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Apartment Industry Steps Up with Ideas for COVID-19 Response

As Congress moves to respond to the unprecedented threat COVID-19 (also known as “coronavirus”) presents to the economic and physical health of the nation, the National Apartment Association (NAA) is aggressively advocating for the rental housing industry to ensure any conversations about relief include owners and operators. Similar to renters, housing providers face impending financial challenges, in particular, if they themselves fall ill and cannot work, or have reduced income due to eviction moratoriums. We understand that industry professionals remain concerned about their ability to pay mortgage payments, employee payroll and benefits, insurance premiums and tax obligations in the current environment.

In a March 13 letter to Congressional leadership, we, alongside the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), urge Congress to provide:

  • Mortgage and financial forbearance for housing providers.
  • Short-term, temporary financial assistance to renters to overcome challenges before the situation could result in delinquencies or eviction.
  • Relief for student housing providers.  
  • Reduction of payroll taxes to provide extra funds for impacted taxpayers.
  • Exclusion of unemployment income from taxes for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • Reduced 2020 quarterly estimated tax payments for taxpayers who own real estate partnerships or corporations.
  • Carryback of 2020-generated net operating losses for three years.
  • A wage credit for employers who continue to pay employees impacted by COVID-19.
  • Strict guard rails over any temporary, defined and targeted displacement protections for renters.

 

Taken together, these proposals represent an aggressive and necessary first step to protect housing providers and residents alike from the economic impact of COVID-19. Since sending this letter, NAA has been working non-stop to press Congress to include these measures in their legislative packages on COVID-19. On March 19, NAA engaged the entire membership in this effort asking you to take action. Tell Congress the industry needs their help to recover from COVID-19.