Freddie, Fannie Extend Aid to Landlords, Renters

June 30, 2020

With federal protections about to expire, landlords are being offered additional help as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Monday that multifamily property owners currently in forbearance can request an extension of their payment suspension for three additional months. That will amount up to half a year in total.

The FHFA guidelines apply only to properties that have loans secured by the government-backed enterprises Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Renters in these complexes should also, therefore, be protected from evictions as long as the forbearance lasts, Forbes.com reports. Landlords must be flexible in allowing renters to repay missed payments and cannot charge fees.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, property owners were only eligible for three months of forbearance on multifamily buildings. Forbearance protection was originally set to expire on July 25.

“During the pandemic, the FHFA has been focused on protecting renters and borrowers while ensuring the mortgage market functions as efficiently as possible,” says Mark Calabria, the FHFA’s director. “The multifamily mortgage forbearance extension announced will help renters say in their homes and help property owners retain their properties.”

Between 19 million  to 23 million U.S. renters could be at risk of eviction by the end of September, the Aspen Institute estimates. That estimate reflects continuing high unemployment and the expiration of government stimulus, including the unemployment payments with an extra $600 week that are set to expire in a month.