SEFAA’s Message Regarding COVID-19
Due to the continuation of COVID-19 (commonly known as Coronavirus), SEFAA felt it was important to address this topic directly with our members and provide them with the reassurance that we are taking every precaution to ensure their safety and health remains a top priority.
Our staff is actively monitoring the news and reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with assessing the potential impact on the multifamily housing industry. Please read below for important updates and resources.
Click here to view the guidelines
Click here to view the Events calendar
As SEFAA continues its efforts to request guidance specific to the operation of rental housing from our parent organizations, local affiliates, and health officials, please refer to the below list for best practices and valuable resources to review during this time.
Please note: The following resources and information are provided for general and informational purposes only. This information is subject to change. Please check back for updates.
It is important to recognize that SEFAA, its affiliates and individual members are not health care professionals. The CDC and other qualified health officials should continue to be the primary source of current information and guidance. SEFAA is offering general, precautionary guidance from officials, and also adding some common-sense guidelines for our industry in the interest of promoting a proper amount of caution at this time.
NEWS AND UPDATES
ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA
Effective Immediately: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-102, suspending all remaining local government mandates and restrictions based on the COVID‑19 State of Emergency.
Effective Immediately: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended its federal eviction moratorium order through June 30, 2021. The announcement included modifications, while the core elements of the order remain in effect. Click here to learn more.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), a $25 billion dollar grant program established by Congress in the December COVID-19 relief package.
- Effective Tuesday, November 3: Earlier this month, Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) removed the income limit restriction for rental assistance, which may result in local governments changing their application criteria for existing rent relief programs. Click here to find a list of rent relief programs in your municipality.
FHFC has created a Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Manual, which goes into more detail regarding CRF funds.
- Effective Friday, September 4: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order to temporarily halt certain residential evictions through the end of the year.
- On August 31, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-211, which extends the limited eviction protections established by Executive Order 20-180 through October 1, 2020.
- On July 29, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-180, which provides a limited extension of the original eviction moratorium that was issued in Executive Order 20-94. Executive Order 20-180 included important revisions, which will allow evictions, even cases for nonpayment of rent, to be filed and processed by the courts. Click Here for More Information
- Effective Immediately: Governor Desantis released Executive Order 20-159, extending the moratorium on evictions until August 1. Click here to View Executive Order 20-159
- Effective June 5, 2020, at 12:01 AM: Governor Desantis issued Executive Order 20-139, which allows Florida to enter Phase 2 Recovery and Reopening plan for all counties EXCEPT for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. For those counties to enter Phase 2, they are required to submit a plan for doing so, which must be approved by the state. This is consistent with the Phase 1 opening procedure.
Click Here to View Executive Order 20-139
- Effective Immediately: Governor Desantis released Executive Order 20-137, extending the moratorium on evictions until July 1.
- Effective Monday, May 18 at 12:01 AM: Executive Order 20-123: The Governor’s order moves the state into a “Full Phase 1” by expanding the list of businesses that may open to include gyms and professional sports venues, under certain conditions.
- Effective May 18 at 12:01 AM: Executive Order 20-122: This order authorizes Broward and Miami-Dade Counties to enter Phase 1 of reopening —known as the "Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida' s Recovery."
- State of Emergency Extension, Effective Immediately on May 8: Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 2020-114, extending Florida's state of emergency declaration an additional 60 days.
- Statewide Stay-at-Home Order, Effective Immediately on April 3:Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, requiring all persons in Florida to limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to essential services or activities only (as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security). The mandatory order will take effect on Friday, April 3 at 12:01 a.m. and is set to end on Thursday, April 30, unless extended by a subsequent order. NOTE: Municipalities may order more restrictive closures or measures, therefore it is important for people to closely review the policies and laws within their incorporated boundaries.
- Mortgage Foreclosure & Eviction Relief, Effective Immediately on April 2: Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-94, which provides targeted, temporary relief for certain mortgage foreclosures and evictions for 45 days. This suspends and tolls any statutory mortgage foreclosure and/or eviction cause of action for non-payment of rent for 45-days under Florida law. According to the order, people are still liable to make their mortgage payments and/or rent payments, as it does not relieve this obligation.
