MHN’s May 2020 Must-Reads

Catch up on our most important stories, interviews and analyses for last month.

The coronavirus crisis continued in May and deepened its effects on the U.S. economy, in general, and the multifamily market, in particular. By month’s end, more than 40 million people lost their jobs since March, surpassing the number of jobs lost during the Great Depression. As a result, rent collection was on everyone’s mind. A poll released in early May showed that multifamily professionals expected fewer residents to make their rent payments on time compared to the previous month. However, according to NMHC figures from a few days later, rent payments in May reached 80 percent in the U.S. The percentage of those who paid their rent on time continued to increase throughout the month, reaching 88 percent by mid-May and 91 percent the following week, far above early predictions. In addition, a new Rentec Direct report highlighted that, while rent payments fell in April and May, rents were more likely to be paid by those with online rent payment options. And to get a broader picture of how property managers address rent collection, we spoke with RKW Residential’s Marcie Williams about strategies going forward.

But the expectation is that, as the number of jobless individuals continues to rise, rent payment will remain an issue over the coming months. To help renters and landlords, two relief bills have been proposed in the House and Senate. What’s more, less than 40 percent of households have received government housing relief, with tens of millions of renters at risk of eviction or foreclosure in the event of a prolonged downturn.

With the highest number of confirmed cases in the country, New York remained the center of attention last month. The state extended its eviction moratorium, prohibiting landlords from evicting residents for COVID-19-related reasons until August 20. The news came a few weeks before the Community Housing Improvement Program revealed the result of a survey that found owners of rent-stabilized buildings are experiencing significant shortfalls in rent due to the current crisis.

Among property types, senior housing is by far the hardest hit, with almost a third of all coronavirus deaths in the country as of mid-May being either residents or workers in such facilities. As a result, senior housing operators discussed how they’re responding to challenges during these unprecedented times.

Here are MHN’s must-reads for last month:

MHN’s Coronavirus Coverage

Check out these links to keep up with MHN’s latest coverage of the coronavirus situation.


Podcast: Where Will the Economy Be by Year-End?

In this episode of our quarterly series, NAA’s Paula Munger reveals the association’s most recent findings about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its members’ portfolios.


HUD Allocates $685M in Relief for Public Housing

The funding is part of the CARES Act legislation and will be used for PPE equipment, childcare costs and other COVID-19-related issues.


Coronavirus Dents Multifamily Development

New supply expectations fall this year, but future construction impact hinges on the downturn’s severity and length.


Top 5 Markets for Construction Activity

A breakdown of the country’s top-performing multifamily metros for units underway as a percentage of existing stock.


Why Affordable Housing Construction Will Shine Despite COVID-19

With affordable housing demand consistently outpacing supply, this sector is positioned to remain robust well into the future, according to Richard Lara of RAAM Construction.


Six Feet of Separation: Apartment Communities Prepare for Life After Quarantine

Emerging from the COVID-19 shutdown will happen cautiously and in stages, according to major multifamily operators.


Why It’s Critical to Recession-Proof Properties After COVID-19

Owners and operators can beat the competition and attract multiple target markets by optimizing and activating a project’s design, says Mary Cook.