Why many are more worried about 2021 than 2020

For millions of housing insecure Americans, 2021 holds more fear than promise. As we write this post, the US is seeing over 2,000 deaths every day, higher than any other point during the pandemic. Jobless claims remain stubbornly high. As many as 14 million American households are at risk of eviction with an estimated $25 billion in rental debt. The promise of a vaccine adds some optimism, but realistically the public health and economic climate is not likely to improve in the near future.

Renters, out-of-town landlords, and institutional investors: Who’s really bringing down the neighborhood?

The economic peril from COVID-19 has reached nearly every corner of the economy, and the threat of housing insecurity looms ominously on the horizon for millions of Americans. Today we want to focus on the plight of the homeowner, just 12 years removed from the unprecedented 2008 Housing Crisis. In the near-term, temporary measures like stimulus checks, an increase to unemployment insurance, and forgivable small business loans to cover payroll amounted to hundreds of billions of dollars injected directly into the bank accounts of homeowners. For those who lost some or all their income because of COVID-19, these temporary measures provided a lifeline through the spring and summer to continue making mortgage payments. And at the height of the pandemic, many courthouses, where foreclosure notices are be filed, were closed, effectively freezing foreclosure activity entirely. Additionally, on March 18, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) enacted a moratorium on foreclosures for borrowers with mortgages backed by Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that has subsequently been extended through the end of 2020, protecting 28 million single-family homeowners. FHFA also allows these borrowers the right to request forbearance for a total of 360 days.

Inspector

Hagerstown, MD: Rental Property Licensing

This 40,000-person city introduced a Rental Property Licensing Program in 2003 “to promote safety, health, and habitability in rental housing. They partnered with Tolemi to create a systematic way to flag non-compliant properties—without burdening staff with hours of research resulting in greater compliance with less staff hours than before.

Glass Wall Sticky

You’ve Passed a Rental Registration Ordinance…Now What? (3 of 4)

Implementing a registration or inspection program can seem daunting. For municipalities that had no oversight of rental properties prior to passing an ordinance, it can mean the added responsibility to register or even inspect tens of thousands of units of housing. And more often than not, we’ve seen these put into place without the addition of new administrative or inspectional staff. In this series of post, we will walk you though each step of the process to make sure that your program is successful.

Register Chalkboard

You’ve Passed a Rental Registration Ordinance…Now What? (2 of 4)

Implementing a registration or inspection program can seem daunting. For municipalities that had no oversight of rental properties prior to passing an ordinance, it can mean the added responsibility to register or even inspect tens of thousands of units of housing. And more often than not, we’ve seen these put into place without the addition of new administrative or inspectional staff. In this series of post, we will walk you though each step of the process to make sure that your program is successful.

The Case for a Rental Property Registration Ordinance (1 of 4)

Cities will adopt a rental property registration ordinance for various reasons, but they generally can be categorized into two buckets: decrease administrative burden on the city and ensure the safety of their citizens. By requiring rental registration, city officials can easily contact property owners or managers when issues need to be addressed. Many cities take an even more proactive approach and require occasional inspections of rental properties to ensure the safety of tenants. Learn more about the questions you should be asking yourself and the challenges you should expect while creating a Rental Property Registration ordinance and program.

Mom and Pop Landlords

What about the mom-and-pop landlords?

Mom-and-Pop landlords own nearly half of the nations rental units and are often low to median income themselves. They rely on rent payments to maintain the properties, pay the mortgage, and provide income for their families. With tenants unable to pay rent and moratoriums on evictions, their properties, their incomes, and their retirement plans are all at risk. Small scale landlords are also major producers of naturally occurring affordable housing. Concerns are mounting that large investment firms will buy up the rental stock, increase rents, and reduce the supply of affordable housing. Cities need a strategy to protect their mom-and-pop landlords in the coming months.