Homeownership in Assessments of Fair Housing
Next year, millions of parents across our country may have to make that long walk because a contagious virus ravaged the nation. The Aspen Institute estimates that between 30 and 40 million Americans could be at risk of eviction in 2021. Many will be renters, who have so far been abandoned by their government and its failure to provide bipartisan support for rental assistance. Millions of others will be homeowners, whose mortgage forbearance options have expired, or who never realized that they were available at all. President-elect Biden has made ending this crisis a top priority, but it will take bipartisan agreement to fund that effort and months to implement.
NHC has been fighting hard to support federal aid to renters and apartment owners. We have also worked with our members to expand mortgage forbearance options, especially mortgage deferral where the missed payments are applied to the end of the mortgage term. But far too many homeowners in need don’t know about these options, and a disproportionate number of them are people of color. While NHC works with our members to close the racial homeownership gap, we are at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of current Black and Hispanic homeowners.
A new initiative, led by Faith Schwartz of Housing Finance Strategies, senior staff of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, and a coalition of NHC members including NeighborWorks, Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of REALTORS®, as well as the Housing Policy Council, American Bankers Association and Mr. Cooper, launched this month. They came together under the umbrella of a coalition organized by the Urban Institute to pool their knowledge and resources behind an initiative called COVID Help for Home and an advertising campaign featuring their slogan: “Not OK? That’s OK.”