3/30 NAA Government Affairs Covid-19 Update

Posted By: Denise Mcclary Industry ,

NAA Government Affairs COVID-19 Update

 

 

CARES Act

In case you missed it, please find the NAA/NMHC press release summarizing the Phase 3 of the stimulus bill to address COVID-19 impacts (below).  With the ink not having yet dried at the signing ceremony, the apartment industry is already at work to address fixes and priorities for Phase 4 of the stimulus bill.

 

Rent Strike

We have been hearing of organized efforts from tenants’ rights groups attempting to organize rent strikes.  Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for possible activity in your area.  Please feel free to reach out to me to discuss messaging opportunities.  See link to article. https://apple.news/AWbY7ppNvTBSV510T4dJFmw

 

April 1

As the first full month of since initiating State Of Emergency’s across the country, the beginning of the month is the first official stress test of the apartment industry.  As we move forward in our advocacy effort to influence the next federal stimulus package, we will need to hear directly from the industry of how COVID-19 is impacting the industry.  Whether it is at the federal, or state and local level, policymakers will need to hear the industry’s stories to support future Rental Assistance for residents, and Mortgage Forbearance for conventional property owners.

 

As always, please remain safe in these trying times.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly via email or on my mobile phone at (619) 300-3581.

 

Best,

Fred Tayco

 

The National Apartment Association (NAA) and the Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), on behalf of the 40 million Americans who call an apartment home and the 17.5 million jobs the industry supports, applaud Congress’ quick action on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2020  

Nicole Ryan                                      Colin Dunn

703/797-0630                                  202/974-2370

nryan@naahq.org                           cpdunn@nmhc.org                                                                                                                                         

Rental Housing Industry Statement on the CARES Act

  Arlington, Va. – The National Apartment Association (NAA) and the Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), on behalf of the 40 million Americans who call an apartment home and the 17.5 million jobs the industry supports, applaud Congress’ quick action on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) intended to stave off total economic collapse in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.   While there are a number of important provisions included that will be helpful to the industry and its renters, there are others that will create substantial challenges for rental property owners and imperil housing stability Americans need and deserve during this crisis.   To its credit, Congress took important steps to provide relief to affected American renters and property owners. Boosting funding to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs, expanding unemployment benefits and providing substantial tax relief are welcome resources. Yet, more must be done. NMHC and NAA have identified three areas where the legislation, while well-intended, falls short and will be detrimental to the stability of the rental housing market.  

First, while we understand the intent of the national eviction moratorium included in the legislation, lawmakers inadvertently neglected to specifically tie the moratorium to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, what should be a limited protective step is expanded to those who have not been financially impacted by the pandemic. This is already creating an expectation that unaffected renters do not have to meet their lease obligations. The unintended consequences of the eviction moratorium will wreak havoc on the stability of the rental housing market and places it out of step with similar state and local actions. Congress must swiftly address this discrepancy.    

Second, the current package provides substantial financial support to residents though HUD and unemployment insurance, however, more direct emergency rental assistance is necessary—particularly for those who do not presently receive federal housing assistance but now find themselves needing it.   Finally, at the urging of NAA and NMHC, Congress provided mortgage forbearance for multifamily property owners negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The legislation, however, only provides this relief to owners with federally backed mortgages, such as those through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This protection needs to be expanded to all types of mortgages. Owners and operators are tasked with ensuring the viability of apartment communities. They, too, are experiencing financial hardships sometimes tenfold as renters in the communities across the country struggle.  

Further, the provision limits forbearance to a 90-day time period, which is out of alignment with the 120-day eviction moratorium. Unless it is fixed, this disconnect could result in a mass wave of financial delinquencies and defaults from rental housing providers of all types and sizes, jeopardizing the stability of entire communities.  

As the country moves forward, there will be significant uncertainty and growing challenges. NAA and NMHC are committed to working with Congress to address the continued need for relief as outlined above and ensure apartment residents and the industry are supported and protected in future legislation.  

More resources on COVID-19 from NAA and NMHC can be found here and here.