More than 79 percent of U.S. rental households have made rent payments as of Oct. 6, according to a just-released report on rent collections from the National Multifamily Housing Council.
The report comes more than a month after the Trump administration announced a nationwide eviction moratorium through the end of the year and just a few days after stimulus relief talks between party leaders in Congress were called off by President Trump, alarming industry groups.
According to the study, 79.4 percent of rental households made full or partial rent payments by Oct. 6, a figure unchanged from the same time period last year and a 3 percent increase from the same time period last month, when 76.4 percent of renters had made payments by Sept. 6.
“Our initial findings for October show that despite ongoing efforts by apartment community owners and operators to help residents facing financial distress through creative and nuanced payment plans, rent relief and other approaches, renters and the broader multifamily industry are confronting growing challenges,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby in prepared remarks.
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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 the possibility of a resurgence of the virus in the winter and stimulus relief stalled in Congress, multifamily trade groups and advocates are increasingly worried about the future of rental payments. The groups have called 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.
“Policymakers need to act now to forestall the health and financial crises we are already grappling with from evolving into a housing crisis which would undermine the economic recovery and destabilize the country’s housing market,” said Bibby.