Landlord Surveys Point to Need for Continued Outreach on Availability of Emergency Rental Assistance

A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies and Terner Center for Housing Innovation, The Impact of the Pandemic on Landlords: Evidence from Two National Surveys, compares findings from recent surveys on how landlords have fared during COVID-19. The surveys found that many landlords are still unaware of or are not participating in rental assistance programs, with one survey finding that 58% of landlords with rent delinquencies do not have any tenants participating in a rental assistance program. The report suggests that continued outreach regarding rental assistance is needed, as are services like landlord-tenant mediation and counseling. NLIHC previously highlighted two reports detailing findings from both surveys (see Memo 7/19 and Memo 9/7).

Findings from this research point to key policy implications to ensure housing stability for tenants. Given landlord lack of awareness and participation in ERA programs, the report suggests programs should bolster efforts to reach landlords. The report points to recent research that demonstrates the effectiveness of community-based organizations conducting outreach. Additionally, outreach to landlord networks and rental registries could ensure landlords are aware of ERA.

The report highlights the importance of landlord-tenant mediation and wrap-around services for tenants to mitigate landlord-tenant hostility, preventing potential evictions when renters are in deep arrears. Though current Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs can address arrears and future rent for up to 18 months, landlords may be frustrated with tenants who have accumulated a high amount of arrears. Landlord-tenant mediation can help address this frustration using a third-party facilitator. Wrap-around supports, such as relocation assistance, can help provide tenants an alternative when landlords do not participate in rental assistance or continue to threaten eviction.

Access the report at: