Updated April 6, 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.
- 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
- 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
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 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: 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:
- 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.
- Contact a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency. Here’s a full list of approved agencies.
- Any actions following this step can be done independently or your housing counselor can act on your behalf with your authorization.
- Contact your lender to disclose the recent change in your employment. *We promise, this part isn’t as scary as it may seem*
- 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*
- Do you have private mortgage insurance or mortgage protection insurance? Does it cover employment loss? Unsure? A housing counselor can assist you with determining this information.
- Contact your local representative and tell them what you need to maintain your housing! *Laws should be update with you id 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 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.
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 is having challenges providing housing counseling services due to the transition to remote work (i.e. technology, unable to connect with clients), email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow up with you.
- Preparing for Disaster
- Continuity of Operations Plan
- Emergency Response Plan Guidance
- Overview of Housing Counseling Disaster Recovery Services
- Partners for Disaster Recovery
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
- DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants
- Minnesota Avenue Main Street Small Business Resilience Fund Grants (DC)
- Business Licensing & Permitting Extension
- COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund (Grant) (MD)
- Montgomery County Public Health Emergency Grant (MD)
- Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund (MD)
- Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses (MD)
- Business Tax Payments Extension (MD)
- Business Licensing & Permitting Extension (MD)
- Emergency Layoff Aversion Assistance Program (VA)
- Business Tax Payments Extension (VA)
- Sales Tax Payment Extension (VA)
National Business Resources
- SBA Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses
- SBA Express Bridge Loans
- Kiva COVID-19
- Accion Small Business Loans
- Facebook Business Grants
- Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR)
- Information about business interruption insurance
- National Center for Veteran Institute for Procurement resources
- Women’s Business Development Center Direct Lending Program
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.
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.
- COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know
- Resources for Older Adults and Caregivers
- Here’s how to help protect elderly from coronavirus
- Tips for financial caregivers during the coronavirus pandemic
- Federal Reserve Statement on Supervisory Activities
- Affordable Housing Providers and the Coronavirus
- Millions of U.S. grandparents care for young kids — and are high risk for covid-19
- Low-Income Seniors Face Food Insecurity in the Wake of the COVID-19
- COVID-19 Resources for Senior Centers
- Protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus
- Protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tips for Dementia Caregivers
- What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities Need to Know?
NCRC’s National Training Academy has canceled all in-person training until further notice. If you have previously registered for in-person training sessions and would like to transfer your registration or process a request for a refund, please email email@example.com. Visit our training page for a full list of webinar opportunities, including access to the online HUD Certification Exam prep course
New COVID Webinars for Housing Counselors.
April 7 – WB135: Effective Strategies for Housing Counselors During COVID-19- Part I: Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium Updates – Many mortgage providers are responding to economic challenges that borrowers are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic by offering retention options for the duration of this crisis. To avoid displacement during this time, several mortgage providers have announced a moratorium on foreclosure and eviction action as well as forbearance and deferment options. What should Borrowers be aware of as it pertains to their mortgage and what options are available to them? How should borrowers be best prepared to take action as we work through this COVID-19 crisis? This webinar will provide information on programs that are available and best practices for borrowers to assume for the duration of this pandemic.
April 9 – WB112: Rental in the Time of Corona Virus – This course is designed to make sure the counselor is aware of the resources available for renters during the COVID 19 pandemic, where to look for them and how best to access them. The participant will learn the tools and resources necessary to conduct a successful rental counseling session amid crisis. The course will wrap up with best practices on conducting a successful session online.
April 16 – WB135: Effective Strategies for Housing Counselors During COVID-19 – Part III: How to Provide Efficient Counseling in a Crisis – Are you knowledgeable on how to provide effective and efficient housing counseling in this time of crisis? Join NCRC to learn how housing counselors implement the changes, programs and service decisions your organization may need to make during this time. We will share the documents you can use to provide financial counseling and home buyer education remotely, and will discuss how your agency can help consumers connect with community resources to meet basic needs. We discuss ideas from others who are working virtually for keeping your programs operating during the crisis. This webinar provides insights and ideas that may help you work in your community with kindness and compassion towards recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asian-Americans are being targeted by racism and xenophobia as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds across the globe. The following are resources and information in response.
- Ten Equity Implications from the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States
- COVID-19 – Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources
- Addressing Disease-Related Stigma During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- Public Health Institute: Addressing Discrimination and Racism
- Nonprofits launch site for Asian Americans to report coronavirus-related racism
- Countering Coronavirus Stigma and Racism: Tips for Teachers and Other Educators
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.
- LGBT Education, Outreach & Services – LGBTQ People and COVID-19
- LGBTQ Funding Resources in the COVID-19 Response
- Supporting and Caring for our LGBTQ Elders During COVID-19
- How LGBTQ+ People Can Get Help and Resources During Coronavirus
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.
- H.R. 748 – Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Tribal Provisions
- Native American Communities And COVID-19: How Foundations Can Help
- Rural Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- COVID-19 Cases by Indian Health Service Area as of March 30, 2020
- How the coronavirus threatens Native American communities
Health inequities in the United States have seemingly been exacerbated during the recent coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, prior to this pandemic, certain groups like low-income families, patients who do not speak English as a primary language and people of color were among the most susceptible to be treated unfairly and lack appropriate access to care and resources.
Those who serve as financial caregivers for older adults or people with disabilities may have unique worries and challenges brought on by COVID-19.