Nearly 80% Of Apartment Households Have Paid Rent In August, An Uptick From July
There has been widespread anxiety about renters’ ability to meet their obligations this month with federal unemployment benefits exhausted, but early collections data shows just short of 80% of renters have paid at least some rent so far.
A total of 79.3% of apartment households made full or partial payments by Aug. 6, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s rent payment tracker. The group surveyed 11.4 million market-rate apartments across the country. That 79.3% represents a 1.9% decrease from the same time last year, but a jump from last month, when 77.4% of market-rate renters had paid rent by July 6.
NMHC Chairman David Schwartz said relatively healthy rent payments so far are because of the now-expired federal unemployment benefits and landlords that have helped their tenants.
“These unemployment benefits that have proven so important to so many households have now lapsed, meaning greater financial distress for millions and the potential worsening of America’s housing affordability crisis,” Schwartz said in a statement. “While President [Donald] Trump announced executive orders relating to rental assistance and continued unemployment benefits, it is unclear when and if those resources will be available to families.”
He said the council is urging federal politicians to reach an agreement on a relief package and to provide rental assistance rather than a “broad-based eviction moratorium.”
Trump moved to step around Congress Saturday, signing executive orders the administration said will provide relief to Americans affected by the pandemic. He touted it as providing $400 a week in enhanced benefits to those who are unemployed, deferring payroll taxes and federal student loans and rolling out a federal eviction ban. There are questions, however, as to whether or not Trump has the authority to bring the measures to fruition as Congress controls spending, The New York Times reported.
Housing and tenant advocates had been preparing themselves for mass evictions across the country, as eviction moratoriums reach their expiry date. In New York City, for example, the ban on evictions has been extended until September.
Still, many landlords and industry insiders remain concerned that rent payments will dwindle as millions of Americans are forced to cope without government support.