MidwestMultifamily Is new survey a sign that multifamily market might soon face greater COVID-19 challenges? Dan Rafter June 18, 2020 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via email The multifamily market has remained surprisingly strong during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most tenants still paying their monthly rents on time. A new survey of renters, though, suggests that despite this early success the apartment market still faces challenges. The big challenge? The high unemployment rate caused by the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders levied by states to control the spread of the coronavirus. A growing number of renters participating in a new survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and BAI say they are worried about paying their bills once the government’s enhanced unemployment benefits end. These benefits are set to expire on July 31. According to the May survey, renters are more likely than homeowners to say they have financial worries. The survey found that 76 percent of renters say they are worried about their finances while 61 percent of homeowners say the same thing. The most common financial fear? A total of 18 percent of renters say they don’t have enough money saved to cover a surprise emergency. “The road to recovery continues to pose significant challenges for millions of families,” said Rebecca Steele, president and chief executive officer of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Our survey results send a clear message that more needs to be done to address the financial concerns and struggles among the population of renters, especially as Americans work to regain financial stability.” Debt management is also a worry of renters. The survey found that 55 percent of respondents are struggling to reduce their debts, something that could make it more challenging for them to pay their monthly rents on time. The biggest hurdle to cutting down debt? A total of 22 percent of respondents pointed to a drop in their income since March, when stay-at-home orders were first enacted and states started shutting down businesses. According to the survey, 63 percent of renters say at least one factor is making it more difficult for them to minimize their debt. A total of 52 percent of homeowners said the same thing. Renters are also more likely to cite job loss as a reason why they can’t reduce their debt, with 21 percent pointing to this factor as opposed to just 10 percent of homeowners.