Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials told POLITICO that the department will extend a ban on evictions and foreclosures for homes backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) through the end of the year.
The ban only covers the roughly 8.1 million homeowners with single-family mortgages insured by the FHA, the HUD agency that backs low- and moderate-income borrowers’ loans, not those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run companies that guarantee about half of America’s residential mortgage market. That means the extension involves much fewer homes than did the four-month eviction moratorium included in the CARES Act, which itself applied to about a quarter of the nation’s 44 million rental units. That lapsed at the end of last month.
“The Trump administration is looking at using authorities within its jurisdiction to extend relief through the calendar year for Americans experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus, which includes existing funds as well as moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions,” a person familiar with the situation told POLITICO.
The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs earlier this week concluded its review of the action.
“We are looking at a myriad of options to ensure the American people do not lose their homes during the coronavirus pandemic,” HUD spokesman Brad Bishop told POLITICO.
The extension happened about a week after an executive order directed federal agencies to review “whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions” are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Some say the action does not do enough to protect homeowners, because of the small percentage of households it will help.
“The very limited number of covered properties with renters living in them are already covered under existing law, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act. Existing law requires that renters in these properties be given a 90-day notice to vacate," said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.