- Effective Immediately on March 26: The Department of Revenue for the State of Florida issued an Order of Emergency Waiver, which extends the payment deadline of property for citizens and businesses from March 31 to April 15.
- This official State Order details all specific deadlines and postponements at the state level: COVID-19 Emergency Procedures in the Florida State Courts
- Find all current court closures and restrictions on a national and state level: Coronavirus: The Latest Court Closures and Restrictions
- Curfews, Closures and More: South Florida Responds to Coronavirus: Read the latest closures, curfews and limits in place across counties in South Florida.
- Coronavirus Threatens Supply Chain for South Florida Construction Projects: Properties in construction or going into development may be delayed due to limited supplies.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
- The latest COVID-19 orders pertaining to Palm Beach County are available at pbcgov.com
- Palm County features links to the websites of its corresponding municipalities.
Effective Immediately: Palm Beach County is now accepting applications for Rental and Utility Assistance. Landlords have 14 days to register as a vendor with the county starting today (Wednesday, March 10).
Click Here to attend the training (Wednesday, March 10)
Click Here to learn more on the PBC Rental Assistance website.
Effective Immediately: Governor DeSantis has issued Executive Order 20-214, which allows Palm Beach County to move into Phase 2 of reopening. Following the Governor’s order, Palm Beach County has issued Emergency Order 20-24, which allows various businesses, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys and trampoline centers to open, in accordance with CDC guidelines. Palm Beach County has also released a reopening plan, which provides additional information and a timeline for further phased reopenings.
- Effective Thursday, June 25, at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order 2020-012
This order requires face coverings and applies to all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Palm Beach County. Facial coverings must be worn by all persons while obtaining any good or service or otherwise visiting or working in any business or establishment, including entering, exiting, and otherwise moving around within the establishment. Facial coverings must be worn by all persons in public places where social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines is not possible or being practice. Read the full order for specific guidance and exceptions. Click Here to view Emergency Order 2020-012
- Effective May 11, 2020 at 12:01 AM: Executive Order 20-120. This order authorizes Palm Beach County to enter Phase 1 of Florida’s re-opening. The order also allows the opening of barbershops, salons and nail salons, in all Phase 1 counties, including Palm Beach County, with certain restrictions. Click Here to view Executive Order 20-120
- Effective April 29, 2020 at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order Number 2020-005. The order outlines guidance to safely open parks and natural areas in a phased approach. Click Here to view Emergency Order 2020-005
- Effective April 13 at 12:01 AM: All persons working in, patronizing, or otherwise physically present in grocery
stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible should wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC. All other persons physically present in any public place in Palm Beach County are strongly urged to wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC.
- Effective March 30 at 12:01 AM: Individuals in Palm Beach County are strongly urged to stay home or at their place of residence, other than for the following critical activities in the Safer at Home policy.
- The latest COVID-19 orders pertaining to Broward County are available at broward.org
- Broward County also tracks emergency orders and declarations pertaining to multiple municipalities
Effective Friday, July 10 at 12:01 AM: Broward County has issued Emergency Order 20-21. The purpose of the order is to increase regulatory efforts and increase penalties for businesses in violation. Click Here to View the Order
- Effective July 2, 2020 at 11:59 PM: Broward County is requiring the use of facial coverings in all public spaces outside of the geographic boundaries of a person’s home in all places where social distancing is not possible.
Click Here to Read the Release
- Effective Friday, June 26 at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order 20-18
Establishments cited for operating in violation of any County Emergency Order shall immediately close for a minimum 24-hour period. Read the full order for reopening details and information on reporting violations.
Click Here to view Emergency Order 20-18
- Effective May 18, 2020 at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order 20-10
This order sets forth guidelines for non-essential businesses that are included in Phase 1, and are able to open with several restrictions. Click Here to view Emergency Order 20-10
- Broward Sheriff’s official statement to suspend all eviction actions until further notice.
- Effective April 29, 2020 at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order 20-08 This order reopens certain parks, golf courses, and other recreational facilities to provide the community with opportunities to exercise and obtain other health benefits during this continuing crisis. The order includes strict guidelines for operations at such facilities
- Effective April 11 at 12:01 AM: All persons who are providing essential services shall wear a facial covering during in-person interactions with the public. Members of the public shall use a facial covering when obtaining essential services.
