Story at a glance
- The coronavirus outbreak has prompted the temporary closure of nonessential businesses, leaving millions unemployed or furloughed.
- NMHC reports only 69 percent of apartment renters paid rent on time, compared to 81 percent in March and 82 percent this time last year.
- More than 17 million new jobless claims have been filed in the past four weeks.
About a third of apartment renters in the U.S. did not pay their rent on time this month as the coronavirus pandemic has brought the economy to a near standstill, leaving millions unemployed or furloughed.
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) reports 69 percent of households paid this month’s rent by April 5, compared to 81 percent that had paid by March 5, and 82 percent that had paid by the same time last year. The trade association for the apartment industry tracks more than 13 million units through its survey.
“The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in significant health and financial challenges for apartment residents and multifamily owners, operators and employees in communities across the country,” Doug Bibby, President of NMHC, said in a statement.
Bibby said next month could be even worse if renters don’t receive government assistance in time, according to NPR.
“If the rent payments drop off significantly, they won’t be able to pay their staff, they won’t be able to pay their mortgages, they won’t be able to pay their utilities,” Bibby told NPR. “They won’t be able to pay managers who manage their properties for them,” he added.
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President Trump in March directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend evictions and foreclosures through April amid the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. The moratorium applies to homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a HUD agency that backs affordable home loans issued through private firms.
Some state and local leaders have suspended evictions during the pandemic, citing financial uncertainty for many renters and homeowners.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, as social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus shuttered nonessential businesses leading to massive layoffs.
The Labor Department said Thursday 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. More than 17 million new jobless claims have been filed in the past four weeks.
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