Statement from Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, on the Introduction of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:
No one should lose their home due to the COVID-19 crisis. With families facing the public health crisis, loss of loved ones, skyrocketing unemployment, the closure of businesses, and so much more, housing stability must be a top priority to help our families and our communities recover. We cannot allow this pandemic to create a new foreclosure crisis in the U.S.
We applaud the introduction of the HEROES Act, in particular the expansion of critical protections for homeowners and renters. If passed, the new legislation would include a monumental investment in our neighborhoods and our country’s future with $75 billion in direct assistance for homeowners. The legislation would also provide needed funding for housing counseling so homeowners can apply for these programs with non-profit support, allow for the expansion of forbearance and post-forbearance loan modification relief, and provide relief for renters.
While the CARES Act enacted a foreclosure moratorium and forbearance for federally-backed mortgages, at least 30% of homeowners will not qualify for this relief. Moreover, all homeowners, even those with federally-backed mortgages, will need assistance with missed payments and the many other costs that come with homeownership – taxes, insurance, utilities, and more.
Using the lessons learned from the Great Recession’s foreclosure crisis, the protections and funding for homeowners in the HEROES Act will proactively stem the tide of foreclosure early on and help families keep their homes. New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic, and the Center and our network partners are committed to working closely with families to avoid foreclosure and protect communities across the State.
We encourage Congress to pass this new legislation so families who are going through some of the most difficult times in their lives can keep their homes and recover from this crisis.
The Center for NYC Neighborhoods was launched in 2008 to combat the issues affecting homeowners in New York City, initially in response to the mortgage crisis. Since then, the Center has become a vital resource for homeowners in New York state and a leading advocate of and expert on city, state, and federal policies and issues affecting homeowners.