United States

How property managers can support tenants facing food stamp cuts

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A woman makes her grocery budget with pen and paper with a shopping cart in the foreground.

Pandemic-era food stamp benefits ended on March 1, causing financial stress for millions of households.

At the height of the pandemic, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were temporarily boosted to provide all 42 million participating Americans with an extra $95 or more a month, depending on their household size.

18 states ended these emergency allotments during 2021 and 2022. As of the beginning of this month, low-income households in the remaining 32 states, including Texas and Illinois, have seen their grocery budgets shrink amid persistently high food inflation.

Property managers could also feel the ripple effects from the extra SNAP benefits ending. Tenants who rely on SNAP to pay for groceries may experience difficulties paying rent while they adjust their spending, which could lead to an uptick in late or missing payments.

Automated SMS or email payment reminders can help tenants stay on top of their payments and avoid falling into arrears, while a payment plan that allows tenants to pay rent in installments over a set period may temporarily ease some strain on their budgets and mental wellbeing.

Property managers should be prepared to work with tenants who are struggling financially and may need help finding resources to support them through a difficult period, such as flexible payment options, food banks, or local meal programs.

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