Federal regulations protecting tenants and homeowners from evictions and foreclosures have lifted, expiring on July 31. However, several housing agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), have extended their foreclosure-related eviction moratoria until Sept. 30.
The agencies released a joint statement addressing continued financial assistance efforts and the process for distributing additional funds.
“As Secretaries of Agriculture, HUD, VA and Treasury, and acting director of the FHFA, we recognize that our agencies provide the financial resources and incentives for federally-assisted and financed rental housing,” read the statement. “We want to make clear that the owners and operators of this housing should make every effort to access Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) resources to avoid evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent. These resources are available in every state, and many counties and cities are also running local programs.”
“Owners and operators of federally-assisted housing are stewards of important public resources and should access rental assistance both to prevent unnecessary human suffering and to protect the public investment in affordable housing,” the statement continued.
According to these agencies, several billions in additional aid can still be used by renters to cover their rent and make landlords whole.
The American Rescue Plan allocated an additional $21.5 billion for ERA, on top of $25 billion allocated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021—totaling more than $46 billion and “creating an economic, public health and moral imperative for state and local governments to rise to the challenge of building a new infrastructure for getting ERA to vulnerable renters and landlords,” said the statement.
The organizations said accessing these funds should now be easier, and HUD is providing technical assistance to HUD grantees working with public housing authorities, private landlords and tribal communities so they understand how to obtain ERA funds.
The USDA has also expanded eligibility for rural communities, allowing 250,000 online subscribers and rural leaders at the state and local levels to apply for the ERA program.
“The Administration has engaged in a whole-of-government approach—together with major nonprofits and companies—to amplify the availability of these resources,” read the statement. “This effort has reached tens of millions of households to let them know that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a locater tool to help landlords and tenants find a program in their jurisdiction.”
“Our country and economy are in a stronger position now than they were in January 2021, yet households across the country, especially those that are not vaccinated, remain vulnerable to COVID-19 and its associated impacts, including housing insecurity,” the statement continued. “Helping our fellow Americans, including our veterans, keep their homes will go a long way in making sure that they have one less thing to worry about as they rebuild their lives coming out of this crisis and try to keep their loved ones safe.”
For more information about accessing these funds, visit www.hud.gov.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.