In response to COVID-19-related financial hardships, the federal government is offering a reprieve on foreclosures for qualifying owners of single-family and multifamily properties.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it will be halting all evictions and foreclosures until May 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This moratorium on evictions and foreclosures applies specifically to single-family homes with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a HUD agency that backs affordable home loans issued through private firms. According to HUD, this relief will apply to about 8 million units. For more information, see HUD’s press release on this relief.

Several relief options are also available for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, government-sponsored entities that purchase mortgage debt.

Foreclosures and evictions in single-family homes backed by Fannie or Freddie are suspended for at least 60 days. Mortgage forbearance is also an option for both single-family and multi-family borrowers with Fannie or Freddie-backed loans who are facing a hardship due to COVID-19.

Multi-family property owners can obtain that forbearance for up to three months if they can show hardship and if, during the forbearance period, they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of the coronavirus. According to the Federal Housing Financing Authority, about 43% of the multifamily market is eligible for this forbearance.

Owners are encouraged to contact their mortgage servicer – the company where they send monthly payments — to determine whether relief is available to them.