May 13, 2020

Following Urging From Van Hollen and Schatz, New National Housing Assistance Website Launched to Help Renters, Homeowners Apply for Relief, Learn About New Protections to Keep Them in Their Homes

Van Hollen, Schatz, Senators Called For Comprehensive Housing Resource Guide Over a Month Ago

Following calls by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), and a number of their Senate colleagues, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partnered together to launch a new website to help renters and homeowners learn more about all the resources and assistance available to them during the coronavirus pandemic. The website details new housing-related policies, benefits, and protections established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On April 1, Senators Van Hollen and Schatz were among a group of 20 senators calling on the relevant government agencies to collaborate and create this new website.

Previously, each federal agency maintained their own individual resource websites, forcing people to navigate multiple pages to find information about the protections and benefits they need. This new website consolidates information about CARES Act programs, including mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid coronavirus-related scams. It also provides search tools for homeowners to help determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is federally financed. 

The Senators' April letter calling for a single website was also signed by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).

In their April letter, Van Hollen, Schatz, and their colleagues wrote, “Americans throughout the country are grappling with the realities of the pandemic response. Social distancing guidelines are placing physical, emotional, and economic pressures on nearly everyone. Accordingly, we urge you to develop and rapidly make available a single website to serve as a clearinghouse for all new housing policies and tools that homeowners and renters can avail themselves of to get through this crisis.”

The full text of the April letter the senators sent calling for the creation of the comprehensive guide is available here.

To visit the new comprehensive national housing assistance guide, click here.