President Donald Trump declared the suspension of evictions and foreclosures on properties backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development until the end of April.
The measure, announced during a Wednesday press conference, is part of the administration’s efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus and provide economic relief to Americans impacted by COVID-19.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April,” Trump said. “We are working very closely with [ HUD Secretary] Dr. Ben Carlson and everybody from HUD.”
No further details were immediately available from the president or HUD.
At the same time, to mirror the president’s decision about public housing, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced in a press release today that it has instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to halt evictions and foreclosures for at least 60 days.
The suspension applies to homeowners with single-family home loans, secured by the two government-sponsored enterprises.
“This foreclosure and eviction suspension allows homeowners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage to stay in their homes during this national emergency,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “As a reminder, borrowers affected by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgage, should reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. The Enterprises are working with mortgage servicers to ensure that borrowers facing hardship because of the coronavirus can get assistance.”
Last week, several cities across the country banned the displacement of renters, while Senator and Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, called for a national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
Yesterday, the American Banker reported over 100 U.S. House Democrats signed a letter urging a freeze on evictions and foreclosures on properties secured by HUD, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.