There’s a lot of information out there about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and it can feel overwhelming. News regarding the Coronavirus (or “COVID-19”) in the United States has spurred many questions within the affordable housing industry about steps that owner/agents can take to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Although the risk of infection and serious illness for Americans remains low, all agencies are working aggressively to monitor this evolving situation.
We are committed to supporting our customers’ efforts to manage their properties as the nation reacts to guidance provided by various federal and local agencies.
Conditions continue to evolve quickly so maintaining current, accurate information is essential.
In addition to the general information from CDC, HUD will periodically update its published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to support industry partners as they consider the needs within their communities. Visit HUD’s web site for the latest update on PIH’s FAQs and Multifamily Housing FAQs.
We strongly recommend that you proactively communicate with your residents and let them know what is going on.
- You may want to post information about steps to take to help avoid infection including cancelling or limiting group meetings.
- In order to help slow the spread of the virus, we recommend that you implement national guidelines, published and updated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit non-essential person-to-person interactions.
- Monitor any HUD guidance available on HUD’s Coronavirus web site at https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus
- Communicate about the availability of onsite staff.
- Limit mandatory resident meetings and/or meet with residents by appointment only.
- Advise residents that they should provide you with updated emergency contact information.
- If a resident plans to be away for an extended period of time, ask the resident to notify you.
- Temporarily revise policies in regards to annual and interim recertifications.
- Consider alternatives like phone interviews, electronic resident portals and submitting unsigned certifications using the Extenuating Circumstances Codes.
- Discuss any changes to your approach to work order requests. Will you limit regularly scheduled maintenance? While doing everything to ensure the health of your residents, keep in mind that you and they have a responsibility to maintain units in a decent, safe and sanitary manner. Residents should not fail to report issues because they fear allowing maintenance staff to enter the units. Residents are also required, based on the lease, to allow entry to the units. Unfortunately, serious issues (e.g. water leaks, parasitic infestations, electrical issues) must be addressed.
- Determine when third party contractors will be on site.
- Keep up to date and provide information about local resources available to assist residents who need help.
Check your local city and county websites for daily updates.
Thanks to all the site and corporate staff and other property management professionals and industry stakeholders working hard to make sure our residents continue to have a safe place to live.
Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly evolving situation, recommendations regarding Coronavirus are being updated regularly. The information in this message may become outdated, so we advise you to always consult with the CDC and your local health department for the most up-to-date information