COVID-19 Resources

Updated September 3, 2020

The coronavirus has quickly spread into a global pandemic. Governments have taken drastic measures to encourage social distancing. Along with anxieties about contracting and spreading disease, millions of people who were already struggling or living paycheck-to-paycheck face new uncertainties about their financial security. Many organizations and governments have responded with resources and services to help individuals, small businesses and institutions cope with these challenges. Here is some information about how and where to obtain these resources.

Application Available Now

Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration and the Department of Treasury have announced that they have initiated a mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the assistance they need.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, and tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE
Loan Terms & Conditions
  • Eligible Entities: All businesses, including non-profits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries
  • Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
  • Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
  • All loans under this program will have the following identical features:
    • Interest rate of 0.5%
    • Maturity of 2 years
    • First payment deferred for six months
    • 100% guarantee by SBA
    • No collateral
    • No personal guarantees
    • No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA
Visit treasury.gov/cares for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program and the SBA’s assistance to small businesses.

COVID-19:  CDC’s Eviction Moratorium

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. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also has a resource guide to mortgage relief options.

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 human relations commission, or NCRC 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: tmccracken@ncrc.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 have taken 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), fitness centers, 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.

For Consumers

On July 9th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an extension to their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least August 31, 2020.  FHFA will continue to monitor the pandemic and update policies as needed.  The full press release can be found here.

This forbearance would allow affected borrowers to suspend their mortgage payment for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus.

Here’s what the moratorium means for consumers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans:

  • Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer
  • Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days
  • Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
  • Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended
  • Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
  • After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification

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.

Recommended Steps – Homeowners:

  1. Contact a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency. Here’s a full list of approved agencies. NOTE: Any actions following this step can be done independently or your housing counselor can act on your behalf with your authorization.
  2. Contact your lender to disclose the recent change in your employment and financial circumstances. *We promise, this part isn’t as scary as it may seem*
  3. Ask your lender about the assistance options they have for customers impacted by COVID-19. *Don’t let them skip over any details when discussing modification and forbearance options*
  4. In considering your options for forbearance, here are some questions that you should ask:

  5. Do you have private mortgage insurance or mortgage protection insurance?
  6. Does your insurance (private or mortgage) cover employment loss? Unsure? 
  7. What happens with the amount unpaid during a forbearance period?

  8. Will my property taxes continue to be paid during a forbearance period?
  9. Do I have forbearance or other loss mitigation options if my mortgage is delinquent pre-COVID19? 

A housing counselor can assist you obtain answers to your questions.

Contact your local elected representatives and tell them what you need to maintain your housing! *Laws should be update with you in mind, government officials can’t do it (well) without hearing from you*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 (i.e. proof of income or loss of income, 30-60 days of bank statements, most recent filed tax returns) of your hardship and follow up with your lender regularly until you reach a resolution.

While there are a number of loss mitigation options that are available to borrowers experiencing a financial hardship, it is really important for borrowers to know the investor that owns their loan.  It takes just a couple of minutes and is really easy for borrowers to find out if their loans are owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and what options are available. The borrower should be prepared to provide their name, full property address and the last four digits of their social security number. Borrowers can check this information be clicking on the links below:

Freddie Mac – https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/

Fannie Mae – https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup

If a borrower determines that their loan is not owned by either of these mortgage providers, we recommend that they contact their mortgage company to find out about loss mitigations that can be offered to borrowers facing a financial hardship.

Renters facing delinquent rent and/or eviction should contact their local housing counseling agency to discuss emergency funds that may be available.  A number of cities and states have received emergency assistance dollars to potentially provide up to 4 months of rental assistance or transition costs for displaced families.  We strongly encourage renters in need of assistance to contact the Housing or Community Development Department in your city as soon as possible.

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 and group education 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 is having challenges providing housing counseling services due to the transition to remote work (i.e. technology, unable to connect with clients), email hcn@ncrc.org and contact your Regional Coordinator for guidance. HCN will connect you to local housing counseling agencies who may be able to assist with common needs. If there are additional questions or guidance that your agency needs, email hcn@ncrc.org and we will follow up with you.

Helpful links

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to shut the doors of small businesses across the country, it is vital that business owners are presented with the resources necessary to help them through this crisis. Confronted with a decline in sales and revenue over these next few months, small businesses will need forms of financial assistance to meet the demands of rent, payroll, inventory and other expenses. Efforts have been taken on the federal, state, city and private sector level to address these needs during this difficult time in the form of loans, grants and technical assistance.

For a comprehensive guide on resources available to small businesses provided by our partner Equivico, visit here.

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 or reach out to NCRC for guidance.

