President Seeks Extension as Eviction Moratorium Sunset Nears

Regulation | July 28, 2021 | by Linda Couch

On July 29, President Biden called on Congress to extend the national eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent past the July 31 sunset date. And, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on July 28 that tenants of multifamily properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who are subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent must be given 30 days’ notice to vacate before the tenant can be required to leave the unit. This requirement applies to all Fannie- and Freddie-backed multifamily properties, regardless of whether the loan is in forbearance.

On July 29, President Biden called on Congress to extend the national eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent past the July 31 sunset date.  And, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on July 28 that tenants of multifamily properties with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who are subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent must be given 30 days’ notice to vacate before the tenant can be required to leave the unit. This requirement applies to all Fannie- and Freddie-backed multifamily properties, regardless of whether the loan is in forbearance.

Some in Congress are pushing for another extension of the moratorium because the $46 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program established to help pay rent and rent arrears has been very slow to get off the ground, distributing only $3 billion of its $46 billion by the end of June, the surging delta variant, and low vaccination rates in communities with high eviction filings.

There are 6.5 million renter households currently behind on their rent. According to the U.S. Census’s “pulse check” survey conducted June 23 – July 3, 16% of renter respondents 65 years old or older self-reported they were very likely to be evicted in the next two months.

Just before the last extension was made by the CDC in June, the Supreme Court said it would not look favorably on any additional extensions that did not come about from an act of Congress. This is why President Biden is asking Congress to take action to extend the moratorium.

Meanwhile, with the national eviction moratorium for nonpayment of rent set to expire, after four extensions, on July 31, the White House and federal agencies are doing an all-out push to connect landlords with resources from the $46 billion Emergency Rental Assistance program and to protect renters from eviction. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set up a new database of all the state and local Emergency Rental Assistance programs nationwide.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back about 39% of the nation’s multifamily housing loans, and an even greater share of affordable multifamily loans. Of their multifamily business, at least 37.5% of the loans backed by Fannie and Freddie must be mission-driven, affordable housing. 

There are multifamily look-up tools to determine if a multifamily property has a mortgage loan purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. These lookup tools do not include other federally-backed properties. Fannie Mae look-up tool. Freddie Mac look-up tool.

According to the U.S. Census’s “pulse check” survey conducted June 23 – July 3, 32% of renters respondents 65 years old or older said they were very likely (16%) or somewhat likely (16%) to be evicted in the next two months.

In June, the Treasury Department, which administers the Emergency Rental Assistance program, provide a streamlined payment option for utility providers and large landlords to make accessing Emergency Rental Assistance on behalf of multiple tenants easier. Treasury clarified how state and local ERA program grantees could achieve economies of scale by obtaining information in bulk from utility providers and landlords with multiple units to help speed the determination of household eligibility and to bundle, in a single payment, approved amounts for the benefit of multiple eligible tenants.

Visit Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance program page here.