The National Apartment Association (NAA) has tirelessly advocated on behalf of the apartment industry and our members as the nation grapples with COVID-19. On March 13, NAA sent a letter to Congress that expressed our strong opposition to any broad-based moratorium on evictions. Additionally, we emphasized the essential role of property management and housing construction personnel and reiterated the need to be classified as critical sectors of the workforce that should continue to operate during emergency declarations.
The letter also urged a number of critical actions, including:
- Mortgage and financial forbearance for housing providers.
- Temporary financial assistance to help renters meet monetary obligations and avoid delinquencies or eviction.
- Relief for student housing providers.
- Reduction of payroll taxes to provide extra funds for impacted taxpayers.
- Exclusion of unemployment income from taxes for those affected by COVID-19.
- Reduction of 2020 quarterly estimated tax payments for taxpayers who own real estate partnerships or corporations.
- Carryback of 2020-generated net operating losses for three years.
- A wage credit for employers who continue to pay employees impacted by COVID-19.
As our letter circulated Capitol Hill, NAA staff communicated our priorities and the urgent needs of the apartment industry directly to Congressional offices. We also joined coalitions of like-minded organizations to raise the profile of items beyond our core priorities, including:
- Joined a coalition of small business organizations to press for tax code changes that would, among other things, allow firms to carryback losses from this crisis backward to reclaim taxes they previously paid and help them weather the economic storm.
- Worked with real estate organizations to advocate for an extension of completion deadlines for those have 1031 “like-kind exchanges” in progress to preserve liquidity in the real estate market.
- Collaborated with a broad group of real estate, insurance and business organizations to urge for the creation of a Business Continuity and Workers’ Protection Recovery Fund patterned after the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.
These are just a few examples of how NAA amplified our Congressional outreach through coalitions and other partnerships.
NAA also deployed our most important advocacy resource – you, the membership.
NAA issued a call to action asking owners and operators to contact their members of Congress and make the case for the apartment industry’s priorities. 13,000 heeded the call and made the voice of the apartment industry heard. Dozens of state and local affiliated-apartment associations and member companies around the country also harnessed the power of their members to rapidly deploy the alert through their own networks. Several Congressional key contacts also reached out to targeted members of Congress directly to make our case.
As the impacts on our businesses continue to evolve, we will need all 82,000 NAA members speaking to Congress with one loud and clear voice. Moreover, the entire grassroots network of the apartment industry and our real estate partners must mobilize to ensure appropriate actions are taken to mitigate risks and additional relief for housing providers is secured.
For more information on our industry advocacy efforts, or to get involved, visit the Advocacy Section of the NAA website here: https://www.naahq.org/