Housing: Rent and Mortgage Assistance
With all the uncertainty and financial strain created by the coronavirus crisis, I want to assure you that I am working hard to make sure that you and your loved ones will not lose your homes because of this pandemic. During this national emergency, no one should be worried about keeping a roof over their head.
I successfully won a moratorium on foreclosure and eviction proceedings for more than 70% of homeowners who have mortgages backed by the federal government or by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I am also working with my colleagues to include rent relief for all who need it in the next coronavirus relief passage.
I am a proud cosponsor of:
- the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, legislation to create a $100 billion emergency rental assistance fund; and
- H.R. 6515, the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 to suspend rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 crisis and would create a Rental Relief Fund and a Lender Relief Fund to which landlords and mortgage holders can apply to have the full cost of the suspended payments covered by the federal government
The House Democrats’ Heroes Act, if passed into law, includes $100 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, a program that families and individuals can apply for to have the federal government pay their rent and utility bills during the crisis. Rental property owners of all sizes would also be able to apply for help so they can continue to cover their costs. It includes an additional $75 billion to help Americans struggling to afford their housing by providing direct assistance with mortgage payments, property taxes & insurance, and utilities. I am also working with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez on her Ensuring Affordable Housing Security During the Coronavirus Emergency Act to suspend rent payments for everyone living in Section 8 and NYCHA housing.
Importantly, New York State has also taken action to protect renters with a moratorium on any eviction proceedings (residential and commercial) for nonpayment until August 20, 2020. The State is banning fees for late payments or missed rent payments during the eviction moratorium, and allowing renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.
I commend New York State for taking these important first steps; however, government needs to go further to ensure that all New Yorkers can stay in their homes during this unprecedented crisis. I am supporting State Senator Gianaris’s effort to expand the eviction moratorium to a 90-day moratorium on all commercial and residential rent payments as we come to grips with the economic impact of this pandemic. This would track similar emergency proposals enacted by the Governor to allow homeowners to delay mortgage payments for up to 90 days. I am also supporting Assemblyman Joe Lentol and State Senator Brian Kavanaugh’s work to create a rental assistance voucher program for anyone who has been economically impacted by this crisis. I am committed to getting New York State the federal aid it needs to implement these necessary programs.
Below is a roundup of resources available to renters and homeowners.
You can also always call my office for help at 212-860-0606.
FACT SHEETS & INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES
FAQ from the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) on assistance from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
Tenant Protection and Rent Hardship Mitigation:
- From the Mayor’s Office: https://www1.nyc.gov/content/tenantprotection/pages/covid19-home-quarantine
- From the NYCHA Journal: https://nychajournal.nyc/guidance-to-public-housing-residents-on-rent-hardships/
SECTION 8 RENTAL ASSISTANCE
To ensure New Yorkers who use Section 8 rental assistance vouchers have undisrupted access to housing, the City is taking the following steps:
- The City will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire. Voucher holders do not need to reach out to the City for an extension.
- All subsidy terminations that are in process are suspended until further notice.
- Any HPD Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to decreases in income should contact HPD.
- NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal.
- The HPD Section 8 team is still available by email at DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov
- Additional information: https://nychajournal.nyc/guidance-to-section-8-participants-on-rent-hardships
HOMEOWNER & RENTERS PROTECTIONS
- Mortgage Forbearance: Homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or Section 184 or 184A mortgages (for members of federally-recognized tribes) and those with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have the right to request forbearance on their payments for up to 6 months, with a possible extension for another 6 months without fees, penalties, or extra interest. Homeowners should contact their mortgage servicing company directly.
- Eviction Protections: Renters residing in public or assisted housing, or in a home or apartment whose owner has a federally-backed mortgage, and who are unable to pay their rent, are protected from eviction for 4 months. Property owners are also prohibited from issuing a 30-day notice to a tenant to vacate a property until after the 4-month moratorium ends. This protection covers properties that receive federal subsidies such as public housing, Section 8 assistance, USDA rural housing programs, and federally-issued or guaranteed mortgages. Renters whose landlord is not abiding by the moratorium should contact the relevant federal agency that administers their housing program or their local Legal Aid office.
- Legal Services for NYC Tenants: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/legal-services-for-tenants.page