Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures

A solid economic rebound is taking hold across the United States. More than two million jobs have been generated since President Biden took office. The American Rescue Plan is working, reviving the economy and putting people back to work in the United States. Furthermore, at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to 70% of Americans aged 30 and up. Jobs are growing in every state, the pandemic is waning, and American workers and families are optimistic about the future.

The Biden-Harris Administration is launching a series of initiatives today to help individuals stay in their homes by protecting renters and homeowners who are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic and its economic consequences. The Administration is announcing a range of initiatives to assist state and local governments in preventing evictions, after the CDC decides to extend the eviction ban for one final month, until July 31, 2021. The Administration is also taking steps to help homeowners and assist a return to a more stable housing market, such as extending the federally-backed mortgage foreclosure moratorium for one more month, until July 31st.

Biden-Harris Administration Actions to Help State and Local Governments Prevent Evictions

Renters can use the additional $21.5 billion in the American Rescue Plan for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), which can be used to cover arrears and make landlords whole. This is in addition to the $25 billion allocated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, bringing the total amount of ERA available to more than $46 billion and creating an economic and moral imperative for state and local governments to rise to the challenge of constructing a new infrastructure for providing emergency rental assistance to vulnerable renters and landlords. The May 7th guideline from the Biden-Harris Administration has aided state and local governments in getting more monies to more renters in need. State and municipal governments, on the other hand, must improve. Every state has funds available to assist renters who are overdue on their rent and at risk of eviction.

The Biden-Harris Administration announced a variety of initiatives today to assist state and local governments in preventing evictions and promoting housing stability. The Administration is also calling for an all-hands-on-deck effort by local governments, courts, community organizations, and the legal community to offer alternatives to evictions, as well as an acceleration of ERA monies to renters and landlords in need.

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Make it crystal clear that the Fair Housing Act must be adhered to. Communities of color, individuals with disabilities, women, and other members of protected classes are disproportionately affected by evictions. Tenants facing eviction with impairments are entitled to reasonable accommodations during the eviction procedure. In rare situations, housing providers may use techniques that violate the federal Fair Housing Act while filing eviction actions. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is issuing recommendations to help prevent violations of the Fair Housing Act, and it is working with the Department of Justice to promote it.

To reach vulnerable tenants and landlords, use government information channels. The administration is launching a whole-of-government effort to promote awareness of emergency rental assistance, including enlisting the help of numerous federal agencies to tell tenants and landlords about available emergency rental aid, such as:

  1. Treasury has included a list of more than 590 links to ERA initiatives run by the state, local, and tribal governments on its website. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) interagency housing gateway, where the CFPB has published information about ERA that is designed to be widely available to consumers, will also be linked via Treasury’s website.
  2. Increasing the visibility of The website serves as a one-stop-shop for renters seeking up-to-date information on their relief options, rights, and important dates.
  3. Conducting outreach to HUD grantees, HUD-assisted households, and HUD-assisted housing providers. HUD is working to encourage HUD-assisted housing providers to inform tenants about the emergency rental assistance program in their community, to ensure HUD grantees are collaborating with the emergency rental assistance program in their community, and to continue to provide guidance that explains how the emergency rental assistance program can help HUD-assisted households.
  4. Sharing program information with SNAP recipients and SSI recipients from the US Department of Agriculture and the Social Security Administration. USDA will encourage state social service departments to tell SNAP users about Treasury’s ERA and HUD’s Emergency Housing Vouchers. External outreach initiatives will be supported by the Social Security Administration by directly sharing information with SSI recipients and raising awareness through their websites and social media channels.
  5. Conducting focused outreach to tenants who are at risk. HUD is collaborating with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to increase outreach to vulnerable tenants and inform them of federal assistance available to avoid eviction. This includes extensive earned and paid media campaigns, close collaboration with state and local housing offices and public housing authorities, and the promotion of resources such as toolkits and renter-oriented eviction prevention resources.
  6. Bringing together philanthropic resources. Philanthropy may play a critical role in assisting communities in establishing new programs and funding outreach efforts to disadvantaged tenants. HUD is working with Melville Charitable Trust (MCT) to draft a Memorandum of Understanding to help community-based groups, localities, states, and tribes manage federal disaster funds more efficiently and fairly. MCT is the country’s largest foundation dedicated solely to preventing and ending homelessness.

Biden-Harris Administration Actions to Prevent Foreclosures

The Biden-Harris Administration is also unveiling initiatives to protect homeowners today, in addition to the actions described to support tenants and landlords. The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs (VA), and Agriculture (USDA), which all back mortgages, have agreed to extend their respective foreclosure moratoriums for one final month, until July 31, 2021. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will also announce that the foreclosure moratorium for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages has been extended until July 31, 2021.

Following the end of the moratoria, HUD, VA, and USDA will take additional steps to prevent foreclosures on mortgages backed by those agencies until borrowers are evaluated for COVID-19 streamlined loss mitigation options that are affordable, while FHFA will continue to work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure that borrowers are evaluated for home retention solutions before being referred to foreclosure.

Additionally, through September 30, 2021, HUD, VA, and USDA will continue to allow homeowners who have not yet taken advantage of forbearance to enter into COVID-related forbearance, while homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages who have COVID-related hardships will also be eligible. Finally, in July, HUD, VA, and USDA will announce additional initiatives to provide borrowers with payment reduction alternatives, allowing more homeowners to remain in their homes.

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