Following Tester Push, Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium Extended Through December 31

Senator led a July letter urging the Trump Administration to enforce the moratorium

Following a sustained push led by U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the Trump Administration today agreed to extend the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for Americans who receive certain types of federal housing assistance through December 31, 2020.

“This moratorium is a step in the right direction, and I’m glad the Trump Administration listened to Montana commonsense that will allow folks to keep a roof over their heads through this crisis,” said Tester. “During a global pandemic when the safest thing for folks to do is stay inside, it would be unacceptable to kick Montana families out of their homes, and I’m going to keep fighting tooth and nail to make sure Montanans aren’t left in the cold.”

In July, Tester led a group of Senators in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, pushing for improved enforcement of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for the duration of the pandemic. Tester wrote that an estimated 32 percent of renters were unable to make payments last month, and that despite a ban on evictions for renters in federally-subsidized housing, some tenants have still been unlawfully evicted during the pandemic.

“As you know, the CARES Act created temporary protections from eviction for millions of tenants who live in properties with federally-backed mortgages or that receive certain types of federal housing assistance,” wrote Tester and his colleagues. “During a time when having a roof over your head is essential for Americans’ abilities to stay safe and healthy, Congress insisted that these safeguards be put in place to help those at risk of losing their housing in the midst of the public health and economic crises. These protections, as well as all tenant protections available under federal, state, and local law, must be honored and enforced.”

A recent oversight hearing by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with federal housing regulators revealed that, since April, communities in several states have allowed landlords to move forward with eviction proceedings, despite the mandated temporary protections for renters established under the CARES Act. Tester and his colleagues urged the Administration to help renters understand what protections they have under the CARES Act, and to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with rules that prohibit evictions during the crisis.

Tester has secured more than $3 million in housing relief to help Montanans hardest hit by the pandemic, and fought to ensure the CARES Act included $5 billion in supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

The Senators’ full letter is available HERE.