The California Apartment Association has asked the U.S. Small Business Administration to ensure that rental housing owners are included in its COVID-19 relief efforts.

The Small Business Administration manages the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act stimulus program. The PPP is providing forgivable loans of up to 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These includes sole proprietors and the self-employed.

But under pre-existing rules governing the SBA, the federal government considers many landlords to be “passive businesses,” which generally makes them ineligible for SBA loans.

In a letter sent to the SBA this week, CAA asks the federal government to ensure that these dollars are available to landlords.

“While we commend the Small Business Administration on its swift implementation of this new program, we take issue with the SBA’s exclusion of many rental housing providers from eligibility … ,” the letter says. … that exclusion is not supported by the text or intent of the CARES Act and is not appropriate in the current crisis.”

Click the button below for CAA’s full letter to the SBA.