NAA RESPONDS TO CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM
As you know, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the direction of the President, filed an order in the Federal Register yesterday to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. National Apartment Association (NAA) members should prepare for the order to go into effect this Friday, September 4. It will bar evictions of renters in residential housing until December 31, 2020. Here is what you need to know about the order.
DIRECT LINK TO STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WEBSITES FOR UPDATES
Indiana Health Department: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/
Kentucky Health Department: https://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Ohio Health Department: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/media-center/ODH-News-Releases/COVID-19-ODH-Call-center
National Multifamily Housing Council Coronavirus Hub: www.nmhc.org/research-insight/Research-Insight-Knowledge-Library/covid-19-hub/
PRESIDENT ENACTS EXECUTIVE ORDER REGARDING EVICTIONS
The President has enacted a new Executive Order that is broad and general regarding both evictions and rental assistance. In an interesting twist this places The Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of CDC in authority over eviction viability. This is unexpected.
The requests for the HUD Secretary Carson to seek solutions makes sense...and is consistent. Subjecting all evictions to the Health Secretary and CDC Dir., could be very problematic or a non-issue. Hard to tell until they share their plans.
See full story here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-fighting-spread-covid-19-providing-assistance-renters-homeowners/
GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING AMERICA
Yesterday the President hosted a call with the nation’s governors, discussing a framework for reopening America. Following that, during the evening’s press conference, the President and his Task Force unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.
Other resources from the press conference include a fact sheet and for your convenience, attached to this email are the slides used in today’s briefing outlining the guidelines.
Click here to download the presentation slides.
THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S GUIDE TO CARES ACT
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. Click here to see more details. Act now to file for SBA disaster relief grants and loans as there are limited funds, and a limited number of applications will be accepted by SBA.
UPDATED SBA PHASE III OR CARES ACT
The following three documents provide insight into the new Small Business Administration program that was passed today, referred to as the Phase III legislation or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Payment Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness is one of the KEY sections of the law allocated over $350 Billion. There is a 1 pages descriptor of the program (& 2 other programs), and a 2 page FAQ, as well as a third 7-pg document that details Title 1 of the bill, that is the SBA programs. Banks and Credit Unions may not have material to start these loans until next week sometime, however they are typically set up to address Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants.
Property owners: if you are in a situation where you are not receiving rent - please consider applying for these programs ASAP! The funds will not last long, especially with forgiveness for payroll and contractor bills.
SMALLL BUSINESS LOANS ("PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOANS") THROUGH CARES ACT
Application Businesses: businesses with fewer than 500 employees — including sole proprietors and nonprofits.
Access: $350 billion in loans under Section 7 of the Small Business Act during the “covered period,” which runs from February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
Guarantee: fully guaranteed by the federal government through December 31, 2020 (returning to an 85% guarantee for loans greater than $150,000 after that date),
Loan Amount Eligible:
LESSERof the following:
“Payroll Costs”equal the sum of the following:
“Payroll Costs”are NOT the following:
Allowable Uses of Loan: proceeds may be used to cover payroll, mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and any other debt service requirements.
Loan Forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Loans
· mortgage interest,
· certain utility payments.
How to Get Forgiveness:
Reducing Forgiveness Amount: However, the amount that may be forgiven if the employer either:
Provided, however, this reduction can be avoided, however, if the employer rehires or increases the employee’s pay within an allotted time period.
UPDATES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE
Earlier this week, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson was added to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. All federal agencies are working aggressively on a multi-layered, cross-agency public health response to this evolving situation.
While the risk of infections for Americans remains low, we are encouraging Multifamily owners and agents, and Public Housing Authorities, to make the information below available to residents. We further encourage Multifamily owners, agents, Performance Based Contract Administrators, FHA lenders, and all stakeholders to make this same information available to their employees:
Stakeholders are reminded to ensure that their responses remain faithful to obligations under the Constitution, Fair Housing Act and related regulations. Exigencies associated with important and timely response to issues surrounding COVID-19 are not the basis for unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.
Everyone has been asking questions recently like, “Am I in an essential business?” and of course, “Am I an essential employee?” Well for those involved in Housing, the answer is YES! Think back to college and the discussion of Maslow’s Hierarchy. At the very base, the beginning of needs, is food and shelter. So to all those providing housing, YOU ARE ESSENTIAL. What is often overlooked, is that those providing products and services to housing are also essential! Apartment Association members, welcome to front and center of the priority list with food and medical.
How do we know? Please review Governor DeWine’s Stay-At-Home-Order from March 22nd. Item 9 “Essential Infrastructure” the terms “building management and maintenance” are used to reference the need for ALL buildings to be maintained. Yes, commercial and residential. The consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic. Additionally, under section 12 K “Critical Trades” copied below, commercial property and residential operations and maintenance are exempted specifically.
“Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and government properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities and Essential Businesses and Operations.”
I am told this is consistent with Federal guidelines around emergency operations. Through all of this, please keep in mind, with the Governor’s Order specifically, to the extent feasible, utilize social distancing precautions. This may mean limited hours, appointments rather than walk-ins, and emergency focus on maintenance repairs. But they are to continue. Be safe, and try to follow the spirit of the law as much as the letter of the law. The Governor knows that human interaction is not always possible at 6’ distances, but the goal is to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
Please allow tele-work as much as possible and minimize travel to that which is necessary – understanding that maintaining our responsibilities to our residents is essential. You are essential.
Thank you for what you do!
Be safe out there and take care.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN "ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE" AND ESSENTIAL "BUSINESSES AND SERVICES?"
