Landlords also feeling strain as unemployment rises

Local News

For many, rent and mortgages are due starting this week.

This comes at a time when millions of people in the United States are out of work.

For that reason, paying rent can be a challenge for several, and as a result, those difficulties continue on to landlords as well.

According to David Skinner, a local landlord, the effects can already be felt.

“At the end of the day, we’re all going to lose a little money on this.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic started growing, he got in touch with his renters.

“Early on when we saw this coming, we sent a note out to all of our tenants saying how are you doing, hope you’re ok with all this virus going around. And from the responses that we got, I was able to identify five at risk tenants.”

Those tenants lost their jobs due to COVID-19 layoffs.

Skinner says that even though he is trying to work with tenants, he still has his own payments to make.

“We’re not expecting to collect all of it from everyone. We’re trying because our mortgages are still due. No bank has agreed to delay our mortgage payments.”

At this point, Skinner says he can last for one month, but not much longer.

“We’re anticipating there will be more that won’t be able to pay. And it may get to the point where we’re upside down on our payments.”

And Skinner says that will eventually lead to an uncomfortable situation.

“We’ll be there with our hands out. We have to. Its our business.”

For renters finding themselves struggling to pay rent, there are some resources available.

According to Major Scott Shelbourne of the QC Salvation Army, they may be able to offer help.

“We always have what we call our homeless prevention dollars, which helps people with rent and utility payments. But that’s also been extended from a grant from the community foundation. So we have a little extra money right now to help people through those situations.”

Other resources include United Way and the Supplemental Emergency Assistance Program – or SEAP.

Major Shelbourne also says that in times like this, people are never alone.

“We can depend on eachother to help eachother to get through these situations. Even though there’s a lot of pressure and a lot of burden right now, eventually we’re going to get through this and be better in the end.”

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