The two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced unprecedented steps to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19 remain in their homes. Fannie and Freddie announced immediate suspensions of foreclosures and evictions for any borrower affected by the fallout of the virus crisis and unable to make their mortgage payment, not limited to homeowners who contracted COVID-19. HUD announced a similar policy. In addition, the GSEs will expand forbearance options for borrowers that could extend for at least 12 months. Borrowers utilizing forbearance will not face negative consequences at credit rating agencies.
HUD is still conducting intake for housing discrimination complaints on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and familial status. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against on any of these bases, they can contact their local fair housing center, local FHAP or the human relations commission for help and guidance. You can also file an online complaint with HUD. If you have concerns about housing discrimination or additional resources to add here, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presidential Declaration Of Disaster
If and when individual/public assistance money is approved for a disaster, it will be displayed here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/3416. Information is updated every 24 hours.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many cities and states are taking additional precautions to protect residents and stop the spread of this virus. In many areas, this includes the closure of restaurants (for dine-in services), gyms, universities, K-12 schools and several local businesses. Due to these closures, many consumers find themselves out of work, causing a financial hardship on their households. If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please check with your local city and county government regarding financial resources that may be available to you during this time.
On March 18, 2020, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD suspended all foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. This foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners whose single-family mortgage is backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Borrowers that are not in foreclosure but are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak have other options including a payment forbearance. This forbearance would allow affected borrowers to suspend their mortgage payment for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus. You can find additional details on this moratorium here.
Here’s what the moratorium means for consumers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans:
For Consumers who are not familiar with a forbearance, please review information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on forbearance options and what this will mean for your loan.
Borrowers concerned about paying their mortgage due to this current crisis should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss loss mitigation options. Many employees have experienced a loss of income because their employers were forced to close (i.e. restaurants, movie theaters, etc.) which has caused a hardship. The sooner you inform your lender of your hardship, the sooner they can offer you solutions to avoid mortgage delinquency. You should be prepared to provide documentation of your hardship and follow up with your lender regularly until you reach a resolution.
While many housing counseling agencies have transitioned to virtual and telephone counseling in accordance with “social distancing” guidelines, these agencies are still available to help guide you through your housing questions. You can locate a housing counseling agency in your area by clicking here.
For Housing Counseling Agencies
Housing Counseling Agencies should take the necessary precautions to protect their staff as well as their clients to prevent the spread of this virus. Many agencies have shifted to remote working for staff and are now offering virtual and telephone counseling in order to continue to meet the needs of clients. There are a number of free video conferencing websites that you may find helpful and that may make this adjustment more manageable.
We recognize that this is a new space for many agencies and guidance is needed to avoid disruption of services. If your organization loses the ability to provide housing counseling services, contact your Regional Coordinator.
Both the Administration and Congress have announced that they want to make credit available to small business owners to help them weather this storm.
If you believe that you have experienced discrimination in accessing capital on the basis of: race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender), age, marital status, receipt of income from any public assistance program, or exercising in good faith your rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, you can submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
While we know many of you are facing many challenges, we want to affirm our commitment to provide you with support services and resources as they come available. Here are some additional resources:
Emergency Loan Providers
Many organizations have shifted to work-from-home for their employees. Here’s a list of free and low-cost software and services that may help.
Document Sharing and Storage
Project Management Tools
Other Tech Resources
On March 6th, H.R.6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 was enacted, which provides $8.3 billion in all new funding including $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing and mitigation. The bill also enables the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide about $7 billion in disaster loans. A fact sheet on the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 can be found at this link.
On March 18th, the President signed H.R. 6201, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law which will enhance the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation will ensure that:
While the full economic implications of the disease are still unknown, what we do know is that the people who will face the biggest financial impacts of COVID-19 are the same people who are already financially strapped. For more information about COVID-19, as well as COVID-19 resources for small business and community and faith based organizations, please visit CDC.gov
In addition to low- and moderate-income older adults, many individuals impacted by this global pandemic are people who are negatively affected by social determinants of health. While social distancing is being emphasized and practiced at all levels of government, significant barriers to safe practices affect many workers and marginalized people, creating an increased risk to their health and public health at large. Those individuals at risk include people with disabilities, workers who do not have paid leave, those who do not have the option to work at home, people who lack affordable and healthy homes and those who lack access to adequate care.
The recent passage of H.R. 6201 provides some relief in the form of emergency paid leave, increased food security appropriations and more. However, housing still needs to be adequately addressed and more relief may be needed at both the federal and local levels.
For our members who focus on older adults, one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus, as well as other vulnerable populations, we offer the following resources, information and links.