NMHC Annual Meeting in San Diego was a refreshing few days to be able to see familiar faces and for a few of us from Rent Dynamics to get back into the national conference scene again. We found that many of the topics that came up at the conference were related to the economic impact from the pandemic and where we go from here.
Here are some of the key topics we heard at the NMHC Annual Meeting last week:
1.) Record construction cost: It is no surprise that owners and developers have felt (and are still feeling) the challenges of building during a pandemic. Materials alone have skyrocketed, and coupled with labor shortages, construction delays have been significant and felt by most developers.
According to the 7th edition of the NMHC COVID-19 Construction Survey, 83% of multifamily developers reported construction delays where they build, with 80% continuing to report delayed construction over one year since the start of the pandemic.
Reasons cited for delays include permitting and professional services, but also economic uncertainty and economic feasibility.
Survey respondents reported a 201% price increase in lumber costs. Construction companies have been forced to delay projects before they’ve even started. Others have said that they plan on making adjustments in order to save on pricing by switching to more cost effective materials or fixtures.
You can see further details on this and findings on the NMHC survey in this article from Globest.com.
2.) Housing stability:
NMHC helped to secure a $50 billion federal Emergency Rental Assistance fund for residents and housing providers. While the eviction moratorium was necessary it “was never the right policy”, according to panelists during the NMHC opening general session.
Rental assistance during times of economic hardship helps to maintain stability within apartment housing.
Of course, there are restrictions on where the funds are allocated – as only certain levels of income are eligible, and it is meant for those who are experiencing economic distress. Those who plan on taking advantage of the emergency rental assistance program will need to prepare to go through the necessary steps to receive assistance. As this is a federal plan, companies should expect to fill out paperwork and go through the correct channels to obtain assistance.
The good news is that there are several different funds that people can qualify for across the country. Many could qualify for multiple programs of relief. The bad news is that the people will have to go through each of these programs individually. There is no one stop shop to get approved for all of these funds.
While it is understandable that people are trying to recuperate their losses, there is plenty of time to receive payment from this fund.
3.) Economic inclusion:
Creating a strong community of those willing to help improve economic inclusion is vital to the overall growth. “We believe that impact and equity go hand in hand and that drive results in the long term.” Sheri Thompson at Walker & Dunlop commented on impact and equity.
“It takes a true collection of significant efforts,” said Stephanie Williams from Bozzuto when asked of the importance of economic inclusion. Rent Dynamics is committed to this cause, and doing our part to make a positive impact in the community and towards economic inclusion.
Rent Dynamics offers RentPlus rent reporting for residents, as one avenue that companies can prioritize socially responsible initiatives and put their residents on the path to financial freedom. RentPlus has been committed to socially responsible initiatives and will continue to help our partners and clients in their own commitments to ESG (Environmental Social, and Governance).
These topics are sure to stay top of mind for many owners and developers who are still facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
We look forward to seeing more of our partners, clients, and friends out at the conference scene this year!
Let us know if you have questions about how you can introduce socially responsible initiatives at your communities – we’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org