July Rent Payments Hit 77.4 Percent

NMHC’s latest report comes as the industry eyes the looming July 31 expiration date for supplemental federal unemployment benefits.

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Across the U.S., 77.4 percent of renters made full or partial rent payments by July 6, according to the latest report from the National Multifamily Housing Council. The figure is a slight decrease from the same time period last month and the same time period last year.

By June 6 of last month, 80.8 percent of renters had made full or partial payments, while 79.7 percent had made payments by July 6 of last year, according to NMHC.

The figures come nearly four months after cities and state enacted far-reaching lockdown orders that shuttered offices, businesses and schools, leading to millions of Americans filing for unemployment in the following weeks.

The data was pulled from 11.4 million professionally managed, market-rate rental units across the country that vary widely by size, type and average rental price. This week’s report is the latest in the series from the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker, an initiative that partners with industry firms Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan and Yardi.

The report does not reflect payment data for smaller landlords and affordable and subsidized housing properties across the country, as NMHC has previously pointed out.

READ ALSO: How Do You Price Apartments in a Recession?

NMHC President Doug Bibby told Multi-Housing News that while July rent payment numbers look good so far, he is worried that multifamily could suffer dire consequences after the extra $600 in unemployment benefits expires July 31.

“People’s reserves have been really thin and if we don’t get help from Congress, we could find ourselves falling off a cliff,” said Bibby, who added that his organization is “very focused” on working with members of Congress to get federal relief for renters.

The multifamily industry has pushed for more federal relief for renters for months. The House passed the latest bill related to the coronavirus pandemic, the HEROES Act, on May 15. It included $100 billion in rent relief but has so far failed to gain any steam in the Senate.

Researchers from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University have estimated that rental assistance for Americans with at-risk wages—including those in services, retail, recreation, transportation and travel, and oil extraction—could range anywhere from $274 million up to $7.5 billion.

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