Rent collections in both affordable and public housing rose significantly in March, reports proptech firm MRI Software.

Payments from tenants in affordable units reached 91% of March 2020, while those from tenants in public housing exceeded the prior year mark, hitting 105%. Comparable levels have not been achieved since June, suggesting a positive impact from the recent round of stimulus payments, according to MRI Software.

valiantsin/Adobe Stock

MRI’s new report on the impact of COVID-19 compiles data from more than 1.5 million affordable and public housing units throughout the U.S. between March 2020 and March 2021. Analysis comprises both year-over-year and month-over-month comparisons.

The firm also reported that in the affordable housing sector the gap between move-in and move-out volumes (the former outpaces the latter) is starting to close, indicating a return to normalcy. The public sector, in contrast, shows only incremental gains in occupancy.

“It seems safe to assume that tenants of affordable and public housing applied recent stimulus payments toward March rent,” says Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI Software. “Rent continues to be a priority, despite eviction moratoriums.

“But we’re seeing also longer-term signs of recovery along with the short-term boost, at least in the affordable sector,” he adds. “Gains in the job market and the pace of the vaccine rollout are prompting movement of occupants. For the multifamily industry, that means we’re a step closer to equilibrium.”