COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

Posted By: James Toy Lockdown ,

The Southwest Florida Apartment Association is committed to keeping members informed about issues that may affect you, your businesses, and your residents.

Regarding the current outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) your primary sources of information should be the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health, or your local health department.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is offering general, precautionary guidance from officials, along with common-sense guidelines for our industry. Therefore, we encourage you to review the information provided by the NAA here and here (PDF).

It is important to recognize that the Southwest Florida Apartment Association, the Florida Apartment Association, the National Apartment Association, local affiliates, and individual members are not healthcare professionals or providers and these resources are provided only as general information. Please refer to the above-mentioned healthcare agencies for specific guidance.

If you are involved in a COVID-19 case with a resident, please email communications@naahq.org and include COVID-19 in the subject line.  

FLORIDA HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND YOUR LOCAL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Florida Health Department:

Please contact your local Health Department for information regarding COVID-19 in your area:

EXECUTIVE ORDERS ISSUED BY GOVERNOR DESANTIS

The Florida Apartment Association has put together a list of all relevant executive orders issued by the governor regarding COVID-19. Many of these orders greatly impact the way our industry currently conducts business. FAA has also included resources to help you understand these orders and communicate them to your residents. For an explanation of all relevant orders, please click on the link below. 

Executive Orders 

Please note you will have to sign in to access this resource. 

REOPENING YOUR AMENITIES

As SWFAA members determine the best process for reopening amenities and common areas, there are several important factors to consider. Below is a list of best practices and additional background information from the CDC, NAA, the State of Florida, and your local government to assist SWFAA members in developing re-opening procedures.

Guidelines for Reopening Amenities

Please note you will have to sign in to access this resource. 

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOAN PROGRAM

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses in Florida suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

To access the press release letter and find out more, please click here

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Note: The SBA announced the following statement on April 16th, "SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding." This announcement also includes the Paycheck Protection Program. On April 24th, Congress replenished the EIDL program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

On May 15th, the SBA released their application and instructions for how PPP borrowers may see their loans forgiven.

Paycheck Protection Program LOAN FORGIVENESS FORM

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION

The Office of Multifamily Housing Programs has released a Q&A document to help multifamily industry stakeholders navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Multifamily Housing stakeholders include tenants; property managers, owners, and agents; lenders and their partners; residential service coordinators; contract administrators; and other participants in FHA Multifamily mortgage insurance and Office of Housing rental assistance programs.

Questions and Answers for Multifamily Housing Stakeholders

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RELIEF ACT (PHASE II)

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act was recently signed into law. Its purpose is to codify new rules that expand paid sick and family leave in response to the current pandemic. The US Department of Labor released a Q&A resource page dedicated to helping employees and employers navigate the new rules. Please click here to access this resource. 

CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES ACT, PHASE III)

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package containing a host of tax and economic provisions intended to help both businesses and individuals. FAA put together a summary of how this Act will affect the multfamily industry. To access this summary, please click on the link below. 

FAA's CARES ACT SUMMARY

Please take a look at this small business owner's guide put together by the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

LOCAL GOVERMENT ACTIVTY RELATED TO COVID-19

In an effort to help SWFAA members navigate the patchwork of regulations that are being enacted by local governments across the state, FAA has created a Local Government COVID-19 Reopening Policies Tracker spreadsheet for members. This spreadsheet will be updated as new local regulations are enacted.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT COVID-19 REOPENING POLICIES TRACKER

Note: This list is not all encompassing. It will be updated as new information becomes available. You will have to sign in to access this resource. 

Local Government Activity 

LOCAL AND STATE COURT ACTIVITY 

Federal Government Halts Evictions

On September 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) filed an order in the Federal Register to temporarily halt residential evictions through December 31, 2020, for renters who meet certain income and COVID-19 impact criteria. However, the order states that the federal moratorium, "does not apply in any state, local, territorial, or tribal area with a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the requirements listed in this order."

Click HERE to view the Florida Apartment Association's webinar, "Navigating the CDC Eviction Moratorium."

Governor Allows Eviction Restrictions to Expire

The Space Coast Apartment Association is pleased to report that Governor Ron DeSantis has allowed Florida's state-specific eviction restrictions to expire. Florida's limited eviction restrictions from Executive Order 20-180 (extended by EO 20-211) will expire at 12:01 a.m. on October 1, 2020. The governor's office stated that, "The State’s mortgage foreclosure and eviction relief was permitted to expire to avoid any confusion over whether the CDC’s evictions order should apply in a particular circumstance."

Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court issued Order No. AOSC20-23 Amendment 6, which outlines the court procedures during COVID-19. The state has reversed it's decision to prohibit the issuance of writs of possession. If there is not a federal or state eviciton moratorium in place, it will be up to the local courts to decide on eviction processes. 

Local Court Activity

Local courts across Southwest Florida have closed their courts for non-essential business or enacted eviction bans in response to COVID-19 concerns. At this time, the following entities have taken action to reduce evictions:

  • Collier County Sheriff's Office 
  • Collier County Courts 
  • Charlotte County Courts 
  • Charlotte County Sheriff's Office 
  • Glades County Courts
  • Hendry County Courts 
  • Lee County Courts 
  • Lee County Sheriff's Office 

Note: The courts are abiding by the state and federal eviction moratorium. This list will be updated once the moratoriums have ended and as new information becomes available. Many courts will still accept an eviction filing via their e-file system, however it may be placed on hold. Please refer to your local sheriff's office or court for additional information regarding eviction processes within their jurisdictions. 

RESIDENT RESOURCES

FAA has provided a list of resources that may assist renters that are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.  This list includes national non-profits, local government programs, and other various local assistance programs. 

Resident Resources during covid-19

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

List of NAA Resources

NMHC RENT PAYMENT TRACKER