IREM® joins NAR in meeting with White House officials on eviction ban

CHICAGO (September 17, 2020) – 2020 IREM President-Elect Chip Watts, CPM®, IREM Past President Donald B. Wilkerson, CPM®, and Amy Hedgecock, CPM®, joined a group of NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) representatives, led by NAR President Vince Malta in a meeting with officials from President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday, September 15. The meeting was to address concerns over the September 1 executive action halting evictions through 2020. 

Leaders from IREM and NAR urged members from the National Economic Council and White House Office of Domestic Policy Council, about the need for a more sustainable long-term solution. An eviction moratorium, combined without an emergency rental assistance plan, places the stability of the entire rental housing sector in danger.

Chip Watts communicated to White House officials the “hesitancy on the part of some property owners to now put their properties into the rental market.” In addition, Watts stated, “the industry has already observed significant differences in interpretation by courts around the country.”

Amy Hedgecock informed White House representatives of small property owners who are struggling to pay upcoming taxes and make needed repairs. She also explained the long-term impact of bad credit reports for tenants, and future needs to increase rents and security deposits for future tenants to cover property owner losses.

The order, issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), halts evictions if the tenant provides the landlord with a document in writing which indicates the tenant: has used all efforts to obtain government assistance for rent; earns no more than $99,000 in income (or $198,000 if filing jointly); is unable to pay the full rent due to loss of income, loss of work, or extraordinary medical expenses; is making best efforts to make a timely payment; and, the eviction would render them homeless or require them to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.

Don Wilkerson reminded White House officials that housing relief funds, which were included in the CARES Act and other federal relief efforts, are mostly targeted to low-income families. However, the CDC order covers individual renters making up to $99,000 a year or $198,000 jointly.

“IREM will continue to make the case to the White House, Congressional leaders, the CDC, and any other federal agency about the need to pass a robust emergency rental assistance plan,” says Chip Watts, CPM®, CCIM, and President of Watts Realty Co, AMO® in Birmingham, AL. “Not only does the housing industry need a plan that provides the necessary and essential help to housing providers, one needs to be created that provides funds directly to property owners to ensure financial obligations are being met.”

IREM is committed to ensuring Americans have a safe, secure place to call home. IREM will continue to work with NAR and our other coalition partners to ensure essential relief is provided to help the housing sector maintain housing availability and security for the millions of Americans that we serve.

About IREM

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