Nearly $47 Billion Available in Rental Assistance!
The CDC Eviction Moratorium has been a tremendous financial and operational burden on the rental housing community. After months of advocacy, Congress finally allocated nearly $47 billion in rental assistance funds intended to help alleviate the financial burden of residents and rental housing providers. However, states and localities have been slow to deliver the funds and, in some instances, placed additional and prohibitive restrictions on rental assistance dollars, even as the moratorium’s expiration looms.
A new search tool was launched on July 28, providing information on rental assistance programs around the country. The Rental Assistance Finder was designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to help renters and housing providers find their local program and apply for assistance. We encourage members of the rental housing industry to use the tool and also share it widely with residents. This can only help make everyone whole again. To find help, visit the Rental Assistance Finder at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/renter-protections/find-help-with-rent-and-utilities/?utm_source=vanity&utm_medium=outreach&utm_campaign=renthelp
National Apartment Association
New NMHC Survey Shows Property Owners Remain Focused on Supporting Renters
Washington, D.C. – A new National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) survey of apartment owners and managers shows that 100 percent of multifamily firms surveyed worked with residents facing financial hardships since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. The new data come as the $4 trillion of economic relief (including nearly $47 billion in rental assistance) has stabilized the rental market, allowing the federal eviction moratorium to end on July 31.
“At the onset of the pandemic we issued a call to our industry to halt evictions, create payment plans and work with residents as they faced this unprecedented hardship. The new data demonstrate how both the multifamily industry and residents alike made monumental sacrifices to meet their obligations during this crisis,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby. “As we transition away from these emergency pandemic orders, we ask apartment firms to continue their efforts to work with residents during this wind-down period.”
NMHC issued new principles and encouraged member firms to adopt during the transition away from COVID-19 emergency measures, including:
- Encourage residents to seek rental assistance and apply on behalf of residents or assist with the application process where able.
- Offer solutions to help residents avoid eviction including payment plans, deferments and extended or flexible lease periods for residents who fell behind in rent payments due to the pandemic.
- Provide notice of at least 30 days to residents before filing an eviction for non-payment of rental obligations.
- Work with jurisdictions to break down artificial barriers to rental assistance benefits that stand in the way of residents receiving the help they need, like onerous documentation requirements.
- Identify governmental and community resources to broadly help residents secure food, financial assistance and healthcare and share that information with residents.
- Communicate with residents that it is a priority for the industry to partner with them to help them retain their housing.
The NMHC Pulse Survey on Eviction Mitigation Practices ran from July 19 to 26, with 74 leading multifamily firms responding. One-hundred percent of firms offered solutions for residents facing financial hardships. The most widely offered assistance options included:
- Payment plans – 100%
- Waived late fees – 96%
- Deferred payments – 78%
- Extended, shortened or other changes to lease terms – 58%
- Cash for keys – 54%
- Fee-free ability to charge rent on credit card – 50%
The survey also asked what additional steps firms took to support residents during the pandemic:
- Increased cleaning and sanitation – 95%
- Connecting residents with food backs, charities and other local support resources – 86%
- Informing residents of healthcare protocols and best practices – 86%
- Hosting virtual social or exercise events – 57%
- Creating on-site services at communities to support residents – 50%
- Made it easier to work from home – 49%
NMHC remains committed to keeping residents stably housed and participated in the White House call to action to alert housing providers and residents about available resources.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is the leadership of the apartment industry. We bring together the prominent owners, managers and developers who help create thriving communities by providing apartment homes for 40 million Americans, contributing $3.4 trillion annually to the economy. NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enables both members and the communities they help build to thrive. For more information, contact NMHC at 202/974-2300, e-mail the Council at [email protected], or visit NMHC’s website at nmhc.org.