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Understanding The Eviction Moratorium

SARS-COV-2 caused devastating disruption worldwide in mostly every financial market. Millions of workers experienced some sort of financial loss. Reduced hours, furloughs and complete job loss challenged many families. It’s understandable how meeting financial obligations including rent could become a challenge. Back in March, Congress stepped in passing the CARES Act Eviction Moratorium.

CARES Act Section 4024(b) prohibited landlords from starting eviction proceeding or charging late fees or penalties against a tenant for nonpayment of rent. These protections extended for 120 days from March 27, 2020 until August 24, 2020. The moratorium did not absolve tenants from legal responsibilities. The moratorium mostly allowed individuals a chance to work through current challenges under a grace period. The 120 days provided many with peace of mind that an immediate eviction would not occur if unable to pay their rent.

The initial moratorium expired on August 24, 2020 assuming the US would have a better grasp on coronavirus spread. Unfortunately, the virus is still spreading without any signs of slowing down. The Centers for Disease Control Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, used executive power attempting to slow the spread by signing a new declaration. Signed on September 4, 2020, the new declaration focuses on mass evictions. The CDC’s concern is how mass evictions could be detrimental to public health control measures currently in place to slow spread.

The declaration requires Renter’s or Homeowner’s to provide a signed copy of the Declaration under penalty of perjury. Individuals must exhaust all efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing. Individuals must meet an annual income of no more than $99,000. Individuals are unable to pay rent due to substantial loss of household income. Individuals are attempting to make timely partial payments as close to the full payment as possible. Individuals would likely be homeless if evicted. If these requirements are not fully executed persons signing the declaration could be prosecuted.

Many landlords are fighting the declaration as unconstitutional. They are suing the Trump administration and CDC over the executive. Certainly, this is a tough position for many and coming together is key. Landlords, tenants, and financial institutions must work together. Everyone has a role to ensure the most favorable outcome.

Here at Horizon we truly value our tenants and staff. We believe in working together. These are without question unprecedented times. Communication is key now more than ever. How we respond during these times show who we are and what we value.  If you find yourself challenged with maintaining your rental responsibilities, please contact your leasing office. We are in this together!

By: Quinn Newton

Apartment Construction

Apartment Market Post Covid19

New reports show that rental units accounted for 96% of multifamily construction starts during the second quarter of 2020, which took additional market share from the condo market.

According to The National Association of Home Builders, quarterly data from the Census Bureau, noted that 76,000 rental multifamily started and with only 3,000 condo starts.

By comparison, apartment starts have been about 90% or higher since late 2014. Apartment starts hit the bottom in Q3 2005, when condo construction was booming. During that time, apartment construction hit 47%.

Rental multifamily starts traditionally have held more market share over condos. From 1980-2002, the average market share for apartments was 80%, according to NAHB.

While more apartments are going up, their square footage is staying down, according to NAHB. The average square footage of rental units during the second quarter of this year was 1,126, well below the pre-Great Recession peak of about 1,300. In early 2015, square footage reached a post-recession peak of 1,247 square feet.

Depressed dwelling sizes may not last long, according to NAHB, particularly in light of the new work from home trend.

Though apartments took more market share from condos, new construction has been reduced by 12% this year due to Covid19, according to RentCafe Blog. “The downtrend is mainly due to the slower pace of construction, as a result of a shortage of available construction crews, funding and permits, along with some temporary bans on construction projects in certain states,” the report said.

However, housing construction overall has been driving up lumber prices according to NAHB.  The price of lumber has shot up 110% since mid-April. It is estimates that these recent gains have boosted typical new single-family home prices and apartment prices by approximately $14,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Pricing of multifamily has so far, not been too affected by COVID-19. At least it hasn’t caught up to it yet.

covid-19

COVID-19 Update

Most of the Cities and Counties of our residence issued an emergency order directing people to “Stay Home, Work Safe” due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. And this order will remain in effect until it is rescinded by your individual City or County.

Under the order, people within the counties are asked not to leave their residence except to perform “essential travel.” Some reasons for essential travel include:

• To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (for example, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a healthcare professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home).

• To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others (for example, food, pet supplies, and any other household consumer products, supplies needed to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences). 

• To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking, running, or fishing).

• To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order.

• To care for a family member or pet in another household.

We continue to follow our increased disinfecting process and constant monitoring of the latest from federal, state, and local officials; our policies are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please review the preventive measures from their website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html.  

Please know that the safety, security, and well-being of all of our residents and employees are our number one priority. 

We are currently working on a modified schedule for our operations for the time being and will alert you once that has changed. For now, all resident clubhouses, pools, fitness centers, and business centers will remain closed until further notice. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know and more importantly, please stay safe!