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Fannie, Freddie Helping Coronavirus-Impacted Landlords Avoid Foreclosure

The Midtown Center development in D.C., where Fannie Mae is headquartered.

The federal government is taking a major step to help apartment owners who have renters facing eviction because of the coronavirus.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Monday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would offer mortgage forbearance for apartment owners if they suspend evictions for tenants who are "unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus."

Millions of Americans are expected to lose their jobs as mass business closures and isolation measures are put in place to stem the spread of the pandemic. Landlords are bracing for renters being unable to pay at the end of the month, and the National Multifamily Housing Council is calling on apartment owners to halt eviction for 90 days.

Since 2015, Fannie Mae has insured or purchased loans tied to more than 3.4 million apartment units, the Wall Street Journal reported. The FHFA also directed Fannie and Freddie to suspend foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners last week. 

“Renters should not have to worry about being evicted from their home, and property owners should not have to worry about losing their building, due to the coronavirus," FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a release. "The multifamily forbearance and eviction suspension offered by the Enterprises should bring peace of mind to millions of families during this uncertain and difficult time."