As millions of Americans face continued hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden is continuing to take action to help keep individuals and families in their homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a housing affordability crisis. Today, 1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments. People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure.
Today, as part of the President’s commitment to deliver immediate relief for American families bearing the brunt of this crisis, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture announced a coordinated extension and expansion of forbearance and foreclosure relief programs. These critical protections were due to expire in March, leaving many at risk of falling further into debt and losing their homes. Now, homeowners will receive urgently needed relief as we face this unprecedented national emergency. Today’s action builds on steps the President took on Day One to extend foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages.
The actions announced today will:
- Extend the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021;
- Extend the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021 for borrowers who wish to request forbearance;
- Provide up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture worked in lock-step to make sure that the above actions will reach the greatest number of Americans. Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the independent agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extended forbearance by three months for borrowers coming to the end of their forbearance period. These coordinated actions will cover 70 percent of existing single-family home mortgages.
President Biden is committed to protecting homeownership and housing stability as America begins to turn a painful crisis into a robust recovery. Today’s extended forbearance and foreclosure programs are an important step towards building stronger and more equitable communities.
To bolster these efforts, it is critical that Congress pass the American Rescue Plan to deliver more aid to struggling homeowners. The rescue plan creates a Homeowners Assistance Fund which will provide states with $10 billion to help struggling homeowners catch up on their mortgage payments and utility costs. This relief is critical for homeowners with mortgages in the private market who are not able to take advantage of today’s actions and may face longer term challenges.
The Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities in extending these protections are to:
Provide immediate relief to homeowners across America. Today’s actions directly benefit the 2.7 million homeowners currently in COVID forbearance and extend the availability of forbearance options for nearly 11 million government-backed mortgages nationwide. Communities large and small need this assistance. That is why the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture worked in concert to deliver across-the-board relief for urban, suburban, rural, and military homeowners, including seniors with reverse mortgages
Support hard-hit communities of color. The health and economic costs of this crisis have not been evenly felt, a pattern repeated over the course of the pandemic.Extending forbearance policies will provide critical support to homeowners of color, who make up a disproportionate share of borrowers with delinquent loans and loans in forbearance due to COVID-related hardship. On the first day of his Administration, President Biden committed to advancing racial equity across all government programs and policies. Today, agencies are stepping up with housing relief that will strengthen communities of color and build the foundation for an equitable recovery.
Provide a centralized resource for housing assistance. Homeowners and renters can visit consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines. As federal agencies continue working to implement housing assistance for American families, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this website as a one-stop shop for both homeowners and renters to learn about programs and resources that can help them stay in their homes by reducing the risk of eviction and foreclosure.