COVID-19 Update – August

FACE MASKS REQUIRED UNTIL AUGUST 31ST – Face masks are required in all Tarrant County businesses until August 31st. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued the new executive order on July 31st as coronavirus cases are increasing rapidly throughout Texas.    

Failure to comply may result in a $1,000 fine per occurrence. AATC members are encouraged to adhere to this order. They require their employees, residents, and prospective residents to wear face-covering when performing activities that involve close contact with co-workers or the public.  

FEDERAL COVID-19 LEGISLATION – The CARES Act eviction moratorium expired July 25th; however, negotiations are heating up in Congress on a final COVID-19 stimulus package. On May 14th, the House passed a $3.5 trillion stimulus package (HEROES Act) that includes a 12-month extension of the eviction moratorium and no additional funds for rental assistance. The Senate has not yet passed the additional economic stimulus. President Trump has expressed support for an eviction moratorium extension.  

AATC members are encouraged to support the National Apartment Association’s advocacy campaign to urge Congress to pass additional relief measures, including rental assistance for residents impacted by COVID-19, to assist the rental housing industry and our residents.  

Tell Congress we need emergency rental assistance and not another eviction moratorium!   

It is critical that you make your voice heard now. Negotiators may be trying to reach consensus by week’s end. Federal resources helping many apartment residents make their rent payments expired at the end of July, and August rent is due. Even with the assistance that’s been given, a recent report noted an 8 percent drop in rent payments between June and July, with residents in the workforce and class C properties experiencing particular hardship.  

The federal eviction moratorium in the CARES Act also expired at the end of July, and Congress is being bombarded with calls to extend this moratorium. Media everywhere is reporting housing advocates’ fears of “eviction tsunamis” on the horizon, and President Trump has talked about issuing an executive order to prevent evictions.  

Congress must hear from the apartment industry, or we risk being left behind in the final legislation. All indications are that this will be the last relief package of the year, so this is the LAST CHANCE to get meaningful rental assistance.  

Why an eviction moratorium does not help residents:  

  • Eviction moratoriums let residents stay in their homes in the short term, while months of unpaid rent continue to pile up. Residents will struggle ever to make up that unpaid rent, which is still owed.  
  • Months of unpaid rent will cripple the apartment industry. Our industry will be challenged to be able to protect rental communities, pay employees, and meet other financial obligations.  
  • A robust and targeted rental assistance program will keep residents with a COVID-related hardship in their homes and keep apartment communities stable and solvent.  

Please contact your members of Congress TODAY before it is too late and tell them to pass emergency rental assistance and not eviction moratoriums!  

RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS – AATC is partnering with the cities of Fort Worth and Arlington, as well as, Tarrant County officials, to create a COVID-19 rental assistance program. These rental assistance funds are limited and are available to assist with rent payments for renters directly impacted by COVID-19. Rent payments will be made directly to landlords—not the residents. Landlords and renters access these monies based on where their property is located as follows:

Arlington:  https://www.arlingtontx.gov/city_hall/departments/housing_authority 

Fort Worth:  http://fortworthtexas.gov/neighborhoods/covid-19-relief-funds/  

All Other Tarrant County Cities: https://bit.ly/2C7LZgC  

Contact Perry Pillow at ppillow@aatcnet.org or Ed Blinn at edblinn@aatcnet.org for more information