The Department of Housing and Urban Development will extend a ban on evictions and foreclosures for homes backed by the Federal Housing Administration through the end of the year, administration officials told POLITICO.
The ban applies to the roughly 8.1 million homeowners with single-family mortgages insured by the FHA, a HUD agency that backs loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers.
“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 said.
The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs concluded its review of the action on Monday.
“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 said Tuesday.
The extension comes a little over a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to review “whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions” are necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Yet HUD’s move only covers FHA mortgages, not those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run companies that guarantee about half of the U.S. residential mortgage market. Thus, it involves far fewer homes than did the four-month eviction moratorium that lapsed at the end of last month. That moratorium was included in the CARES Act, which itself applied to about a quarter of the nation’s 44 million rental units before it expired July 25.
Trump’s executive order also provides no direct money to aid struggling tenants, who will eventually have to pay months of back rent, but directed Treasury and HUD to identify potential sources of funding.
Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, dismissed HUD’s action as “practically meaningless.”
“The very limited number of covered properties with renters living in them are already covered under existing law, the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act,” Yentel said. “Existing law requires that renters in these properties be given a 90-day notice to vacate.”
Negotiations between the White House and Congress over an extension of the CARES Act ban as part of the next coronavirus economic relief package broke down earlier this month.