In an effort to gauge the payment of rents nationally during the COVID-19 crisis, the National Multifamily Housing Council launched a tool—the NMHC Rent Payment Tracker—to provide insight into the housing market during these times.

The NMHC reported this week that 89% of apartment households in the country made a full or partial payment by mid-June. The housing council said it surveyed 11.4 million units of apartments in the country.

The 89% number is similar to the percentage of apartment dwellers who paid rent through June 13, 2019 and similar to those that had paid by May 13. The NMHC reports that there was a 0.1% point increase from the previous year and that the percentage rate for those paying through May 13 was at 87.7%.

Doug Bibby, NMHC president, said the rent numbers were good news.

“Once again, it appears that residents of professionally managed apartments were able to largely pay their rent,” Bibby said in a statement. “However, there is a growing realization that renters outside of this universe are experiencing profound hardships as the nation continues to grapple with historic unemployment and economic dislocation.”

Bibby continued: “In the midst of a pandemic and a recession, it is critical that those on the front lines are safely and securely housed. Accordingly, we urge lawmakers to take swift action to create a Rental Assistance Fund and extend unemployment benefits so we can avoid future eviction-related problems and don’t undermine the initial recovery.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for May stood at 13.3%.

The NMHC, which was founded in 1978 and is based in Washington, D.C., reports that the apartment industry is a “trillion dollar industry that provides housing to 39 million Americans.”

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