The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium was in place until yesterday, July 31st. The Supreme Court recently ruled that CDC cannot extend the moratorium past its current expiration date. In light of that decision, the Biden-Harris Administration have requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture , U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which play a significant role in providing and insuring affordable rental housing, to extend their foreclosure-related eviction moratoria until September 30, 2021, and explore all available tools to keep American safe and housed.
In response, on Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended through Sept. 30, the eviction moratorium for homeowners of properties financed or guaranteed by USDA.
USDA also reminds servicers that the Single Family foreclosure moratorium will also expire on July 31. After this date, no new foreclosure filings should occur until homeowners are reviewed for new options to reduce their payments and stay in their homes. USDA released new COVID-19 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program loss mitigation options on July 23.
Beyond Sept. 30, USDA will continue to support homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic by making loss mitigation options available to help keep them in their homes. Homeowners and renters can also visit www.consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines from USDA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Also on Friday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced an extension of its moratorium on evictions for foreclosed borrowers and their occupants through September 30, 2021, and noted the expiration of the foreclosure moratorium on July 31, 2021. FHA’s eviction moratorium extension will avoid displacement of foreclosed borrowers and other occupants who need more time to access suitable housing options after foreclosure.
With this announcement, mortgage servicers must continue to halt evictions for FHA Single Family Title II forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) foreclosed properties, except for those properties that are legally vacant or abandoned.
Mortgage servicers may initiate or continue foreclosures in accordance with FHA requirements once the Single Family foreclosure moratorium expires as planned on July 31, 2021, but may not evict a foreclosed borrower or other occupant.
FHA urges those who are behind on their mortgage payments or are having difficulty complying with the terms of their reverse mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and have not yet contacted their mortgage servicer, to do so immediately. By contacting their servicer, borrowers can obtain a mortgage payment forbearance or a HECM extension. For FHA forward mortgages, FHA also urges borrowers to engage with their mortgage servicer when their mortgage servicer contacts them about the new COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification or how to bring their mortgage current. Borrowers who are seeking more information on the options available to them should also consider contacting a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on rural America. Families have lost their homes, students have resorted to unconventional solutions to access schoolwork online, the need for food assistance has grown, and access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations has been limited. The American Rescue Plan Act implements funding that invests in the people of rural America now and beyond the July 31 moratorium extension. It provides:
$100 million through September 2022 in rental assistance for very-low-income tenants.
$39 million in Budget Authority (BA) through September 2023 to help refinance direct loans under the Single-Family Housing Loan Program and the Single-Family Housing Repair Loan program.
$500 million in Community Facilities Program funds to help rural hospitals and local communities broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines and food assistance.
In addition to programs facilitated by USDA, the American Rescue Plan Act provides significant investments into rural communities by expanding internet connectivity. It also establishes a homeowner assistance fund to assist struggling homeowners with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities and other housing-related costs.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.