The Department of Homeland Security, which provides guidance on the "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” has developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” Click here to learn more and view the list.
ADVISORY MEMO ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
As the nation comes together to slow the spread of Covid-19, on March 16, the president issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce. Click here to see the memo and please note the top of page 15 for help in clarification on which services and employees are essential.
HUD ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL PROCEDURAL UPDATES DUE TO COVID-19
Updates to a Multifamily Q&A Document Provide Clarification during COVID-19 Outbreak
HUD provided an updated COVID-19 Q&A on March 24, 2020, which provided additional information regarding the following topics:
Updates to HUD Guidance on Recertifications Related to Collection of Signatures for TRACS Submissions
On March 24, 2020, HUD published guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on the Annual Recertifications and Interim Recertification related to the collection of signatures and TRACS submissions.
HUD provides that if a tenant is unable or unwilling to come into the office to sign an annual re-certification the owner/agent may submit the AR to the TRACS using one of the following three (3) extenuating circumstances codes:
1 = Medical (medical staff have quarantined the tenant)
2 = Late annual certification due to accommodation or extenuating circumstances
10 = Other
The owner/agent must obtain a signature from the tenant and submit a corrected certification to TRACS once the pandemic has passed.
REAC INSPECTIONS NOTICE
Until further notice, REAC is postponing all property inspections for all PIH and Multifamily properties. Where there is an exigent circumstance or reason to believe that there is a threat to life or property at a specific location, inspections will be conducted by HUD quality assurance inspectors in compliance with CDC guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact our Technical Assistance Center at 1-888-245-4860 or email at REAC_TAC@hud.gov.
FBI PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The FBI has reported a rise in fraud schemes related to Covid-19. See details here.
CyberSecurity Basics for Telework
FED CUTS RATES TO ZERO AS COVID-19 WEIGHS ON MARKETS
The Fed responded on Sunday to the deteriorating economic outlook and market disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.
FEDERAL TAX CREDIT GUIDANCE FOR PAID SICK AND FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE
This document, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, provides a technical explanation of Division G, “Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave,” of H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (the “bill”) as received in the Senate on March 17, 2020. Click here to see details.
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AGREE TO CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE PACKAGE WITH FUNDING FOR HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING
Click here for more details.
THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT: WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was approved by Congress and signed by President Trump. There are a number of provisions in the law that will directly impact many employers. Key portions of the bill are discussed below.
Expanded Leave Under the FMLA (for employers with fewer than 500 employees)
The FFCRA amends the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide for a new type of family leave related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It provides for 12 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a minor son or daughter if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to an emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority related to COVID-19.
Employees will become eligible for this leave after only 30 days of service – as opposed the 12 months for most FMLA leave. This portion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act applies to private sector employers with less than 500 employees, and to all public sector employers. The coronavirus FMLA leave will be two (2) weeks of unpaid leave with the potential for ten (10) subsequent weeks of leave paid at two-thirds of the employees regular pay (capped at $200/day). During the unpaid portion of the leave, employees are permitted to substitute available paid vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave for the unpaid leave.
Employers will be given tax credits for FMLA leave wages paid under this new provision. (See below)
Under the law, the Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to issue regulations to: (1) exclude health care providers and emergency responders from the benefits of this law; and (2) to exclude businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of this law when compliance with the law would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Importantly, the rest of the FMLA rules remain intact. For example, a person who has been employed between 30 days and 1 year is not eligible for unpaid FMLA leave for any other reason.
New Required Emergency Paid Sick Leave (all employers except private employers with more than 499 employees)
The FFCRA also requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick time to employees for certain reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the FMLA expansion, it applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees and to all public employers. Unlike the new type of FMLA leave, there is no length of service requirement. Rather, employees are eligible for paid sick leave immediately upon hire. Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time. Part-time employees are entitled to paid sick time in an amount equal to the average number of hours they work in a two-week period.
Under the law, paid sick time must be provided when an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
Employers are required to post a notice regarding these new paid sick time requirements in a conspicuous place in the workplace. Just like with the new FMLA leave, the DOL has the authority to issue regulations to: (1) exclude health care providers and emergency responders from the benefits of this law; (2) exclude businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of this law when compliance with the law would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern; and (3) carry out the purposes of this law.
Both the FMLA amendment and new paid sick time requirements will take effect 15 days after the enactment of the law. These provisions are temporary will expire at the end of 2020.
Health Insurance Expansion Related to Testing for COVID-19The law also impacts all group health plan sponsors. In particular, group health plans are required to provide coverage for testing for COVID-19 without cost sharing.
The law provides for the following:
This provision of the law is effective on March 18, 2020, but only for those tests and services performed on or after March 18, 2020.
The law provides for a refundable payroll tax credit for the employers subject to the expanded FMLA and required Emergency Paid Sick Leave discussed above. The tax credits will be applied against FICA taxes (Medicare and Social Security). The tax credit includes not only the required paid leave amounts, but also to a portion of the health plan cost allocable to the paid leave. This shifts some of the cost of the health plan coverage expansion to the federal government. However, this tax credit only applies to the employers that are required to provide the expanded FMLA and required emergency paid sick leave. Employers that voluntarily provide this type of benefit will not be eligible for the tax credit.
Details on this tax credit and how it will be allocated will be provided in future guidance issued by the Treasury Department.
WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON GETTING A SMALL BUSINESS LOAN?
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury from COVID-19. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that a business cannot pay due to COVID-19. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Apply for an EIDL at www.sba.gov/disaster. Due to website traffic, please exercise patience. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org