The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending forbearance opportunities to qualifying multifamily property owners through the end of March.
The multifamily forbearance program, which had been set to expire at the end of this year, allows property owners with Fannie or Freddie-backed mortgages to enter a new or modified forbearance program if they suffer financial hardship to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Property owners who enter into a forbearance agreement must:
- Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods.
- Agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.
Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods, including:
- Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate.
- Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
- Allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum.
“The forbearance extension will continue to safeguard renters by suspending all evictions for nonpayment of rent and allow for flexible repayments, which will help keep people in their apartments,” said Michele Evans, Executive Vice President and Head of Multifamily for Fannie Mae.
A recent report by Redfin found renters are more likely to have lost their job or wages during the Covid-19 pandemic than homeowners. The report, based on a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. residents in October, found that 39 percent of renters reported losing a job or wages, compared to 30 percent of homeowners.
That has contributed to roughly 20 percent of renters who are not caught up on payments, as of earlier this month.
“Due to the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities and its disproportionate impact on renters, FHFA will extend forbearance multifamily offerings and tenant protections beyond the end of the year and through the first quarter of 2021,” Director Mark Calabria said.