Happy New Year!

2021 is right around the corner. Are you celebrating New Year’s Eve this year? Parties will be in short supply, given the pandemic restrictions. But we can still smile a little…

Here are the Top Ten New Year’s Quotes and Captions for the Realist from scarrymommy.com:

  1. Welcome, 2021! Here’s hoping you can’t be worse than last year.
  2. Seriously? We saw how 2020 went. Do we really want to do this, again?
  3. Happy 2021! Spoiler Alert: We’re still social distancing.
  4. Whatever you do, don’t ask what’s next!
  5. On the bright side, thanks to lockdown we never got used to writing 2020 on things, so 2021 should come easier.
  6. Here’s hoping 2020 really is hindsight!
  7. We’re social distancing from 2021 until we see how it goes…
  8. First rule of 2021: No one talks about 2020.
  9. I lived through 2020. Please don’t kiss me at midnight.
  10. Here’s hoping 2021 figures out which Zoom meetings could have been emails!

Seriously though…

I hope and pray that 2021 brings an end to the COVID crisis and ushers in a more peaceful and prosperous world.

As much as I would like to focus only on humor and good wishes, I need to let you know the status of the eviction moratorium and rent relief provisions in the recently passed COVID 19 stimulus package.

As of today, December 26, Congress has passed a third COVID relief package, but President Trump has not yet signed the legislation because he’s seeking $2,000 stimulus checks vs. the $600 stimulus checks in the existing bill. As next week unfolds, we will know more, but a couple of things are becoming more focused.

First, it seems certain that Governor Cuomo and/or our State Legislature will extend eviction protections to New York residents next week. Multiple media reports say that Albany lawmakers will extend the moratorium through at least July 2021, provided the tenant declares that they’ve suffered hardship due to the pandemic. Details will follow in the days ahead, but the patchwork of executive orders and extensions that have prevented evictions in New York through 2020 will almost certainly be replaced by legislation that will likely be more widespread, perhaps even a blanket eviction moratorium as some tenant and housing advocates have been pursuing.

Second, if President Trump signs the current COVID stimulus package as is, which is a definite possibility, the CDC order banning evictions will be in place through the end of January 2021. Also, there is a provision called Emergency Rental Assistance in the current bill. This rental assistance is limited in scope but does provide relief through administering state agencies to a few tenants and landlords. In a nutshell, qualifying tenants (lower income strata and/or unemployed) can have their rent paid directly to the landlord by the US Treasury. You can read the full text of the Temporary Extension of the CDC Eviction Moratorium and Emergency Rental Assistance portion of the bill by Clicking Here.

There is little doubt that, on both a state and federal level, the current eviction moratorium will remain in place in 2021, perhaps for several months into 2021. What also seems certain is a lack of any type of meaningful Federal or New York State relief for landlords who are still being asked to bear the entire financial burden of the COVID caused rent crisis.

A few other details…

The FHA has extended its ban on evictions from properties secured by FHA-insured single family mortgages through February 28, 2021.

Additionally, the government-backed mortgage buyers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have prohibited landlords of single-family properties with Freddie Mac- and Fannie Mae-backed mortgages from evicting tenants until at least January 31, 2021. Also, certain owners of multifamily properties backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae can extend their loan forbearance, and, if they do so, cannot evict tenants during the term of the forbearance. To find out if your rental is covered by the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac eviction bans, visit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and enter your address. You can also use the National Low Income Housing’s federal eviction moratorium lookup tool to see if your address is covered by one of the federal eviction bans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is maintaining a detailed explanation of the federal eviction bans.

For regularly updated and comprehensive information on the COVID rent crisis, I recommend that you Go Here – Nolo’s webpage on this topic. Any Federal updates are posted almost immediately, and there is a link to New York State information.

Have questions? Please give me a ring at 914-355-3277 or send me an email at [email protected]. Together, let’s form a plan for you to take full advantage of the current conditions and put in place a robust, long term program for your success.