November Rent Payments Hit 80 Percent: NMHC

The figures come more than two months after the nationwide eviction ban and a month after stimulus relief talks were scuttled.

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More than 80 percent of U.S. rental households have made rent payments as of Nov. 6, according to a just-released report on rent collections from the National Multifamily Housing Council.

The report comes one week after the 2020 presidential election and more than two months after the Trump administration announced a nationwide eviction moratorium through the end of the year.

According to the study, 80.4 percent of rental households made full or partial rent payments by Nov. 6, a 1.1 percent increase from the same time period last year and a 1 percent increase from the same time period last month, when 79.4 percent of renters had made payments by Oct. 6.

The report also comes a month after stimulus relief talks between party leaders in Congress were called off by President Trump, alarming industry groups.

“November’s opening rent payment figures show that the additional support apartment residents received over the summer, coupled with generous, innovative approaches put into place by property owners and managers, continue to provide renters with some degree of security against the economic distress facing communities throughout the country,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby in prepared remarks.

READ ALSO: Multifamily Starts Fall 16 Percent in September

The payment 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.

While the figures represent a large swath of professionally managed rental apartments across the country, they do not reflect many single-family and small multifamily rental properties that are less likely to be professionally managed and are more likely to have residents with at-risk wages, according to Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a research associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

With COVID-19 case numbers hitting all-time highs in the U.S. and uncertainty over when the next round of stimulus relief will be passed by Congress, multifamily trade groups and advocates are increasingly worried about the future of rental payments. The groups are continuing to call for significant federal rent relief measures from Congress for months, warning that a lack of major funds toward rental assistance could jeopardize the nation’s rental housing system.

Hoping for new legislation

While it isn’t clear whether a stimulus package will be passed before the end of the year, when the nationwide eviction moratorium expires, there is some reason to believe it could happen. During a Nov. 9 webinar, Sarah Saadian, vice president of public policy at the National Low-Income Housing Council, said it’s possible that stimulus relief in some form could be attached to a spending bill next month.  

“There is an opening now for a COVID-19 relief package before the end of the year,” said Diane Yentel, President of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, in the Nov. 9 webinar. “It will be difficult to get done and at the level we all know is needed. We have our work cut out for us. But the door has been opened and it’s a possibility. So we’re going to push.”

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