The coronavirus pandemic is taking a financial toll on families across the nation, but especially in New Orleans, a city where so many of us work in entertainment and hospitality, and where we are accustomed to a family-oriented festival culture. During this time, we’re all sacrificing in different ways for the sake of our community’s health.
Landlords who rent to families that have lost income are understandably concerned about their own loss of rental income during this time. While looking for ways to recoup missed rental payments, there are a couple of things you can do to help your tenants stay safe and have access to the things they need to stay housed and thrive in the future.
We understand that a lot of landlords are not in a financial state that makes it easy for you to lose rental income. Property owners should seek relief from their mortgage providers if their tenants are unable to pay. It will be helpful for everyone involved for landlords to wait until we know more about when people can get back to work before asking tenants to sign payment agreements. Read more information about mortgage relief options for landlords.
Landlords can provide an adequate location for tenants to receive packages. As shelter in place orders continue, we are increasingly turning to delivery services for our basic needs like groceries and cleaning supplies. The easier it is for residents to receive these resources at home, the easier it will be for us to stay home and continue flattening the curve.
Additionally, landlords should ensure their tenants have access to a mailbox at their residence, especially as stimulus checks arrive and the federal census is rolling out their decennial survey. It’s particularly important that renters get counted in the census at their home. The census count is used to determine where federal resources are spent, so we need to be counted at our home address to ensure our communities get their fair share of rental assistance, healthcare services, food programs, childcare, and other federal programs that our families depend on to thrive. Read more about how the census will affect our COVID-19 recovery.
Furthermore, landlords should understand that we may need to use our stimulus checks for other necessities besides rent. There are many of us who are ineligible for unemployment insurance, so the stimulus check may be our only source of income for a while, making it imperative that we secure groceries, medicine, and other basic needs during this time.
With your help, we’ll all be able to get through this pandemic together, and hopefully emerge more housing stable than before.