The Real Estate Council is closely monitoring news and updates about the ongoing COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government authorities, as the health, safety, and well-being of our members remains our greatest priority. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, TREC will monitor local, state, and federal responses to the pandemic and how they impact the commercial real estate industry.
If you have a resource you’d like for us to share, please contact Bill San Antonio.
The following information is designed to help you and your business stay updated on the latest news, access useful industry resources, and find additional ways you can help one another and TREC as a whole.
- I. Precautions TREC is Taking
- II. State of Emergency
- III. Related coronavirus Response Links
- IV. Economic Relief from Washington
- V. Commercial Real Estate Industry Articles & Resources
- VI. How You Can Help
Precautions TREC is Taking
- The Real Estate Council’s office will be closed through Friday, April 3. Staff will be available via phone and email.
- TREC will not hold in-person meetings at our office or elsewhere until at least Thursday, April 30. Board and committee meetings may be held instead via conference call or video conferencing. Please contact your TREC staff liaison for more information.
- All public TREC events scheduled through Thursday, April 30, have been postponed indefinitely.
- For questions related to FightNight XXXII, please contact Cale Peterson. Table hosts should expect communication from their Table Sales Contact in the coming days.
- A virtual raffle will be held in lieu of our live FightNight raffle. Details to follow.
State of Emergency
City of Dallas
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dallas continues to climb, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a shelter-in-place order on Sunday, March 22, restricting residents from leaving their homes except for crucial work and errands and closing all “non-essential” businesses. The order will tentatively last through Friday, April 3.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Dallas Shelter-In-Place Order (English)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Dallas Shelter-In-Place Order (Español)
Resident and commercial real estate construction has been deemed “essential business” and is permitted to continue provided appropriate screening precautions and compliance with social distancing guidelines.
LEARN MORE: Dallas County Construction Rules
Mayor Eric Johnson initially declared a state of emergency in Dallas on Thursday, March 12, that prohibited gatherings of 50 people or more and closed bars, dine-in restaurants, entertainment venues, gyms, and theaters. Jenkins later banned gatherings of 10 people or more, and on Wednesday, March 18 the Dallas City Council voted to extend the emergency declaration until Wednesday, April 29.
The City Council also voted to require all city boards and commissions – except the city’s Employee Retirement Fund – to meet by video or teleconference until further notice. City Council meetings will continue to take place virtually.
LEARN MORE: City of Dallas coronavirus Response
DOWNLOAD: City of Dallas Commercial Process PSA
Dallas County Health and Human Services
Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang has said the public should continue to follow the advice of healthcare professionals to avoid contamination, keep at-risk populations safe, and prevent overloading the healthcare system. Huang told the City Council it could take up to 18 months for a coronavirus vaccine to be developed.
LEARN MORE: Dallas County Health and Human Services Response
The Impact on Schools
Several school districts, including Dallas ISD, have shut down facilities indefinitely and are preparing at-home learning and distance instruction for the remainder of the school year. Abbott has also waived State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STARR) testing requirements.
Check with your local school district to learn what campuses will become central locations for family and school resource distribution, including meals.
LEARN MORE: Dallas ISD coronavirus Response
Executive Orders from Austin
On Thursday, March 19, Governor Greg Abbott issued four executive orders to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Read them here.
The Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order on Thursday, March 19, halting residential evictions until Sunday, April 19.
Economic Relief from Washington
First Relief Package
The federal government has thus far approved two economic relief packages to combat the effects of COVID-19/coronavirus. The first $7.8 billion relief package was passed in early March and includes $6.5 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address local and state preparedness and $3.1 billion for the Strategic National Stockpile to purchase medical supplies and research coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics; an estimated $500 million provision to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access telehealth programs that allow them to see providers remotely to assess potential symptoms of coronavirus; and $300 million to ensure that all Americans will be able to access a coronavirus vaccine once it is developed regardless of cost.
Second Relief Package
The second relief package, which Trump signed on Wednesday, March 18, includes up to 14 days of paid sick leave and three months of family leave for some U.S. workers impacted by coronavirus, the cost of which could then be claimed by the employer as a tax credit; expanded unemployment eligibility for workers furloughed by coronavirus; increased resources for coronavirus testing, including a provision requiring insurers insurers to cover coronavirus testing without cost sharing and waives cost sharing for testing under Medicare, TRICARE, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); $1 billion for compensating providers for the testing of uninsured individuals; $206 million for testing by the Department of Defense (DoD), VA, and Indian Health Service; expanded nutrition assistance, including $500 million for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP); $100 million in nutritional assistance; and $250 million for senior nutrition programs; allows relevant agency heads to waive requirements for participation in the National School Lunch Program, SNAP benefits, and other programs; and provides for emergency expanded SNAP eligibility for children facing school closure who would otherwise receive free meals.
