WASHINGTON — In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium for millions of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the eviction and foreclosure moratorium to affected multifamily housing residents through March 31, 2021 This halt in residential evictions allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend relief to the tens-of-thousands of Americans who rely on USDA-supported multifamily housing communities.
“USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis in the United States. That’s why USDA is taking this important action today to extend rental relief to the tens-of-thousands of individuals in USDA-supported multifamily housing communities,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson. “Currently, more than 40,000 tenants are rent overburdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income in rent. While’s today’s actions are an important step for them, we need to do more. The Biden Administration looks forward to working with Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan to take more robust and aggressive actions to bring additional relief to American families and individuals impacted by the pandemic.”
In a recent Census Bureau survey, 9 million renters (or an estimated 15 percent of all renters) reported being behind on rent. The same survey showed that about 29 percent of Black families and 17 percent of Hispanic renters were behind on rent.
USDA’s Multi-Family Housing Programs provide affordable multi-family rental housing in rural areas by financing projects geared for low-income, elderly and disabled individuals and families as well as domestic farm laborers. USDA extends its reach by guaranteeing loans for affordable rental housing designed for low- to moderate-income residents in rural areas and towns. USDA also provides grants to sponsoring organizations to repair or rehabilitate housing for needy families and subsidizes rents for low-income tenants who cannot afford to pay their full rent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to our nation’s health. Despite extensive mitigation efforts, COVID-19 continues to spread in America at a concerning pace. The pandemic has also exacerbated underlying issues of housing insecurity for many Americans. Keeping people in their homes and out of congregate settings — like shelters — is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. This Fact Sheet: President-elect Biden’s Day One Executive Actions Deliver Relief for Families Across America Amid Converging Crises provides additional information on actions being taken as part of the Federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for additional information on USDA’s Rural Development COVID-19 relief efforts, application deadline extensions and more. USDA Rural Development will keep our customers, partners and stakeholders continuously updated as additional actions are taken to bring relief and development to rural America.