Updates Regarding COVID-19 and the Apartment Industry
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which was first detected in Wuhan City, China, and has since spread to 167 additional countries. With 6,496 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the United States (through March 18, 2020), the Louisville Apartment Association (LAA) believes it prudent for its members and affiliates to be prepared for incidents involving COVID-19 should they occur.
LAA understands that affiliates, members and residents may have concerns about how apartment communities should address the virus and, in an effort to offer preliminary guidance and information to assist with preparations, we have compiled the following material from official sources.
It is important to recognize that LAA, its affiliates and individual members are not health care professionals. The CDC and other qualified health officials should continue to be the primary source of current information and guidance. LAA is offering general, precautionary guidance from officials, and also adding some common-sense guidelines for our industry in the interest of promoting a proper amount of caution at this time.
LAA Event Changes/Updates
LAA office is currently closed to public visitors. We have 1 staff member onsite daily Monday-Friday and the rest of our team is working from home to maintain social distancing. We are still available by phone or email so please reach out if you have any questions.
All classes and events through May are being postponed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding.** This includes all classes, board meetings, and committee meetings. We will continue to provide updates as to when meetings will resume as soon as possible.
Casino Night, originally planned for March 18th, has been postponed until further notice. We will send out an updated date as soon as possible.
Trade Show, originally planned for May 7th, has been postponed until further notice. We will send out an updated date as soon as possible.
Kentucky Evictions Postponed & Suspended
3/16/2020: The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that all evictions are postponed effective March 16th through April 10th, 2020. Please review the document below for more information.
Read the full government document here.
3/25/2020: Gov. Beshear released an Executive Order on March 25th, which also called for Evictions to be Suspended.
"Evictions Suspended. Pursuant to the authority vested in me by KRS Chapter 39A, evictions within the Commonwealth are suspended, and all state, county and local law enforcement offices in the Commonwealth are directed to cease enforcement of orders of eviction for residential premises for the duration of the State of Emergency under Executive Order 2020-215. No provision contained within this Order shall be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to pay rent, to make mortgage payments, or to comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under tenancy or mortgage."
Read the full government document here.
Governor Beshear announced the closing of all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. I have had many emails and phone calls asking if multi-family housing was an essential business. I want to clarify that multi-family housing is an essential business and apartment buildings is listed in the federal critical infrastructure sector. Gov. Beshear also listed “Housing” in his list of businesses that can remain open. See Gov. Beshear’d order which was just released:
3/24/2020: Announced Gov. Beshear will sign an executive order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. Businesses that can stay open still need to practice safe social distancing. The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.
"Housing, Buildings and Construction. To ensure Kentuckians can remain Healthy at Home, businesses providing construction or maintenance of residential, commercial, or governmental structures, including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, landscaping, moving and relocation services, necessary for sustaining the safety, sanitation and operation of structures."
To read the entire Executive Order, click here.
Thus, Apartment community staff are exempt from the executive order. You must practice safe social distancing:
Operational Best Practices
How to work with residents who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19: See guidelines from Kentucky Landlord Law here.
NAAEI and Grace Hill are offering FREE trainings for COVID-19. You can access those trainings here.
Some helpful podcasts from Sprout Marketing:
NAA has put out the following webinars regarding best practices:
Statement from the National Apartment Association Concerning COVID-19 and Rent
The following is a statement from National Apartment Association (NAA) President and CEO Robert Pinnegar, CAE released on March 23:
The National Apartment Association and its more than 150 state and local affiliates, encompassing over 82,000 members and representing more than 10 million apartment homes, encourage all residents who are in financial distress to proactively reach out to work with their community managers prior to April 1. Many of our rental housing professionals already have individual plans in place to work with their residents in this unprecedented crisis. There is no “one approach fits all.” The best strategy, and NAA’s recommendation, is for owners, managers and residents to partner together to find the optimal solution. Providing a secure home for all of our residents is our primary goal.
More NAA Resources
Please see more guidance from NAA by clicking here.
FFHFA Offers Mortgage Relief for Multifamily Property Owners
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) yesterday announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Enterprises will offer mortgage forbearance for multifamily property owners, under the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who are unable to pay rent because of COVID-19, also known as “coronavirus.”
To be eligible, property owners must suspend evictions for as long as the owner remains in forbearance. Forbearance is available only for multifamily housing properties with an “Enterprise-backed performing multifamily mortgage” that is financially impacted by coronavirus.
Read more here.
Emergency Funding for Residents
Residents who may not be able to pay rent due to Coronavirus, can apply for emergency funding from the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund.
Please be sure to direct your residents to the following website for more information and to apply: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/neighborhood-place
Do Not Flush
With stores running low on toilet paper, residents may start to use other materials such as paper towels and wet wipes. Some properties have faced issues resulting in residents flushing these items down toilets. Be sure to remind residents not to flush these items and to protect your sewage system.
Click the image below to download it and send it to your residents.
Clean your hands often