Feds should focus more COVID relief on Colorado’s hard-hit housing sector

Colorado Politics released an op-ed by Terry Simone, president of the Colorado Apartment Association, on COVID-19 relief for Colorado.

“In the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, Colorado’s housing industry applauds the federal government for its speedy response with financial aid through the Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). These funds will benefit thousands of residents and fuel local economies with needed financial stimulation.”

“However, although the CARES Act extends needed support for Colorado’s hurting residents and businesses, it does not encompass the entirety of financial aid that the housing industry will need during this pandemic. ”

“The intended result of the financial aid from the CARES Act is to stimulate the economy by helping residents cover monthly payments such as rent. However, the CARES Act does not include stipulations for residents to use the funds toward rent, utilities or other monthly bills, so there is no guarantee that the housing industry will be supported by this funding. As such, Colorado’s housing industry supports the joint letter to Congress by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) that outlines additional priorities needed for future COVID-19 relief packages. The letter can be read on the NMHC website: https://www.nmhc.org/advocacy/comment-letters/.”

Read more at Colorado Politics

Denver City Council urges state and federal leaders to cancel rent, mortgage payments amid pandemic

Denver city leaders are pressuring Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado legislature to cancel rent and mortgage payments for Coloradans struggling to pay during the coronavirus pandemic.

“With its approval, the proclamation will now be sent on to state and federal leaders.”

“The Colorado Apartment Association (CAA) said it has some concerns about the proposal. It suggested other ways to help renters, including halting evictions, setting up payment plans for tenants and waiving late fees.”

“We are grateful that members of the City Council took our input under advisement, but we worry the resolution as written could further harm the rental housing industry. We understand this is a really challenging time for everyone. For those residents who are able to pay rent, we ask that they do to ensure that financial assistance is prioritized to help those in dire financial situations. It’s important to know that rent payments go beyond just the mortgage payment, rent payments also are used for payroll, maintenance, taxes, insurance, and continue operation of their rental facilities,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the CAA.”

Read more at KDVR.

Apartment association: 84% of Colorado tenants paid April rent

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Colorado Apartment Association found that about 84% of residents who rent in Colorado paid April rent.

“Although this delinquency rate has increased, it is encouraging to learn that over 80% of Colorado residents who rent took personal responsibility to pay their monthly rent in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the Colorado Apartment Association. Williams explained that rent payments typically go toward covering mortgage costs, paying vendors and employees, and maintaining properties.”

“When asked if Williams meant that tenants who did not pay their rent due to job loss or hospitalization during the pandemic lacked “personal responsibility,” Michelle Lyng, a spokesperson for CAA, clarified that he did not.”

“We are grateful to those who had the ability to pay their rent and did, so that resources can be prioritized for those in dire financial situations,” she said.

Read more at Colorado Politics

Courts, sheriffs extend eviction moratorium

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the eviction process remains on pause in Aurora, CO.

“Coloradans filed more than 60,000 unemployment claims in March 2020, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, putting many tenants hard-pressed or unable to pay rent. A recent report from the Colorado Apartment Association found more than 16 percent of Coloradans did not pay April rent, more than double the figure for January and February.”

“Andrew Hamrick, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Colorado Apartment Association, which advocates for property owners, told the Sentinel last month the eviction pause comes with a slew of unintended consequences. He expects courts to become more backlogged after the pandemic passes with eviction orders.”

“The Apartment Association has recommended that landlords work with individual tenants to make fair rent payment and not raise rents during the pandemic. This week, apartment officials said rent remittance is far higher than the national average.”

Read more at The Sentinel

Southern Colorado Apartment Rental Market Withstands Covid-19 Crisis

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Colorado Springs rental market is not seeing a drop in the number of tenants, thus far.

“Laura Nelson of The Apartment Association of Southern Colorado, says some local landlords are surprised the market has not been as hard hit as other areas.”

“Nelson says military members could have a lot to do with the local market not being as affected.”

“Military is our largest form of renters, so they do get an allowance for housing, so we aren’t seeing as many people affected as maybe some of the larger cities,” says Nelson.”

“In other areas outside of Southern Colorado, the sudden move-outs by tenants who have lost their jobs amid Covid-19 related layoffs, has forced many property managers to reconsider their prices in order to up their occupancy rates.”

“Nelson says this is typically the slower season for move-ins, but traffic is expected to pick up in the summer months. She says some rental specials remain from the winter months to try and attract new tenants.”

Read more at KRDO.

