Despite talk of rent strikes across the U.S. due the COVID-19 crisis, the number of tenants who paid at least part of their monthly rents at the beginning of May climbed. About 86.2% of Phoenix-area renters paid their landlords this month. That compares with 80% in April, according to new data from the National Multifamily Housing Council and apartment research firm RealPage. Rent relief programs and higher unemployment benefits due the CARES Act could be helping more renters.

The increase in rent payments comes as more than 500,000 people have applied for unemployment benefits during the health and economic crisis in Arizona. “Despite the fact that over twenty million people lost their jobs in April, we are seeing evidence that apartment renters who can pay rent are doing so,” said Doug Bibby, NMHC president in a statement.

About 89% of Valley renters made their payments during May 2019. None of the data for rent payments includes student housing and lower-income properties.

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