American Banker: Calls Mount For US to Halt Foreclosures, Eviction Amid Health Crisis

American Banker: March 15, 2o2o, Calls Mount For U.S. to Halt Foreclosures, Eviction Amid Health Crisis

As the novel coronavirus hammers the global economy, lawmakers and housing advocates are calling for a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures while cities on each coast have started taking their own actions.

“It’s never been more clear that housing is health care,” said Diane Yentel, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The ability for people to self-isolate, self-quarantine in their homes is essential to all of our health, and so I think there’s a really important business reason and public health reason and certainly moral reason why big banks and regulators should take this step.”

But a blanket national halt to evictions and foreclosures would help policymakers get ahead of any uptick in delinquencies and defaults, and avoid putting the government in the position of “reacting to it and playing catch-up,” said Jesse Van Tol, the CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

“One of the reasons that a moratorium rather than some more nuanced guidance makes sense is this is an unknown crisis that could get really bad, and to be dealing with people getting evicted and kicked out of their homes in the midst of a public health crisis I think would add another layer of crisis on top of whatever we’re dealing with next,” he said.

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