By the last week of April, 91.5 percent of renters across the U.S. have paid some or all of their rent, but industry leaders are urging lawmakers to provide more assistance for renters as they brace for how payments will pan out in May.
According to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s latest Rent Payment Tracker data, 91.5 percent of renters paid full or partial rent by April 26. The figure reflects an increase of 2.5 percentage points since last week’s report of 89 percent. The data was pulled from 11.5 million rental units across the country that vary widely by size, type and average rental price. By comparison, last year, 95.6 percent of renters made full or partial payments by April 26, 2019.
NMHC has been tracking the numbers since the beginning of the month. Rent payments started off at 69 percent by April 5 before climbing to the current figure. The numbers have been a welcome surprise to many in the industry who feared the worst after unemployment claims hit historic numbers. As of April 29, more than 26.5 million people have filed for unemployment in the U.S.
Americans have been helped by one-time stimulus check payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples and unemployment assistance was given a boost with an extra $600 a week, but more relief is needed, industry leaders say. A recent report from data and analytics firm Amherst found that renters across the U.S. may need up to $12 billion each month in temporary assistance for the next three to six months.
Both NMHC and NAA have urged government officials to pass more legislation that would help renters during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“…their financial security is unclear as many may not qualify for federal relief, while others are drawing down savings and facing greater financial challenges, including higher health care costs,” NMHC Doug Bibby said in prepared remarks. “For that reason, lawmakers need to act now to enact a direct renter assistance program.”