The COVID-19 pandemic has created vast uncertainty in the rental housing market. Property owners are seeking assurance of continuity of their operations and are looking for ways to support residents in this time of crisis. Critical to operating multifamily residential communities is the on-time payment of rent. Rental payments are applied toward property mortgages, onsite employee salaries, insurance, and taxes to maintain the quality operation of multifamily buildings.
Tell public officials to require interest-free mortgage forbearance and make substantial investments in rental assistance!
Orders by the Governor to Stay Home, Stay Healthy and other emergency measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 have eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs in Washington state. All types of employed renters now face uncertainty in paying their everyday expenses. Across the United States, 39% of Americans would be able to pay cash for an unexpected emergency costing greater than $400, and three out of every four low-income renters get by without any consistent, permanent rental assistance. Renters may access community rental assistance programs, but existing rental assistance resources will not be enough to support hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who are navigating unemployment during this time of uncertainty.
Federal, state, and local jurisdictions have taken action to prevent evictions based on non-payment of rent during this crisis. This approach will create short term housing stability, but more needs to be done to assist renters and provide certainty and security to owners of multifamily residential communities. Rent remains due by renters to their housing providers, now and in the future. Federal, state and local officials must act now to create robust rental assistance insurance programs to support hundreds of thousands of workers.
Additionally, federal and state officials must act to protect property owners with interest-free mortgage forbearance assistance. The private financial sector must follow the lead of the HUD to offer forbearance to multifamily communities. Unlike in 2008, today's disruptions in the financial sector were borne by an outside threat and reveal the tenuous circumstances of Americans' pocketbooks. Interest-free mortgage forbearance assistance benefits citizens in two ways. First, it allows property owners to divert funds to support employees impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Second, it provides property owners with the flexibility to work with their residents on reasonable payment plans and other options to avoid eviction.
Use your voice to demand that public officials ACT NOW in assisting property owners and renters in this crisis.