Social distancing measures enacted to prevent coronavirus from spreading have forced many small businesses, retail stores, restaurants and all other “non-essential” businesses to close or shorten their hours. The resulting economic consequences will be especially tough for low-income, hourly workers who live paycheck to paycheck. To help ease the burden for those impacted who are struggling to pay rent amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will suspend all residential foreclosures and evictions.
During a press conference today, President Donald Trump announced that HUD will suspend residential and foreclosures until the end of April for residents of public housing. According to Politico, this will affect about 8.1 million mortgages.
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency also ordered mortgage loan companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days.“This foreclosure and eviction suspension allows homeowners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage to stay in their homes during this national emergency," FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a statement.
Before the federal government moved to suspend evictions, local authorities across the country announced that they were temporarily halting evictions for residents and, in some states, businesses.
Last week, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed announced a 30-day moratorium on residential evictions related to financial impacts caused by COVID-19. “Protecting public health means keeping people secure in their housing, which we know is a challenge right now as our economy and our workers are being severely impacted by this crisis,” Mayor Breed said in a statement. Now that the shelter-in-place order is now in effect in San Francisco, halted evictions are crucial for those impacted.
Earlier this month, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo introduced an ordinance that would halt COVID-19-related evictions for 30 days. San Jose, which is part of Santa Clara County, shelter-in-place has also been issued.
On March 15, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti halted residential evictions, but the details haven't yet been released. On Tuesday, Garcetti ordered a moratorium on commercial evictions. “Angelenos who own businesses in our city deserve peace of mind,” Mayor Garcetti said in a statement. “The moratorium will help ease some of the deepest concerns while we get through this crisis together.”
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed an order to place a temporary moratorium on residential evictions on March 14. The moratorium, which began immediately, suspends residential evictions related to non-payment or partial payment of rent for 30 days. “We have entered an unprecedented era for our City. Too many families are already struggling, and COVID-19 virus has disproportionately affected the communities who can least afford it," Mayor Durkan said in a statement. “As we take steps to slow the spread of the virus across Seattle’s communities, a part of that response is to ensure that families are not displaced and forced into homelessness.”
On March 16, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order, to halt residential evictions for 60 days. During a news conference on Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancok said that sheriff deputies wouldn’t carry out evictions.
While cities have taken the lead on halting evictions, a couple states have also called for suspensions. This week, New York state suspended residential and commercial evictions throughout the state. On Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that urges local governments to halt evictions and foreclosures.
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