Though some form of extension of the federal unemployment program is being dismissed in certain quarters, it seems likely some version will ultimately be passed. The Senate has been adjourned until July 17 but will likely take up the HEROES Act and federal unemployment shortly thereafter.
But what happens if they don’t pass the HEROES Act?
One of Boston’s top industries is the tourism and hospitality industry. This means we have a large portion of our community that works in the restaurant and hotel sectors, which are obviously taken one of the greatest economic hits right now. By failing to extend the $600 unemployment program it will not only impact those in the industry but also Boston apartment owners who rent apartments to that sector.
Let’s use Beacon Hill is an example; the Beacon Hill apartment vacancy rate is through the roof. The number of Beacon Hill apartments for rent starting September 1, 2020, at the time of this writing is at 270 apartments. No one knows exactly how many Beacon Hill renters are using their $600.00 assistance to pay for the rent, but even if its as low ad 5%, those will be more apartments that will come on the market as bartenders and restaurant waitress will no longer to be able to afford their rent,
Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line
The stakes are high. As many as 20 million unemployed Americans are receiving the federal unemployment benefit. It provides for an additional $600 per week over and above the unemployment benefit paid at the state level.
Regardless of one’s position on this issue, one thing is clear in my mind; this being an election year, I can’t see how Pres. Trump or the Senate won’t pass some relief program. Failure to do so will result in the loss of both the control of the Presidency and the Senate.
Opposition to extending federal unemployment benefits beyond July 31 may have been strong back in May. But with the recent upsurge of the coronavirus in much of the US, a stubbornly high rate of unemployment, as well as stated above, the fast-approaching national election in November, it will be difficult for any member of Congress to oppose an at least scaled-down version of the federal unemployment benefits program.