Despite the drastic economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, Avenue Living, owner and operator of almost 10,000 residential apartments in 19 markets across the Prairies, has reported that it has collected over 95 per cent of April rent.
“We have been in constant communication with our residents since the beginning of this crisis, working with them on any financial challenges they may be facing,” said Louise Elsey, Chief Operating Officer of Avenue Living Communities. “We are actually not that surprised by our successful rent collection. Our residents are wonderful people who place a priority on their homes.”
A new academic article commissioned by Avenue Living and published in The Conversation found that consumer behaviour changes drastically in times of crisis. According to the article by Grant Alexander Wilson, PhD, University of Saskatchewan, “Consumer spending on food, shelter and health care generally rises during economic downturns.”
As the pandemic progresses, people are focusing their resources on basic needs, such as food and shelter.
“We’re very aware that we provide an essential need,” said Elsey. “Many of our residents are front line workers – nurses, grocery store cashiers, truck drivers and more. In that respect, our team members are essential workers themselves, helping essential workers.”
With more than 400 buildings throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Avenue Living owns and operates rental housing for over 20,000 people.
“We’ve taken numerous precautions to ensure our residents have a safe place to call home, including extra cleaning, flexible remote payment options as well as a community task force to assist those who may be in isolation and need help with groceries or support like dog-walking,” said Elsey. “We’ve also raised the hourly wage for our essential staff, for their tremendous efforts during this crisis.”
Avenue Living Communities is a division of Avenue Living Group of Companies, a Calgary-based owner of real estate assets spanning residential, commercial and agricultural properties. Avenue Living offers a suite of investment offerings for retail, family offices and institutional capital partners, focusing on maximizing risk-adjusted returns with cash-flowing real estate assets.