NCRC has shifted in-person services, trainings and counseling sessions to be accessible virtually and electronically. If you have a scheduled appointment, please be sure to check with your counselor before coming to our office. 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:

A description of the small business provisions in the stimulus:

Paycheck Protection Program 

  • $350 billion in funding to create a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide small businesses and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. 
  • Up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. 
  • Principal and interest is deferred for up to a year and all borrower fees are waived. 

This temporary emergency assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury can be used in coordination with other COVID-financing assistance established in the bill or any other existing SBA loan program.

The bill requires the SBA Administrator to set a cap on how much a bank can earn to process loan applications and prioritize underserved borrowers, including those in rural communities, minorities, women and veterans.

Emergency Economic Injury Grants

  • $10 billion in funding for a provision to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan. EIDLs are loans of up to $2 million that carry interest rates up to 3.75 percent for companies and up to 2.75 percent for nonprofits, as well as principal and interest deferment for up to 4 years. The loans may be used to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.
  • The EIDL grant does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL, and may be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. 
  • Eligible grant recipients must have been in operation on January 31, 2020. 
  • The grant is available to small businesses, private nonprofits, sole proprietors and independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses.

The bill provides $562 million to ensure that SBA has the resources to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to businesses that need financial support.

Debt Relief for Existing and New SBA Borrowers

  • $17 billion in funding for a provision to provide immediate relief to small businesses with standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans. 
  • SBA will cover all loan payments for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after the President signs the bill. 
  • Encourages banks to provide further relief to small business borrowers by allowing them to extend the duration of existing loans beyond existing limits; and enables small business lenders to assist more new and existing borrowers by providing a temporary extension on certain reporting requirements. 
  • Borrowers may apply for a PPP loan that provides capital to keep their employees on the job. The six months of SBA payment relief may not be applied to payments on PPP loans. 

The stimulus also includes a permanent fix that allows SBA to waive fees for veterans and their spouses in the 7(a) Express Loan Program, regardless of the President’s budget. Under current law, SBA may only waive fees on 7(a) Express loans to veterans when the President’s budget does not project a cost above zero for the overall 7(a) loan program.

Paid Leave for Government Contractors

  • Paid leave for employees working on small business contracts with the federal government. 

The measure allows agencies to modify the terms of a contract to reimburse small business contractors for the cost of providing paid leave, including sick leave, to employees or subcontractors unable to perform work on-site due to a facility closure and cannot telework.

Washington, DC Resources 

Maryland Resources 

Virginia Resources 

National Business Resources 

Washington D.C. Women’s Business Center

All in-person meetings will now be done online via video session or over the phone. To schedule an online or over the phone appointment, please click here.

We are postponing in-person workshops and events scheduled for the next two weeks and expect to move key workshops and trainings online. Please visit dcwbc.org to check in on the latest updates.

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.

Helpful Links

For our NCRC 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.

Candid

Community Foundations Public Awareness Initiative A list of Community Foundation funds Coronavirus Relief efforts by state

Council on Foundations

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy  

United Philanthropy Forum
A collection of vetted funds addressing immediate and long term needs related to COVID-19

 

 

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.

All-One Suites

Google Apps – Cloud based, include email, doc management, word processing, presentation software.

Microsoft Office 365 – Reliable cloud-based web services, including email, document collaboration, shared calendars, online meetings, and more.

Zoho Docs – It includes three cloud-based apps – the usual spread of word processing, spreadsheet and presentations – as well as document versioning and desktop syncing.

Document Sharing and Storage

Google Drive – Store files in the cloud: 30GB of storage space per account across Gmail and Google Drive.

Box.org – All eligible nonprofits of any size can receive 10 Box Starter Edition licenses. There is no charge for this licensing – there’s only a nominal, one-time administrative fee.

OneDrive– Improve your staff’s ability to access files, collaborate and work smarter with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business file storage, syncing and sharing.

Project Management Tools

Trello– Web-based project management applications that lets you keep track of all the moving pieces of a project with visual organizational tools. This application takes some time to learn.

Asana – Free project management tool (for teams up to 15) that integrates nicely with Google Drive.

Basecamp – Low cost project management tool.

Smartsheet – Provides easy, scalable work management for businesses of all sizes, and offers discount for nonprofits

Airtable – all-in-one collaboration platform. Calendar Views. Workflow Blocks. 200+ Templates. Flexible Views. Realtime Collaboration.

Communication Tools

Slack – A messaging app for teams. It’s specially built for team-based communication; teams just like us. You can access it from the web, but there are also apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows.

