The federal government is adding more fuel to the fire in its information war against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's economically vulnerable homeowners and renters.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, which includes government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Tuesday, May 12, the launch of a joint website at www.cfpb.gov/housing.
Included on the site are links to information about mortgage relief options, renter protections, and how to avoid bad actors and scams.
Lookup tools and options explained
Those agencies already have been involved in pandemic-related efforts, such as offering lookup tools to find out if a rental property has a GSE-backed mortgage that would put it under the eviction moratorium put in place as millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs.
The site coordinates the agencies' individual efforts to consolidate the myriad sources of help for beleaguered borrowers and tenants, such as this CFPB page that lays out the major mortgage relief options put in place by the CARES Act.
Multiple cities and states also put moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures as the pandemic spread, and forbearances have now approached the 4 million mark nationwide.
Reliable, fair, and accurate information
The new website is aimed at clarifying what help is available and how to access it.
"During these uncertain times, consumers need reliable, fair, and accurate information on the protections and relief available to them," CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said in the agencies' announcement. "This joint website achieves this important goal for homeowners and renters, outlining clearly the changes that policymakers are making to assist them."
HUD Secretary Ben Carson added, "No one should lose their home because of coronavirus, and this new website is full of resources to help property owners and renters navigate these unprecedented times."