August Rent Payments Hit 79 Percent: NMHC

Coming days after the expiration of supplementary unemployment benefits, the figure is a slight increase from July’s rent numbers.

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More than 79 percent of U.S. rental households have made rent payments as of Aug. 6, according to the latest report from the National Multifamily Housing Council. The report comes amid stalled negotiations in Congress over the latest stimulus relief package and days after President Trump announced an executive order surrounding evictions and unemployment benefits.

According to the study, 79.3 percent of rental households made full or partial rent payments in the first week of August, a 1.9 percentage point decrease from the same time period last year and a slight increase from the same time period last month, when 77.4 percent of renters had paid by July 6.

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.

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.

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NMHC’s figures come five months after cities and state enacted far-reaching lockdown orders that shuttered offices, businesses and schools, and days after eviction moratoriums and additional unemployment benefits related to coronavirus relief expired.

Industry groups and housing advocates have continued to push for more action on federal rent relief to avoid a potential ‘dangerous domino effect’ that would start with renters not being able to pay rent and end with owners losing their properties on a significant scale. A $3 trillion stimulus relief bill that included a $100 billion emergency rental relief fund was passed by the House in May but failed to gain traction in the Senate. A $1 trillion stimulus bill has been proposed in the Senate and is currently the center of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats.

Over the weekend, President Trump announced executive orders surrounding unemployment benefits and minimizing eviction proceedings against renters burdened by financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While President Trump announced executive orders relating to rental assistance and continued unemployment benefits, it is unclear when and if those resources will be available to families,” said NMHC Chair & CEO of Waterton David Schwartz, in prepared remarks. “NMHC continues to urge the Trump administration and Congressional leaders to restart negotiations and reach a comprehensive agreement on the next COVID relief package.”

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