President Trump announced Wednesday that the administration has ordered the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to suspend all evictions and foreclosures through April, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a White House press briefing, he stated, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April,” adding that they are “working very closely with Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD.”
Under guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local leaders in many states have looked at the possibility of suspending evictions during the COVID-19 fallout, and looking at ways to insure both renters and property owners are protected.
Mass gatherings have been cancelled indefinitely across the nation, and most states have already shut down restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and retail locations.
President Trump was asked during the press briefing to respond to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statements on Tuesday (to Senate Republicans that unemployment could surge to 20% in a worst-case scenario), stating simply, “I don’t agree with that. That’s an absolute total, worst-case scenario.” Mnuchin reiterated the statement is only a depiction of the worst-case scenario.
HUD has not yet put out a press statement or offered commentary.
Fear and uncertainty remains high – many employees were sent home to work remotely, others to wait on more information regarding their employment status. It is likely that a huge swath of the nation won’t have any capacity to pay rent in coming weeks, perhaps months.
Congress and the Trump Administration continue to negotiate an economic rescue package to address business closings and layoffs, but no agreement has been reached yet.
In this time of uncertainty, one thing is certain – HUD won’t be kicking anyone out of their homes right now.