Action News Troubleshooters: More housing help available for those impacted by COVID-19

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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There are things both homeowners and renters can do to get more financial assistance.

Moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures are scheduled to be lifted as soon as next month.

Many forbearance programs are also ending, but there are things both homeowners and renters can do to get more financial assistance.

Experts say the key is to act now. There are programs but in many cases, you need to work together with your lender or landlord.

And as the Troubleshooters have been warning, if you do get any further accommodation from a lender, make sure you document that in case something does go wrong.

"Twenty-five million Americans may lose their homes or be kicked out of their apartments over the next few months," said Real Estate Attorney Robert Shulman.

A recent Fannie Mae survey shows about a third of mortgage holders and about 40% of renters are having some type of financial impact due to COVID-19.

Sixty percent of the people in the survey said they don't know what options are available if they can't pay their mortgage or rent.

"So, we're really facing an unprecedented time and people need additional information on how they can get help," said Danielle McCoy, Vice President, Fannie Mae.

First, find out if you are eligible for and if your lender is participating in a mortgage relief program.

"You would get up to six months $1,000 a month in mortgage relief. The other one which is the CARES program for renters is similar," Shulman said.,

The landlord and renter must apply together and you'll get $750 a month for up to six months.

"The second thing you might want to consider doing is using one of the look-up tools we have from," McCoy said. "You can enter your apartment building and see if Fannie Mae finances it."

If it does, you'll be eligible for the Disaster Response Network, which provides free counseling from HUD approved financial counselors.

"If your apartment owner is taking forbearance from us, it's important to know they cannot evict you due to nonpayment of rent out of your building. So, those are two important tips for renters to know," McCoy said.