The following is a letter from Robert Pinnegar, CAE, President and CEO of National Apartment Association | July 15, 2021
The National Apartment Association (NAA) will soon file a lawsuit against the federal government seeking compensation for business losses suffered under the unlawful U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium. The CDC’s protracted moratorium is financially damaging rental housing providers and violating rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and NAA is fighting head-on to ensure our members and the entire rental housing industry are made whole and that similar “emergency measures” cannot be enacted again.
Rental housing providers who are subject to and have suffered damages under the CDC order can join NAA as plaintiffs to recover losses. We recognize that participation is an important business decision, but also realize that our success depends on engagement by housing providers to demonstrate the breadth of losses to the rental housing industry. We are confident that the CDC will be found to have acted illegally based upon court rulings to date, and potential damages will be assessed based on the losses suffered by individual companies. Additional information can be found here.
Since the onset of the pandemic, NAA has aggressively advocated to protect the interests of the rental housing industry. We have called out the dangers and short-sightedness of eviction moratoria and asked for its sunset to both the 116th and 117th Congresses, in meetings with both the recent and current White House administrations and across all levels of media. NAA was among the first to take legal action challenging the CDC’s authority last September by joining the National Civil Liberties Alliance lawsuit. This imminent litigation will be the first and only lawsuit seeking financial compensation for the industry. With the meter on rent debt still running, political will waning and Congress moving past COVID relief measures, we are putting up the greatest fight yet and asking the courts for two things: Fair compensation for damages suffered under the unlawful CDC order and an assurance that the federal government can never do this again.
The COVID-19 pandemic was devastating, and if we do not act, the housing affordability crisis may grow into a catastrophe where the government could invoke more “emergency” remedies. NAA is proud to take action for our members and work to stabilize the industry. The rental housing industry cannot be held solely responsible for an unfunded rent debt while the federal government trades one crisis for another. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact NAA’s General Counsel John McDermott.
Stay safe and well,
Robert Pinnegar, CAE
President and CEO
National Apartment Association