To combat the economic fallout of the outbreak, federal lawmakers have agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus package, which is the largest ever proposed and equivalent to 9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
The stimulus includes:
- $500 billion relief fund for struggling companies, including $75 billion for industry-specific loans including to airlines and hotels
- $300 billion for federally guaranteed loans available at community banks to small businesses that pledge not to lay off workers. The loans would be available during an emergency period ending on June 30 and would be forgiven if the employer continued to pay workers for the duration of the crisis.
- $150 billion for state and local governments
- $130 billion for hospitals, which includes the purchase of personal and protective equipment and increases for healthcare workers, testing supplies, and new construction to house patients
- Expansion of unemployment benefits to extend jobless insurance by 13 weeks and include a four-month enhancement of benefits. Broadened to include freelancers, furloughed employees and gig workers, such as Uber drivers
- Direct payments to most Americans: $1,200 in direct payments to taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 per year. Families would receive an additional $500 per child to create a safety net for those whose jobs and businesses are affected by the pandemic. Qualifying income levels will be based on 2019 returns if already filed or on 2018 returns. Those making $99,000 or more would not qualify.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TAX CREDIT COALITION: Congress Agrees to $2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill With Emergency Housing Measures
Changes In Fiscal Policy
The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced actions aimed at providing banks additional flexibility to support households and businesses during the outbreak.
The Fed has already announced plans to slash interest rates to a range of 0-0.25 percent and will buy hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds in an effort to stave off economic hardships.
Commercial Real Estate Industry Articles & Resources
Here is a list of how various companies and organizations are handling the pandemic. If you or your organization have a resource you’d like us to share, please contact Bill San Antonio.
- Department of Homeland Security: Guidelines on Essential Critical Infrastructure
- Consigli: COVID-19 Impact on Construction Material Supply
- Apartment Association of Greater Dallas: Renter Resources
- International Council of Shopping Centers: Coronavirus Information & Resources
- Building Owners and Managers Association: What You Need to Know: Novel Coronavirus, How to Prepare Tenants and Your Buildings
- National Multifamily Housing Council: Coronavirus Preparedness for Apartment Firms
- TEXO: COVID-19/coronavirus Precautions to Consider
- TEXO: COVID-19 Jobsite Safety & Prevention Best Practices
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA): 2019 Novel Coronavirus Overview
- OHSA Standards: Worker’s Rights and Employer Responsibilities for COVID-19
- American Land Title Association (ALTA): Information Regarding Digital Deal Closings
- ALTA Spreadsheet: National County Deal Closing Statuses
- Dallas Morning News: D-FW builders and developers say the hope business shutdowns don’t include constructions
- D Magazine: Coronavirus’ Effects on Local and National Real Estate Markets
- Texas Tribune: New Coronavirus Shocks Texas Economy and Unemployment Could Spike
- Hotel Management: How hotel companies are working to lessen coronavirus impact
- CBRE: How Will Coronavirus Impact US Commercial Real Estate Sector?
- Grant Thornton: COVID-19 Resource Center (Includes Articles and Webinar)
- Transwestern: How the CRE Industry Will Respond to Coronavirus, and How It Won’t
- VIDEO: CNBC Interview With Henry Chin, head of research for CBRE’s APAC and EMEA regions
- BISNOW WEBINAR: CRE Investing and Coronavirus — Where’s Safe, Where’s Not?
- Squire Patton Boggs: Coronavirus Legal Impact on Businesses
- Squire Patton Boggs: Coronavirus Key Employment Law Issues for Employers
How You Can Help
- There are several ways to support The Real Estate Council Foundation’s neighborhood revitalization work in the Forest District as part of the Dallas Catalyst Project. Learn more and donate here.
- One of the simplest ways you can contribute is by shopping with Amazon Smile and selecting TREC Foundation or TREC Community Fund as your organization of choice to donate .5 percent of your purchase of select items.
- You can also directly support our Dallas Catalyst Project partners:
- St. Philip’s School and Community Center has launched an online COVID-19 resource for students and community members and is seeking volunteers for its Aunt Bette’s Food Pantry
- Cornerstone Baptist Church is accepting donations and seeking kitchen items and volunteers
- CitySquare has also created an online COVID-19 resource and is seeking additional volunteers for its facilities
- DISD is seeking volunteers to help distribute packaged meals to students and their families. Register here.
- Dallas Morning News Charities has launched a fundraising campaign to support organizations that aid the hungry and homeless here in North Texas. Learn more about the initiative here and donate here.
- The Communities Foundation of North Texas is accepting donations that will support organizations working with communities most affected by COVID-19/coronavirus. Learn more here.
- The North Texas Food Bank is creating 60,000 family meal boxes each week, employing workers who have lost income as a result of the pandemic, and partnering with other organizations and the City of Dallas. Learn More here.
- You can donate to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas coronavirus Response and Relief Fund, which will address the immediate and urgent needs of North Texas residents, here.