Commitment to Residents

Posted By: Jim Wiard COVID-19 Resource Center , Industry Trends ,

Dear valued member,

As the country and multifamily industry face unprecedented challenges due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are doing all we can to highlight the importance of the industry before lawmakers and make sure they understand they have a responsibility to provide emergency assistance and safeguards to the 40 million Americans who call an apartment home, the 17.5 million jobs the industry supports and the owners and operators who run multifamily businesses across the country. 

To that end, National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) just released the statement below encouraging apartment firms to consider voluntarily:
  • Halt evictions for 90 days for those who can show they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (This would not apply to evictions for other lease violations such as property damage, criminal activity or endangering the safety of other residents of the community.)
  • Avoid rent increases for 90 days to help residents weather the crisis.
  • Create payment plans for residents who are unable to pay their rent because of the outbreak and waive late fees for those residents.
  • Identify governmental and community resources to help residents secure food, financial assistance, and healthcare and share that information with residents.
  • Communicate to residents that it is a priority for the industry to partner with them to help them retain their housing. 
  • Develop a response plan for potential COVID-19 exposure.

We understand these are strong measures and do not make these recommendations lightly. However, we believe that these are in the best interests of our residents, our members, and the industry. What we do now in this time of shared sacrifice will be remembered when things return to normal. We are also making sure that the public, lawmakers, and press know that as most of the country has been ordered to shelter in place or quarantine at home, it’s our employees and our firms who are on the front lines working hard to try and keep our residents healthy, safe and housed.

In addition to this media outreach, we continue to work with Congress and the Administration to provide emergency assistance to residents so they can pay their rent. At the same time, we recognize that most rental properties are owned by individuals and small businesses that have financial obligations, including mortgages, utilities, payroll, insurance, and taxes. We have called on lawmakers to extend mortgage forbearance to rental property owners and extend similar protections to other financial obligations such as insurance premiums, utility service payments and tax liabilities.

These are uncertain times, but you can be confident that your team at NMHC is up to the challenge and using every tool at our disposal to protect our residents, your firms and the nation’s apartment industry.

Additional materials and resources on COVID-19 can be found here.