COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy ever since cases began multiplying domestically. In the past week, we've seen mass school closures, citywide restrictions, and large numbers of small businesses closing their doors. The result? Millions of Americans are now facing weeks without a steady paycheck, whether because they no longer have a job to go to or because they don't have the childcare that makes reporting to work possible.
Unfortunately, a large chunk of U.S. adults don't have the means to cover their living expenses in a situation such as this. Last year, the Federal Reserve Board found that 39% don't have enough cash in savings to cover an unplanned $400 expense, which means that in the coming weeks, countless renters and homeowners will likely struggle to pay their landlords rent or come up with their mortgage payments.
Thankfully, they won't run the risk of being kicked out of their homes in the process. On March 18, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it's suspending all evictions and foreclosures until the end of April in light of the current economic climate.
That same day, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it's directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the entities that buy most home loans and make them available to investors, to do the same for a minimum of 60 days. These moves buy renters and homeowners a bit of breathing room during an otherwise stressful situation.