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Coronavirus advocacy initiatives

The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on the business of property managers, owners, and management companies. To help mitigate some of the effects on our members and their businesses, IREM, along with other industry organizations, have been advocating for support and relief for the real estate industry. See below for IREM’s advocacy initiatives relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.

America’s Recovery Fund

IREM is a part of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, which is advocating for federal grants to help businesses cover some of their operational expenses. America’s Recovery Fund provides funding to help America’s businesses to retain and rehire staff, pay rent, adapt to new requirements, meet certain debt obligations, and pay state and local taxes. The fund will include strict federal oversight and anti-abuse mechanisms. It will be a vital lifeline to businesses, communities, workers, and state and local governments that rely on their success to support local economies.

What is the recovery fund and why is it critical to getting back to work? Take a look at this infographic to learn more.

IREM & NAA Survey Results

NAA and IREM, in partnership with CEL & Associates, Inc., are conducting a brief monthly survey of apartment owners and operators to collect data on the impact of COVID-19 to the rental housing industry. Full results are available here and highlights from the April survey can be seen in the infographic below:

Covid19 Survey Infographic

Call to Action

IREM is participating in a Call to Action as part of a broad coalition of real estate providers representing the entire industry to ask for additional relief for the real estate industry.  Additional relief measures are needed to address remaining concerns.

  • Creating an emergency rental assistance program for those who are impacted by the pandemic
  • Further guidance on the CARES Act eviction moratorium to safeguard owners’ ability to manage their properties
  • Increased access to mortgage forbearance and ensuring fairness and flexibility
  • Provide financial assistance for property-level financial obligations such as property taxes or insurance payments and extend credit to multifamily mortgage servicers
  • Expand the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program to include all multifamily businesses

We encourage all to reach out to their legislators to advocate for additional relief.

Contact your Members of Congress

Federal guidelines for reopening America

Yesterday, the White House announced guidelines for states and counties to reopen businesses in phases based on various health and testing criteria. The new guidelines, formally known as Opening Up America Again, allow governors some discretion to decide how to restart state economies amid growing fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak. President Trump acknowledged the continued risk posed by COVID-19 and said Americans should continue to practice pronounced hygiene practices, including social distancing and teleworking.

The President expressed optimism that as many as 29 states could be ready to open their economies in the coming weeks, though he declined to provide specifics. The White House guidelines say states should move to the first phase of reopening after exhibiting a downward trend of documented cases or positive tests over a two-week period.

Opening Up American Again

Paycheck Protection Program and Financial FAQs

Bank regulators have also adopted many new policies in light of needs COVID-19. The National Association of REALTORS® has compiled these provisions and actions that are designed to address homebuying, homeowner/landlord, and personal finance issues.

For those applying to the Paycheck Protection Program, the U.S. Department of Treasury has added the following resources to its Paycheck Protection Program website:

  • New Lender Application Form (Federally Insured Depository Institutions, Federally Insured Credit Unions, Farm Credit System Institutions)
  • Interim Final Rule
  • Interim Final Rule on Affiliation
  • Applicable Affiliation Rules
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Find an eligible lender

CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, creating $2 trillion in aid for businesses and individuals. Congressional leadership has signaled that an additional relief package could be ready before legislators return to Capitol Hill.

We would like to thank the National Association of REALTORS® and the Real Estate Roundtable for their contributions to these summaries of the primary CARES Act provisions impacting the commercial real estate and property management industries.

Advocacy letters

IREM has signed onto letters to Congress and other government agencies advocating for relief for the real estate industry and 501c6 organizations. You can view the letters IREM has signed onto below:

Extension for 1031s & Opportunity Zone Funds

Great news for our IREM members! The IRS Treasury and IRS extended deadlines applicable to 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity fund investments that are already underway.

IREM signed onto letters requesting an extension 1031 like-kind exchanges and opportunity fund investments. IREM and our coalition partners advocated how these programs are designed to promote economic growth in communities, and investors in these programs should not be harmed due to the effects of COVID-19.

Specifically, if an investor who sold a capital asset planned to roll over the gain into an opportunity fund and the 180-day deadline falls between April 1 and July 15, 2020 can make the investment on July 15 regardless of the 180-day deadline.

Last month, the IRS announced that taxpayers generally have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15. No late-filing penalty, late-payment penalty or interest will be due.

The latest notice expands this relief to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers qualify for the extra time. This means that anyone, including Americans who live and work abroad, can now wait until July 15 to file their 2019 federal income tax return and pay any tax due.

From the Front Lines

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance

To support multifamily property owners during this national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19.

Forbearance is available to all multifamily properties with a Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac-backed performing multifamily mortgage that has been negatively affected by the coronavirus national emergency.

Mortgage Help for Homebuyers Impacted by COVID-19

Other coronavirus advocacy resources

California Pandemic Roadmap
CARES Act Summary
COVID Map
COVID-19 Pending and Enacted State Legislative Report
COVID-19 Pending and Enacted Federal Legislative Report
FHFA Mortgage Forbearance
HUD COVID-19 Multifamily Guidance (Recording)
NAR FAQ for Housing Providers
NAR Flash Survey Results – April 5-6, 2020
NAR Guidance for Fair Housing Compliance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
NAR infographic on SBA loan types
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application
Small Business Administration CARES Act Flowchart
Small Business Administration – Paycheck Protection Program Report (approvals through 4/13/2020)
Small Business Assistance – U.S. Department of Treasury
Urban Institute – Avoiding a COVID-19 Disaster for Renters and the Housing Market
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
U.S. Chamber of Commerce State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance
U.S. Senate Small Business Committee FAQs

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