NAHMA Update: An Open Letter to America’s Landlords - from the National Council of State Housing Agencies

July 15, 2021

Dear NAHMA Members,

Please find below an announcement from the National Council of State Housing Agencies to America’s Landlords:

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An Open Letter to America’s Landlords

On behalf of state agencies administering federal emergency rental assistance funds, thank you for your extraordinary efforts to keep millions of low-income Americans safely housed during the pandemic, especially the millions who have been unable to keep up with their rent.

Landlords large and small have forgiven past-due amounts, provided payment plans, and helped renters access relief programs. You and your companies have made major financial sacrifices yourselves, dug into property reserves, and restructured financing arrangements with your capital providers. Your largely unheralded efforts are too numerous to count or properly thank.

We thank you.

Right now, every state has rental assistance available to you and your renters – and these state programs are operating faster and more efficiently every day.

  • State programs paid and processed requests for more than half-a-million renters by the end of June.
  • These programs will have paid out upwards of $3 billion by the end of this month.
  • The pace of payouts has doubled or more than doubled in each of the last four months.

We are very concerned that millions of renters and many landlords who would benefit from rental assistance have not applied for it — and may not even know assistance is available.

A recent survey of smaller apartment owners found “less than 6 percent of landlords and 11 percent of tenants indicated that they applied for federal emergency rental assistance.”

If you haven’t already, we urge you and your renters to apply for assistance today:

  • Most state programs have paid more than 25 percent of the completed applications they have received, and many have paid more than 40 or 50 percent already.
  • Denial rates are extremely low.
  • Hundreds of thousands of applications are in process right now and will be paid soon.

We understand some of you and your renters are frustrated with requirements of some state programs and delays in receiving payments for assistance you have requested. We ask for your continued patience as programs continue to adapt and systems continue to improve. Tell us what we can do to make the process more efficient.

States, along with hundreds of local communities, have built a new national infrastructure to deliver a new emergency rental assistance program in a matter of months. There were bumps in the road and potholes remain in some places, but pathways to relief are open everywhere.

Now is the time to apply and help your renters apply.
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Washington, DC 20001