Today, the Senate approved a coronavirus bill for sick leave and free testing, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which manages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced plans to halt foreclosures and evictions in the midst of an economic downturn bought on by the coronavirus global pandemic. HUD’s suspension will last through April, while the FHFA suspension is slated for at least 60 days.
Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC, made the following statement:
“Today, we saw Congress and President Trump take important steps to protect Americans against both health and economic repercussions of COVID-19. The suspension of HUD and FHFA foreclosures and evictions is a significant measure that we applaud. We expect the president will sign into law later today a bill that includes support for paid sick and family leave. There is no doubt these actions will help many Americans currently facing foreclosure, eviction, loss of wages, loss of childcare or require testing for the virus. However, there are still millions of renters, people who own mobile homes, people with mortgages not owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who face losing their homes. People who are losing their jobs and incomes now aren’t in foreclosure now, but some will be in a few months, and the suspension will need to be extended to help them too. It is also likely that the paid sick and family leave provided by Congress will need to be expanded. So this is a great first step, but there will need to be others. Congress should also focus on covering all healthcare expenses, providing housing and small business counseling and direct basic income support so all Americans can endure this historic health and financial crisis.”