- Effective April 10 at 12:01 AM: Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry issued Emergency Order 20-06, which clarifies essential businesses and essential services, as well as encourages essential businesses to provide enhanced sanitary practices at their locations.
- The latest COVID-19 orders pertaining to Miami-Dade County are available at miamidade.gov
NEW: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced a $60 million relief program for residential landlords that have pending writs of possession with tenants facing eviction. The program will offer those landlords back rent of up to $3,000 per month dating back to March 2020, using federal funding. Click Here to read more
Miami-Dade COVID-19 Residential Landlord and Tenant Assistance Program: Landlords and tenants of Miami-Dade County who have experienced loss of income due to COVID-19 are now eligible for relief funds. The program uses funds provided by the CARES Act and requires applicants to meet certain conditions.Effective Thursday, July 9, at 12:01 AM: Amendment to EO 20-26
This order includes the closure of certain businesses, mandates facial coverings in gyms and fitness centers and outlines guidance for restaurants and other businesses. Click Here to View the Order
- Effective Immediately: Order No. 20-16
This order implements mandatory facial coverings (masks) for any person in the City of Miami while in any public space. Click Here to View the Order
- NEW UPDATE (May 24): Carlos A. Gimenez announced June 1 as the target date for reopening of beaches and pools in Miami-Dade County including pools in private communities, such as condominium and apartment complexes. Click here to read the full release
- Effective Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 AM: Emergency Order 20-11: This order allows a phased re-opening of certain retail and commercial businesses in the City. It is important to note that the order is more stringent than the Miami-Dade County Phase 1 Re-opening order. Click Here to View Emergency Order 20-11
- Miami-Dade County features links to the websites of its corresponding municipalities
- The City of Miami is working on a plan for a rental relief program to help residents pay their rent. It will provide $1,500 to residents who are eligible, and the payments will be paid directly to the landlord.
- Effective Monday, May 18 at 12:01 AM: Emergency Order 23-20 This order officially brings Miami-Dade County into Phase 1 of reopening.
Note: Miami-Dade County’s order limits some Phase 1 activities currently allowed under the Governor’s “full Phase 1” order, most notably apartment and condominium complex pools, fitness centers and gyms.
- Effective April 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM: Emergency Order 21-20
The purpose of this order is to re-open Miami-Dade County Park and Recreational facilities, golf courses, marinas and boat ramps. The order includes strict guidelines for operations at such facilities.
- Effective April 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM: Amendment No. 1 to Emergency Order 15-20
This order amends Emergency Order 15-20, which was issued on March 31, 2020 and allows hotels, condominiums and, “other developments,” to open some common use amenities, to the extent that the use of such amenities is consistent with Emergency Order 21-20. The following amenities must remain closed: pools, hot tubs, fitness centers and gymnasiums.
- Effective April 9 at 11:59 PM: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued Executive Order 20-20, requiring the use of facial coverings by people working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible. Read Amendment 1 to the Order.
- Effective Immediately on March 31: Miami-Dade County has issued an Emergency Order for all pools, hot tubs, golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, fitness centers, gymnasiums and other common use amenities, whether of a commercial or non-commercial nature, to be closed for all purposes.
- Effective March 24 at 11:59 PM: The City of Miami ordered all residents to shelter in place at home until further notice. Read the full City of Miami Emergency Order.
- The latest COVID-19 orders pertaining to Monroe County are available at monroecounty-fl.gov
- Monroe County features links to the websites of its corresponding municipalities
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE & GUIDANCE
Given the extensive list of legislative updates and assistance available, SEFAA decided to seek professional counsel from our Government Affairs Director and set up a dedicated page for governmental purposes. Please click below for detailed information on the current executive orders, the federal response, and business resources.
The National Apartment Association (NAA) has provided guidance for dealing with the Coronavirus, including:
- NEW: NAA Open Door: A savings and discount program available exclusively to NAA members, which helps you save time and money on products and services you use every day.
- General COVID-19 information
- Disaster assistance loans
- Toolkit for homeless shelters and continuum of care providers
- List of EPA registered antimicrobial products for COVID-19
- Media guidance
- Q&As for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders
- Community cleaning guidelines
- LeaseLock & Wall Street Journal cover April rent defaults
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) has released a COVID-19 Preparedness Guidance booklet for any member of the multifamily housing industry.
