providers benefit greatly from their hard work. As an NAA member of their local affiliate, the Maryland Multi-housing Association (MMHA), I inquired to learn what their members are reporting. When HUD PD&R measured the national delinquency levels in 2017, they ranged 5-10 percent. The pandemic rock- eted that range to 10-20 percent depending on the class of property, according to the MMHA monthly survey of roughly 100,000 units participating be- tween March and September. (This surveyed largely the Baltimore metro area). Class-C property delinquencies are greater, which is not surprising; however, the magnitude of the difference is telling. They are roughly twice as high again, or quadruple the normal average, and an increasing percentage of those renters now owe multiple months of rent. An apartment complex has

the benefit of absorbing cash-flow reductions across multiple units that are still paying rent. The In- dependent provider of one or two units does not have that oppor- tunity – and most of them are in the Class-B or Class-C property category. (See top right graphic) According to the newly released 2018 Rental Housing Finance Sur- vey, 60 to 70 percent of available units, accounting for 29-34 million housing units on the market, are owned by independent investors; the majority own fewer than two units. Many place their ownership in an LLP, LP, LLC, or trust. (See graphic right) This is significantly more than the conventional belief that half of all rental housing units are owned by small landlords. According to Pew Research, COVID-19 job and wage losses disproportionately affect those who rent low-cost market rate units, totaling half of lower-income Americans. These findings are consistent with the internal MMHA survey.

28 | think realty magazine :: november 2020

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