NMHC Survey: 100 Percent of Multifamily Owners Assisted Residents in Need Throughout Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reports in a survey of apartment owners and managers that 100 percent of respondents worked with their residents struggling to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NMHC Pulse Survey on Eviction Mitigation Practices surveyed 74 multifamily owners and managers.

The NMHC report comes out days before July 31 when the U.S. government’s nationwide ban of evictions ends. This ban was extended from when it was originally planned to expire on June 30. Additionally, the U.S. government rolled out two COVID-19 relief bills that gave out a total of approximately $46 billion in rent relief, including the $21.6 billion in emergency rental assistance through the American Rescue Plan.

The report also showed that 100 percent of apartment owners and managers assisted renters by giving out payment plans. Other ways landlords assisted were deferred payments, waiving late fees and extended, shortened or other changes to lease terms. About 95 percent of apartment owners said they increased cleaning and sanitation as well to help their renters during the pandemic, and about 86 percent said they connected residents with food banks, charities and other local support resources.

The NMHC encourages apartment owners to take measures to help renters coming out of the pandemic, including the following:

• Encourage residents to seek rental assistance and apply on behalf of residents, or assist with the application process wherever possible.
• 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 top priority to help renters retain their homes.

The president of NMHC, Doug Bibby, says “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.”

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