Press Release: Apartment Industry Response to Impact of COVID-19 on Rental Housing

Posted By: Jon Lowder Blog , Press Releases ,

Greensboro, NC, March 17, 2020- The spread of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the United States economy, and the rental housing industry is no exception. The apartment industry understands and supports the need for decisive action from elected officials to combat the spread of COVID-19 related illness. However, these decisions, while in the interest of public health, are leading to tangible impacts on both renters and housing providers alike.

While residents will struggle with income loss during this time, housing providers will also struggle to cover their own financial obligations, including, but not limited to, maintenance, mortgage payments, utilities, insurance premiums, and payroll and property taxes. 

Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA) is engaging with policymakers to ensure any forthcoming legislation both protects the health of apartment residents and provides adequate support to housing providers.

It is our belief that any eviction moratoriums should be paired with emergency rental assistance. Such assistance has been proven effective in helping both residents and housing providers avoid the eviction process. Bans on evictions do not solve the financial instability of low-income renters that existed before the spread of COVID-19. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 is likely to hit low-income renters the hardest, with many of them hourly workers who will be unable to regain lost income. Emergency rental assistance would help these renters cover rent payments that will eventually become due.

While PTAA’s members are strongly encouraged to work with their residents who are facing COVID-19 related loss of income, our belief is that any action by elected officials to limit or ban evicting tenants who are unable to fulfill their financial lease obligations must be carefully tailored. Rent payments should be delayed during this time period, not waived. Furthermore, any eviction moratorium should only cover non-payment cases due to COVID-19 related loss of income that don’t also involve allegations of criminal activity or lease violations that have health and safety impacts. This is for the protection of all residents in an apartment community.

State and local measures should account for the chain reaction that occurs when rent is unpaid. Housing providers, especially small “mom and pop” operations, may be unable to cover their mortgage, utility, or tax payments, especially if owners or managers come down with the virus and can’t go to work themselves.

For more information contact Jon Lowder, Piedmont Triad Apartment Association at (336) 413-8074 or jon@piedmonttaa.org.

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About Piedmont Triad Apartment Association: The Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (PTAA) is the leading multi-family housing organization serving the Piedmont Triad region. Originally organized by apartment owners and operators, today PTAA constituencies also include Supplier Partners, residents, and the community-at-large. It is an advocate for the industry in local, regional, and national legislative issues. PTAA provides leadership and resources to its members in order to create and operate apartment communities Triad residents can trust to meet their housing needs. In concert with AANC and NAA, its principal programs address industry standards and best practices in providing continuing education and professional development. PTAA brings its constituencies together to improve apartment living in the Triad.