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The impact of COVID-19 has been immediate and severe, on low-income residents and people of modest economic means and the mission-driven groups that develop and operate the housing for this population, and it will get worse. Many tenants face job and income loss that will prevent them from paying rent, buying food and accessing health care. Additionally, the needs of families, seniors with acute health issues, people with disabilities and at-risk populations require significant services, and those needs are even greater during this challenging time. While the economic impacts in federally assisted properties can be mitigated by increasing existing federal assistance, the majority of tenants in LIHTC financed developments and in naturally occurring affordable housing are unassisted and bear the full share of rental payments. Since many of these residents have service or hourly jobs that can’t be performed remotely, the loss of income for tenants and owners is immediate and dramatic. Many of these properties will experience a 50% or more reduction in revenue, making them unable to service mortgages, fund operations and provide resident services, let alone pay for the increased costs for cleaning, sanitizing and securing properties when residents are quarantined and/or are at extremely high risk.
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