News August 17, 2020

Rent Collections Dropped in Affordable Housing and Rebounded in Public Housing in July

Latest Report from MRI Software Tracks Effects of COVID-19 on Affordable and Public Housing Throughout the U.S.

Solon, Ohio – August 17, 2020 – July rent collection in affordable housing reached a new low for 2020 at 76% of July 2019’s rates, while public housing saw a rebound from 78% of 2019’s rates in June to 98% in July. Those are the latest findings from Proptech firm MRI Software (“MRI”), which compared data from more than 1.5 million affordable and public housing units throughout the U.S. in January-July 2020 and January-July 2019.

The results indicate growing challenges for tenants of affordable housing. For comparison, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker showed only a 2.1-percentage point decrease between rates of rent collections for professionally managed units in late July 2019 and late July 2020. The Tracker compiles data from 11.1 million such units across the country.

“It’s clear that tenants of affordable and public housing are more vulnerable than those in market-rate units at this point in time,” says Brian Zrimsek, Industry Principal, MRI Software. “As the pandemic-driven recession continues, the mixed results we’ve seen over the past two months further underscore the fragile situation of many affordable and public housing tenants.”

Other notable findings of MRI’s report include:

  • Tenants in both affordable and public housing are generally staying in place. Applications, move-out certifications, and new admission certifications are far below those of 2019 and trending downward. In contrast, applications and move-outs are rising at market-rate units.
  • Work order volumes for affordable and public housing are increasing. Although the volumes haven’t reached 2019 levels, the increases suggest a return to normal operations.

Zrimsek notes that MRI will continue to track trends throughout the pandemic. “The next few weeks will be telling, especially if there is a sustained drop in unemployment assistance,” he concludes.

The full MRI Software Market Insights report on affordable and public housing through July 2020 can be downloaded here.

About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of innovative real estate software applications and hosted solutions. MRI’s comprehensive and flexible technology platform coupled with an open and connected ecosystem meets the unique needs of real estate businesses – from property-level management and accounting to investment modelling and analytics for the global commercial and residential markets. A pioneer of the real estate software industry, MRI develops lasting client relationships based on nearly five decades of expertise and insight. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives organizations the freedom to transform the way communities live, work and play while elevating their business and gaining a competitive edge. For more information, please visit


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