New Comprehensive Housing Resource Guide, Which Bennet Called for in April, Will Help Individuals and Families Apply For Relief, Learn About New Protections to Keep Them in Their Homes
Washington, D.C. – After calls from Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and his colleagues, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partnered together to launch a new website to help renters and homeowners learn more about the resources and assistance available to them during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. On April 1, Bennet and a group of Democratic senators called on the relevant government agencies to collaborate and create this new website.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, renters and homeowners should have easy access to information about the federal assistance available to them,” said Bennet. “This new website is a good step toward helping families and individuals learn about the protections available to help them stay in their homes, but we have far more work to do to ensure housing assistance and help is getting into the hands of those who need it desperately.”
Previously, each federal agency maintained their own individual resource websites, forcing people to navigate multiple pages to find information about the protections and benefits they need. This new website consolidates information about Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs, including mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid coronavirus-related scams. It also provides search tools for homeowners to help determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is federally financed.
In their April letter, Bennet and the senators wrote: “Americans throughout the country are grappling with the realities of the pandemic response. Social distancing guidelines are placing physical, emotional, and economic pressures on nearly everyone. Accordingly, we urge you to develop and rapidly make available a single website to serve as a clearinghouse for all new housing policies and tools that homeowners and renters can avail themselves of to get through this crisis.”
In addition to Bennet, the April letter was signed by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).
Last week, Bennet and 25 of his Democratic colleagues announced the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act of 2020, new legislation to establish an Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance to help families and individuals pay their rent and stay in their homes during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
The text of the April letter is available HERE.
The new comprehensive national housing assistance guide is available HERE.