President Joe Biden extended the ban on foreclosures on homes with federally backed mortgages and extended a mortgage relief program to stabilize the housing crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a release from the White House, the foreclosure moratorium, which was set to end March 31, will now end June 30. The Biden administration also extended the enrollment window to request a mortgage [payment forbearance, which allows homeowners to pause or reduce mortgage payments. That program was also scheduled to end March 30.
More than two million homeowners are enrolled in the coronavirus forbearance programs. According to USA Today, more than 11 million homes across the U.S. have federally backed mortgages.
According to the White House, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Agriculture will join forces to enact the actions.
“President Biden is committed to protecting homeownership and housing stability as America begins to turn a painful crisis into a robust recovery,” the White House release stated. “Today’s extended forbearance and foreclosure programs are an important step towards building stronger and more equitable communities.”
Many Americans are still struggling to pay their mortgages and rent almost a year into the pandemic as the unemployment rate is still above six percent and more than 10 million Americans are still jobless.
Biden’s actions do not affect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) moratorium on evictions for renters. For the more than 100 million Americans who rent, that moratorium is still set to expire March 31.
President Biden and his cabinet are holding meetings to assess the next steps on helping renters and homeowners, some of whom have been unemployed for months. When the pandemic does end, additional measures will be necessary to avoid a homelessness crisis unlike anything the U.S. has ever seen. According to the Aspen Institute, between 30 and 40 million Americans are at risk of eviction once the pandemic ends.