 

Rent and coronavirus: Some Colorado businesses get an April break while many apartment residents face late fees

Due to COVID-19, many Coloradans worried about paying April rent. The Colorado Apartment Association emphasizes the importance for those to pay rent who have not been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For many Coloradans, Wednesday marked the first day their rent or mortgage payments have come due since the life-altering effects of the COVID-19 outbreak upended daily life in the state and cost tens of thousands of people their jobs or shuttered their business.”

“Like much surrounding the pandemic, a clear picture of the fallout may not emerge for some time, but in real-time, a contrast has emerged in the way some commercial landlords are navigating the hardships their tenants are experiencing compared to the reported behavior of some residential landlords.”

“Colorado Apartment Association spokeswoman Michelle Lyng has described rental housing as an ecosystem with landlords as just one part. Barnhill and Shift may have received a break from the bank, but many property owners have mortgage payments due this month. While the association has recommended landlords offer payment plans, waive late fees, avoid rent increases and take other steps to support residents who have lost income during the pandemic, Lyng on Wednesday also emphasized those who have not been severely impacted should pay their rent on time.”

Read more at The Denver Post

Coronavirus In Colorado: Apartment Association Of Metro Denver Offers Resources For Renters

The Apartment Association of Metro Denver offers free resources for Colorado residents struggling to pay April rent.

“DENVER (CBS4)– The Apartment Association of Metro Denver is offering resources for renters during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the resources include where to get help if you can’t pay your rent and FAQ about coronavirus.”

“More than 80% of people renting in Colorado paid their rent for April but as more people claim unemployment or are furloughed that might change in May and June.”

Read more at KCNC.

COVID-19 Debate: How Many in Colorado Actually Paid Rent?

The Colorado Apartment Association conducted a poll to gather how many tenants paid April rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the economic challenges prompted by COVID-19 deepen, a collection of Colorado activists concerned about housing for those who’ve been laid off or fired is petitioning for a rent and mortgage freeze even as other groups are calling for rent strikes and noise-making protests. Meanwhile, Coloradans for the Common Good is attempting to convene a meeting of renters, lenders and landlords, even as the latter complain about being demonized when they’re cash-strapped, too.”

“Against this backdrop, the Colorado Apartment Association, the largest organization of its type in the state, is touting a poll suggesting that over 80 percent of renters in the state paid their April rent on time — an estimate that a representative from the pro-petition Colorado Latino Forum criticizes from a wide variety of angles.”

Read more at Westword

Manager guidelines for dealing with a pandemic

Colorado Real Estate Journal reports guidelines for managers during COVID-19.

“Another association offering guidelines for managers is the Apartment Association of Metro Denver, which issued a release March 13.”

“It’s important to remember that every apartment management company will handle this situation differently depending on what’s best for their communities, but that their top priority is the health and well-being of their residents and employees,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president, AAMD.”

“In addition to following CDC and CDPH guidelines, the association recommends ensuring everyone wash their hands before using building amenities and after using building amenities, particularly fitness centers. Managers should inform tenants to not use fitness centers and other amenities if they have fever, nausea, runny nose, chest congestion or the chills. Managers are encouraged to tell those tenants to “Please get some rest and spare fellow residents the likelihood of also getting sick,” the release said.”

Read more at Colorado Real Estate Journal

Denver’s Affordable Housing Issue: An Insider’s Perspective

Andrew Hamrick, Senior Vice President, Apartment Association of Metro Denver, does a Q&A with Multi-Housing News. 

“The NAA study lists several devastating long-term effects of a 7 percent rent cap. How can Denver compensate for those losses?”

“Hamrick: Artificially fixing rent rates has a devastating effect on the availability of housing. It drives away investment from both equity and available loans. It discourages building and redevelopment. It removes economic incentives to remodel and maintain properties. It causes rental housing owners to take housing units out of the rental market and sell them. It prevents renters from freely moving from the unit they currently rent to the one they’d rather have. Flexibility is one of the primary reasons a person rents a property rather than buys it in the first place. Since the valuation of a rental property is a function of rent receipts, arbitrarily capping rents lowers the property’s value and the real estate taxes collected on that property. Those real estate taxes fund a wide variety of government spending, perhaps most importantly education.”

“Every jurisdiction that has enacted rent control has seen decreased housing investment which has caused those jurisdictions to be the most expensive places to live in the country. There is no plan, nor can there be, to fund these economic losses, which extend far beyond the housing markets.”

Read more at Multi-Housing News