The rental housing industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been about much more than numbers—it’s been about taking care of our residents, our employees and our communities, too. Some of these efforts are hard to quantify, but the Texas Apartment Association can report on results of the association’s multifaceted efforts.
- Rental housing operators in Texas have offered tens of millions of dollars in rental assistance, waived fees or other concessions to the state’s renters who’ve been impacted by COVID-19.
- Local associations in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, El Paso and Houston are working with local governments and charitable organizations to craft rental assistance programs. The Texas Apartment Association is supporting the National Apartment Association’s call on Congress to fund rental assistance in the next coronavirus stimulus/relief bill.
- TAA’s efforts have included free webinars for members, more proactive media outreach, stepped up policy responses and advocacy, new free forms for members to use, a dedicated email to answer member questions, and more.
From the start, the Texas Apartment Association has had a multifaceted approach to assisting our members and helping our industry cope with challenges posed by COVID-19. Check out our updated infographic summarizing TAA’s efforts in education, advocacy and outreach.
Beyond the numbers, though, are some of the more meaningful ways the industry has responded to this unprecedented situation:
- From the onset of the pandemic, TAA has urged members to waive late fees, work out payment plans with residents and, wherever possible, respond compassionately to resident needs during this outbreak. Media reports and internal surveys indicate TAA members have offered tens of millions of dollars in rental assistance, waived fees, rent discounts and other concessions.
- Local associations in our largest cities are working with city leaders and local charities on rental relief programs. These programs in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, El Paso and Houston (already underway or being finalized) are leveraging government funds from the CARES Act and other sources to offer direct assistance to renters in need. In San Antonio, some owners are voluntarily reducing rent to stretch the city’s funds further. In Houston, the Houston Apartment Association donated $100,000 to a local charity that offers rental assistance, and is encouraging members to donate as well. As of last week, HAA members had kicked in an additional $30,000 to that effort, which is in addition to the program the city is working on.
- TAA members are sponsoring a variety of activities and programs for their residents, including food donations/drop-offs, virtual entertainment options, regular check-ins to make sure residents are coping successfully, and more. If your property has information to share about how you are serving your residents, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.