FreeConference.com is the most popular international conference call services provider available in 2019.

Uberconference –Low cost conferencing, great for google apps users. Simple, visual and free to use, you can easily set up and join free conference calls without PINS.

Jitsi – open source free video conferencing software.

Zoom – video and web conferencing software. Have multiple plans including a free one.

8×8provides cloud-communications tools, including free video conferencing, to help employees and businesses stay connected as they work remotely

For Additional Assistance

Techsoup – Nonprofit international network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provides technical support and technological tools to nonprofits.

npCloud – Provides cloud-based technology products and services to nonprofits. A service of Tech Impact, npCloud is a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure all nonprofits can use cloud-based technology to better serve their communities.

interconnection.org – Charitable computer reuse and recycling.

GOOD360– Nonprofit that connects companies who have goods, with nonprofits in need and individuals who want to help them.

  •  

On March 25th, the Senate passed H.R. 748 which will provide roughly  $2 trillion to individuals, businesses, and states, among others, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Once the bill passes the House, it is expected to be signed into law on Friday the 27th. The measure, negotiated between the Senate and administration, includes:

  • $500 billion for loans and assistance to companies and state and local governments, including $29 billion for loans to U.S. airlines and related businesses. Stock buybacks and executive compensation would be restricted. Additional funds would be provided to aviation workers.
  • $349 billion in low-interest small business loans that could be partially forgiven
  • Payments of as much as $1,200 for individual taxpayers, and $500 per child, phased out when incomes exceed $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples filing jointly.
  • An additional $600 per week for those receiving unemployment benefits.
  • $150 billion for aid to state, local, and tribal governments.
  • A suspension of Medicare sequestration through the end of the year and the extension of several health programs until December.

For more information here are links to bill summaries from:

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:

  • All individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access to COVID-19 tests at no cost.
  • There more than $1 billion to provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals to seniors. It also protects students’ access to school meals in the event of school closures.
  • States have the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave.
  • An emergency paid leave program is established that replaces a significant share of lost wages so that those who take leave to avoid spreading the virus or due to illness or caregiving responsibilities can pay their bills.

For more information about this legislation please visit this link.

NCRC recently published a press statement supporting COVID-19 housing and financial protections for individuals and small businesses. 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. If you want to read NCRC’s statement, please visit NCRC.org. 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

We are also asking, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) immediately suspend  the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) comment period sceduled to end April 8.

LGBTQ+

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and related communities may be particularly impacted by COVID-19, due to health disparities, barriers to care and risk factors. The following are resources, FAQs, and information for LGBTQ+ communities and caregivers.

Native American Communities

Native Americans are considered a high risk population for COVID-19 due to health disparities, potential of substandard or overcrowded housing in reservations and high poverty rates. The following provides some background information and resources.

Helpful Links:

South Asian Americans

Tools and resources supporting South Asian Americans and allies

Resources for immigrants

Legal information and local resource connections for undocumented immigrants

Information about immigrant worker rights, healthcare rights, and a feature to submit your own questions

List of free / low cost / community health care centers by state for undocumented immigrants

 

 

Read More

NCRC disappointed by Senate vote against CRA resolution

Today, the Senate failed to pass H.R. Res 90, which would have overturned new rules on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) finalized by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in May. On a party line vote, Senate Democrats voted in support of the resolution that would nullify the OCC’s weakening of CRA rules, while Senate Republicans voted to keep them in place.

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Health equity was a challenge before coronavirus

Health and wealth equity didn’t exist in the U.S. before COVID-19, and the pandemic only exacerbated racial, ethnic, gender and geographic disparities. To address these issues and provide a platform for collaborative work toward solutions, NCRC members and partners in North Carolina held a 3-day special online event Oct. 13-15, 2020: Invest in Health and Wealth: Stabilizing Underserved Communities While Fighting a Pandemic.

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Trump Tweet Halts Passage of HEROES Act

Today, President Trump tweeted that he has rejected the House Democrats “request,” referring to the latest edition of the HEROES Act, an economic stimulus package to protect and help people recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said no further negotiations will take place until after the election.

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De facto or de jure housing inequities: The outcomes are the same

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in St. Louis, the maps of the infections looked very familiar to those of us who work to promote integrated and inclusive communities. Unsurprisingly, it was having a greater toll on the city’s majority-Black neighborhoods, where maps already showed elevated rates of asthma and lead poisoning.

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White Accountability & Health Equity

In this article, diversity, equity and inclusion consultants Stephen Graves and Alex Bethel share insights on how White healthcare professionals can move beyond White fragility and harness their racial privilege to create health equity.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

Complete the form to download the full report: