Wednesday , 1 April 2020
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Evictions Halted: Camden’s COVID-19 Plan to Assist Residents in Its 56,000 Apartment Units

Ric Campo

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – Camden Property Trust, a Houston-based multifamily REIT that owns 164 apartment communities with 56,000 units around the nation, is halting evictions for residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camden has closed its leasing offices to the public and is limiting in-person contact by offering virtual tours, online and phone support, and continuing with only essential maintenance services and emergency repairs during the pandemic.

A massive number of layoffs and temporary work furloughs are underway as the coronavirus has crippled the economy. Camden will offer certain impacted residents assistance including zero rent increases on lease renewals, waiving late fees, and creating payment plans if needed.

Camden CEO Ric Campo said the full impact of the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, which has prompted closure of thousands of stores, restaurants and hotels, is difficult to predict at this stage in the crisis.

“We believe it is still too early to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our financial performance,” said Campo. “Currently our portfolio’s occupancy remains strong at over 96 percent. We are seeing high levels of resident retention but also reduced foot traffic and new lease applications from prospective residents given the current environment. We plan to provide additional financial updates in conjunction with our first quarter 2020 earnings release in late April/early May.”

Camden owns 51 Texas apartment complexes with a total of 18.653 units. In Houston alone, Camden has 26 multifamily properties with 9,301 units, according to a year-end report.

In downtown Houston, Camden is currently developing a 271-unit high-rise apartment tower that will open this year at 1515 Austin St. Another 21-story downtown tower, with an estimated price tag of $145 million, is planned.

Active as a Houston community leader, Campo is chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority and is past chairman of Houston First Corp., a governmental organization the oversees the city’s convention and performing arts.

In addition to COVID-19 issues, the Houston economy  is also being impacted by a sharp drop in oil prices with WTI crude dropping to $20 a barrel last week. The pandemic has reduced demand for oil and  then Russia and Saudi Arabia increased production in order to crush American shale producers. This has resulted in layoffs and budget cuts in the energy industry in Houston, which is called “The Energy Capital of The World.”

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