The historic relief programs put in place by Congress are set to expire sixteen months after the coronavirus pandemic threw the economy into disarray and put millions of Americans out of work.
In March 2020, lawmakers rushed to approve a slew of financial relief measures in response to the virus’s financial impact. As the pandemic continued to ravage the country, Congress, as well as the Trump and Biden administrations, extended the protections several times.
However, millions of Americans will soon lose their federal safety nets as Covid-19 cases rise again as the Delta variant spreads.
And the Biden administration and lawmakers, including many Democrats, are less inclined to renew them.
Housing protections will expire later this week, and unemployment benefits will be increased after the first weekend of September. At the end of September, a moratorium on federal student loan payments and increased food stamp benefits will expire.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction ban is set to expire at the end of July, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes. It will not be renewed, according to the agency and the White House.
A patchwork of protections and off-ramps to protect renters until rent assistance funds arrive may remain in some places as a result of it. The $46 billion in federal rent relief funds that Congress approved in its last two bailout packages will continue to be distributed through states, cities, and local governments.
New York, which has an eviction ban in place until August 31, and California, which has an eviction ban in place until September, are among the states that have extended their own eviction protections. Despite the fact that Oregon’s ban has not been extended, tenants in the state have until the end of February to repay the amount owed between April 2020 and June 2021.
Others have created a “off-ramp” for evicted tenants who have yet to receive rent relief after the eviction ban was lifted. Renters who are in the process of applying for rent relief in Minnesota, for example, will not be evicted until June 2022 if they do not pay their rent. Others have created “eviction diversion” programs that entail mediation between the landlord and the tenant prior to eviction.
If you still need help paying rent or paying back rent, the US Department of Treasury has a searchable list of available programs, as well as one managed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
At the end of July, the federal foreclosure moratorium, which protects homeowners with government-backed loans, will also expire.
Homeowners with a loan backed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, or the US Department of Agriculture who have not yet entered into a forbearance program, which allows them to defer or delay payments, will be able to do so until September, as will those with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages who have a coronavirus-related problem.
According to the White House, about 1.75 million people are still in forbearance, down more than half from the pandemic’s peak.
The Biden administration and HUD are offering streamlined loan modifications and payment reductions to help homeowners get back on track with their payments and avoid foreclosure.
According to Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, the three pandemic jobless benefits programs are set to expire the first weekend of September in the states that are continuing them, affecting an estimated 7.2 million people.
The $300 federal weekly supplement will be lost for everyone in state and federal jobless programs. Payments under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs are also coming to an end.
The former provides benefits to freelancers, independent contractors, the self-employed, and certain coronavirus victims, while the latter extends the duration of payments to those receiving regular state unemployment benefits.