About 700 APAH households have been in arrears on their rent or other fees at least one month during the pandemic. As many residents continue to be unemployed or working reduced hours, the ongoing financial pressures mean that about one-in-four APAH households have accumulated significant balances.
APAH is the landlord to more than 4,000 low-income individuals, the main priority for the APAH resident services team remains ensuring all our residents stay housed, even as a forecasted $2.7 million collective rent debt accumulates.
Over the past seven months, APAH residents have secured over $700,000 of rental assistance for residents across the portfolio to alleviate this collective debt. These funds came from a variety of local, state, and federal funds and were mainly accessed through Arlington County Department of Human Services, and Arlington Thrive. However, the need continues to be great. Many households continue to be unable to pay their entire rent, and it can often take six to eight weeks for a resident to apply for and receive these funds.
Despite this, given the continued crisis and uncertainty, APAH voluntarily extended our eviction moratorium and waiver of late fees. The eviction moratorium, which began in April 2020 and is now not expiring until March 31, 2021, will allow residents to have peace of mind that they have time to secure jobs, other sources of income, and assistance—while ensuring that their families are safe.
To the relief of many, new sources of funding are now available. The state now has a source of funding that landlords can directly apply for—significantly easing the time and paperwork burden on our residents. APAH is hopeful that in November alone, an additional $500,000 of past due rent will be secured through this method, with the property management team at SL Nusbaum working tirelessly to contact residents and apply on their behalf. But, with much of this available funding tied to the CARES Act, it is set to expire on December 31, the resident services and property management teams are racing to assist residents with applications for rent relief. Though not guaranteed, there are hopes that at least some funding will continue to be available into 2021. In the meantime, partnering with property management and other community groups, APAH’s resident services team is exhausting all avenues to help residents feel secure in their housing including finding other financial supports for residents, especially for food, utilities, and other household items.
A major part of these auxiliary support funds come directly from the Resident Emergency Fund. As expenses increase this winter, please consider donating to help APAH residents. The Resident Emergency Fund is essential to assist households that don’t qualify for other rent relief or those who need basic items – toothpaste, medicine, etc. – not covered under other programs. It can also help residents cover gaps due to unexpected expenses that leave them with no money in their bank accounts. This can be essential for residents to maintain their stability, such as a single mom whose car, which she needs to get to work, required repairs, leaving her without the funds to buy diapers and food that met her one-year old’s allergy needs.
Your gift to the Resident Emergency Fund today makes a huge difference for APAH families.