGD landlord how they feel about their hometown and you’re likely to get some variation of the same response: Life’s just better here.