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Apartment Industry Urges SBA and Treasury to Amend Paycheck Protection Program to Enable Multifamily Participation

Nicole Ryan
[email protected]

Colin Dunn
[email protected]

Arlington, Va. – This week, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of the Treasury urging them to expeditiously amend the SBA’s Interim Final Rule, Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program, to enable multifamily businesses to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.

“The apartment industry is a cornerstone of the national economy, housing 40 million Americans and supporting 17.5 million jobs,” said Robert Pinnegar, NAA President and CEO. “Like many of our residents, the entire industry is facing extreme economic hardship. Apartment owners and operators must qualify for relief under the Paycheck Protection Program. Until Treasury and the SBA correct this imbalance, the housing and employment of a combined 57.5 million Americans is in jeopardy.”

“The apartment industry is on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet as more residents face job loss or furloughs and are unable to fulfill rent obligations, many owners/operators fear they, too, will not be able to satisfy their own financial obligations required to operate their properties,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC President. “That’s why it is imperative that the apartment industry be eligible to participate in the program so they can continue paying our employees.”

With economic strain across the economy, Congress was right to establish the SBA Paycheck Protection Program intended to assist all types of businesses. Unfortunately, the SBA inexplicably issued an interim final rule on April 2 that specifically denies eligibility to rental housing developer and owner firms. The Paycheck Protection Program must be immediately amended to expand eligibility to all multifamily housing firms so that they can ensure their employees are paid and can continue to operate safe and secure apartment communities. For this reason, NAA and NMHC are calling on Treasury and the SBA to:

  • Reverse regulations that inexplicably preclude multifamily businesses from qualifying for the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Enable Student Housing companies that own and operate off-campus properties to utilize the Paycheck Protection Program on a property-by-property basis.

With respect to student housing, the Paycheck Protection Program enables businesses with more than 500 employees to qualify on a location-by-location basis if they are classified under NAICS code 72. NAA and NMHC are requesting confirmation from the SBA that off-campus student housing providers are included in this waiver as described under NAICS code 721310, even if they might currently operate under another NAICS code.

More resources on COVID-19 from NAA and NMHC can be found here and here.

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For more than 25 years, the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) have partnered on behalf of America's apartment industry. Drawing on the knowledge and policy expertise of staff in Washington, D.C., as well as the advocacy power of more than 150 NAA state and local affiliated associations, NAA and NMHC provide a single voice for developers, owners and operators of multifamily rental housing. One-third of all Americans rent their housing, and 40 million of them live in an apartment home.