REAL ESTATE

Federal Housing Agency Extends Forbearance Options

FHFA director Mark Calabria (Getty; iStock)

Multifamily landlords that are having trouble with mortgage payments are in luck: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has extended forbearance options for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until Mar. 31.

The measure was originally set to expire on Dec. 31.

Struggling landlords who have federally guaranteed mortgages and want to take advantage of the forbearance options must also extend benefits to their tenants, according to HousingWire. To qualify, landlords must notify tenants about the protections they have available, and agree not to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.

Many landlords may feel relieved by the extension: About 12 percent of landlords with mortgages are in forbearances, according to the Urban Institute. Of those landlords, 20 percent are Black and 14 percent are Hispanic.

While the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to continue through Jan. 31 now that a federal stimulus package has been approved by President Donald Trump, many renters are facing economic hardship from the loss of unemployment benefits, and may be unable to pay rent in the new year — which could subsequently lead to financial trouble for their landlords.

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, only 75 percent of renters in 11.5 million market-rate apartments paid some or all of their rent by Dec. 6 — the lowest rental payment rate since close to the start of the pandemic. The figure is nearly 8 points lower than it was a year ago.

[Housing Wire] — Akiko Matsuda 

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