Update Guidance on Essential Workers During COVID-19


Federal Government Updates Guidance on Essential Workers During COVID-19
On March 28, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an "Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response." The memorandum contains an updated "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce" advisory list that identifies workers who perform operations and services essential to protecting state and local communities and ensuring continuity in critical functions. On page 15, the guidance calls out “Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services,” specifically identifying as essential:

  • Workers responsible for the leasing of residential properties to provide individuals and families with ready access to available housing.
  • Workers responsible for handling property management, maintenance, and related service calls who can coordinate the response to emergency “at-home” situations requiring immediate attention, as well as facilitate the reception of deliveries, mail, and other necessary services.
  • Workers performing housing construction related activities to ensure additional units can be made available to combat the nation’s existing housing supply shortage.
  • Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).

The updated memorandum notes that the list is purely advisory and not a federal directive or standard. It also emphasizes that the list is not exclusive and that individual jurisdictions should add or subtract essential workforce categories based on their own requirements. To that end, NAA has urged its affiliates to reach out to their state and local governments to ensure that the apartment industry is declared essential during any shelter-in-place declarations. To date, many affiliates have been succesful in this advocacy and our hope is that this updated guidance from CISA will aid in those efforts.