Affordable housing developer and operator Community HousingWorks has remained stable with above-market rent collections throughout the pandemic, but noticed a notable increase in rent delinquencies in August and September, when the additional unemployment benefits under the CARES Act expired.

"Many affordable housing providers were seeing 11% of residents that either couldn't pay rent or were behind on rent. At CHW, we have done a little better. As of September 5% of residents were not paying full rent. We expected a deterioration in rent collections, and that has occurred but not nearly as much as we collectively would have thought," Sean Spear, the newly named CEO at Community HousingWorks in California.

The pandemic has severely impacted service-driven industries, which employ many residents of affordable housing properties. As a result, the housing segment has been the hardest hit early in the recession, compared to market-rate product. "This is an evolving issue," says Spear. "Everyone's assumption was that our communities would be particularly affected by this situation. Residents have had a hard time meeting their rent or getting behind in rent at a dramatic scale and they are facing higher potential evictions. That being said, we have been surprised that many of our residents were staying up to date on rent."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.