Find information on:
- Incident response plans at apartment communities
- Employee and resident communication
- Preventing spread in multifamily communities
- Employee leave, telework, travel policies
- Plan for potential lapse in services and supplies
- Legal liability and obligations
- Late payments/flexibility
- Self-quarantining residents
- Dealing with the aftermath
The Florida Apartment Association (FAA) recently published best practices related to Executive Order 20-71, 20-83, and the Shelter in Place policy. Sample letters are included to communicate this information with employees and residents.
- Resident FAQ Template - Updated 4/3/20
- Guidance Regarding Executive Order 20-71
- Guidance Regarding Executive Order 20-83
- Shelter in Place Policy Guidance
Further information and updates may be found on the FAA COVID-19 resources page.
360 Training is offering a FREE COVID-19 Awareness class to help you learn all the basics of COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, and prevention methods, so you’ll be able to identify coronavirus and stop it from spreading.
Experts Across Property Sectors Share Best Practices on Coronavirus Safety (WEBINAR): Experts discuss the measures each are taking to promote a safer environment within their properties, for tenants and visitors alike, including:
- Waiting 24hrs to enter a building after disinfecting the areas
- Increasing the sanitizing stations at all properties
- Increasing frequency of cleaning services
- Keeping track of visitors in case Coronavirus is identified at a specific apartment
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a series of informational fact sheets including:
- Protecting Workers During a Pandemic
- Employers should ensure that the workers have an educated understanding of risk communication, infection control and a modified work environment.
- Guidance on Preparing Workspaces
- How could affect workplaces
- Steps to reduce risk of exposure
- Classifying worker exposure
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information pertinent to other countries being affected by COVID-19 including travel advice, myth busters, situation reports and more.
View the U.S. Department of State’s latest Travel Advisories
Centers for Disease Control Fact Sheets: CDC Fact Sheet About COVID-19
- What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Stop the Spread of Germs
- Symptoms of Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing interim guidance for businesses and employers on recommended strategies for prevention in the workplace, planning for possible outbreaks, and considerations to keep in mind for creating an infectious disease outbreak response plan.
The CDC also has a YouTube channel dedicated to providing the latest information from the CDC about COVID-19.
The Congressional Research Service provides information on Social Insurance and Other Income-Support Options for Those Unable to Work including:
- Unemployment compensation
- State Temporary Disability Insurance and Medical Leave Insurance
- Workers’ compensation
- Retirement accounts and pensions
The office of Senator Rick Scott has a COVID-19 resource page on their website, with Florida specific information and contacts for local resources.
- View a compiled list of Rental Assistance Programs across South Florida, divided up by county.
NOTE: Some of these programs may be exhausted, by may also be reactivated at some point.
- Fannie Mae provides resources for renters including; Tips for Talking with Landlords, Renters Resource Finder, and information on the CARES Act.
- Miami-Dade County is providing one-time rental assistance grants to low and moderate-income persons that have lost income as a result of the pandemic. The funding will assist those who earn up to 80 percent of AMI, have a lease, and are not participating in other rental assistance programs. Applications will be accepted starting today and close on July 17th at 5:00 pm.
- The City of Miramar will make rent or utility payments of up to $7,000 for income-eligible households with no repayment required during the coronavirus pandemic. The program is limited to Miramar residents who meet specific qualifications. The city will begin accepting applications May 22.
- Apartment Grants & Rental Assistance Programs: Federal housing grants for rental and apartment housing are now available to assist individuals and families in need.
- Directory of grants for single mothers: Find financial assistance programs that help single mothers with rent, utility bills, child care, education, medication, housing, medical bills, and mortgage.
- Debt.org offers advice and an extensive list of Rental Assistance Programs & Organizations available to residents.
- View different grants and assistance available for Veterans in Florida.
- Federal and state grants are available to college students to assist with housing.
- Search Resources for Bars and Bartenders impacted by COVID-19 bar closures.
- Restaurant Opportunities Centers United provides a list of national and city/state resources available to restaurant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have an additional resource to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have COVID-19 related questions specific to the multifamily industry operations that are not addressed above, please email NAA at email@example.com.
Finally, for urgent health issues related to COVID-19, we recommend the following options: