Fannie Mae Extends COVID Renter Protections Through September

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Fannie Mae is extending its multifamily COVID-19 forbearance program — which was set to expire on June 30 — by three months.

The government-sponsored enterprise announced Thursday that protections for renters experiencing financial challenges stemming from the pandemic would remain in place through September. The initiative requires landlords to suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent during the forbearance period.

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“Fannie Mae remains committed to supporting renters and multifamily property owners as COVID-19 continues to financially impact many people in the United States,” Michele Evans, the agency’s executive vice president and head of multifamily, said in a statement. “By extending the forbearance program for Fannie Mae multifamily borrowers, we are also extending essential protections and flexibilities for renters, which will help keep people in their apartments as the economy continues to improve.”

The extension marks the third time that Washington, D.C.-based Fannie Mae has extended its COVID-19 forbearance program since it was set to expire at the end of 2020.

Landlords for all Fannie Mae-financed properties are required to inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the forbearance and repayment periods. Other borrower requirements include allowing tenants flexibility to repay rent over time and not in a lump sum; not imposing late fees or penalties for non-payment of rent; and providing renters with at least a 30-day notice to vacate.

Last year, Fannie Mae’s multifamily affordable housing production volume rose by more than 9 percent from 2019 levels to $7.8 billion. It also reached $1.5 billion in equity investments in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit market for 2020 — just two years after entering the space.