While the federal government was preparing a third round of stimulus aid, households around the nation paid their rent in February at a higher rate than in January, reflecting the multifamily industry’s continued resilience.
The National Multifamily Housing Council found that 93.5% of apartment tenants fully or partially paid their rent in February in its monthly survey of 11.6 million households. This was an improvement from 93.2% of households that paid their rent in January, and only 1.6 percentage points lower than the rate seen in February 2020 prior to the start of the pandemic in the U.S. Additionally, it seems that rent growth is starting to pick up in markets that suffered steep declines last year due to COVID-19, according to GlobeSt.
The month-over-month rent collections improvement comes after the rollout of the second COVID-19 stimulus package, which featured $900 billion in relief aid. The legislation included one-time checks of $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples depending on income levels, $600 per child, and an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits until March 14. Furthermore, it included $25 billion in rental assistance for tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 and are facing homelessness while also easing the burden on landlords as a national eviction moratorium was extended. Now even more relief aid is on the way.
Congress passed legislation on March 10 for a third round of stimulus aid and it was signed by the president the following day. It contains $1.9 trillion worth of relief funds, including $1,400 stimulus checks for each adult (and each dependent) and $2,800 per married couple making under $75,000 or under $150,000 annually, respectively. It also includes $300 per week in extra unemployment benefits until Sept. 6.
Moreover, the latest round of stimulus has allocated more than $30 billion for emergency rental assistance, housing vouchers, housing counseling, and homeless services. Federal stimulus aid has already bolstered the multifamily industry during the pandemic, and this new round of stimulus aid is expected to be another tailwind for the industry.