Preserving Small Rental Buildings during the COVID-19 Crisis

Brief

Preserving Small Rental Buildings during the COVID-19 Crisis

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected renters who live in small rental properties (2-49 units) and owners of these units. In this brief, we explore policies and programs that could preserve this type of stock, which is an important source of low- to moderate-cost rental housing. At the federal level, the Small Building Risk Sharing program, the First Look program, and a stabilization acquisition emergency fund could be implemented or expanded to provide flexible financing to small rental building owners. State and local preservation programs, that have been successful in at least one geography, include private-public partnerships to buy unsubsidized housing and keep it affordable, forgivable or low-interest rehabilitation loans, and right of first refusal. With additional funding, these types of programs could be expanded to preserve affordable supply and to complement federal policies. 

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