Amid an unprecedented public health crisis that has forced the U.S. economy to a grinding halt, a report found that nearly 70 percent of rental households across the nation paid their rent this month, offering a sense of relief for the multifamily industry.
According to a new report from the National Multifamily Housing Council, 69 percent of renters made their rent payment by April 5, reflecting a 12 percent decrease in those who had paid the month prior and a 13 percent decrease from the same time last year. The data was culled from five industry firms and reflects more than 13.4 million units across the country.
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NMHC President Doug Bibby said in prepared remarks that the large number of renters who made their rent payment this month despite unparalleled circumstances is “a testament to the quick, proactive actions” that members of NMHC have taken as the crisis has unfolded. Bibby added that he expects the number of households making their rent payment will increase over the coming weeks.
The data is part of the newly launched NMHC Rent Payment Tracker, an initiative that partners with industry firms Entrata, MRI Software, RealPage, ResMan and Yardi. NMHC will release updated data from the tracker once a week for the length of COVID-19 outbreak.
What happens next
While the data shows the impact to the industry was not the worst-case scenario many had feared and the federal stimulus bill passed last week offers some measure of relief for both landlords and renters, the multifamily industry is calling for more action from legislators and the federal government. A joint announcement from NMHC and NAA today calls for:
- Creating an Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help renters who don’t currently receive federal rental subsidies but are now struggling to cover housing costs because of the coronavirus crisis;
- Align the timelines of mortgage forbearance and eviction provisions;
- Expand the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to include multifamily and student housing firms so they can protect their employees and operations;
- Provide critical tax relief for multifamily property owners;
- Enact critical infrastructure programs to support economic recovery.
Meanwhile, industry leaders like Bibby have encouraged owners and operators to work with their residents during this difficult time.
“We’ve been saying for weeks, contact every single resident and assess their needs,” Bibby said during a ULI webinar April 7. “I think letting every single person know you want to work with them and care about them is the best approach.”