There is a lot to unpack from recent Federal relief bills, agency extensions, and rent relief assistance. The below does not cover every housing program that is changing or has additional funding – just those that directly impact many individual families in Maine. We’ll keep you posted as things change – especially if the new “Biden” COVID-19 relief bill is passed in March/April 2021. If you need help, contact Pine Tree Legal, Penquis Housing Counseling (or firstname.lastname@example.org), or any of these Maine-based HUD-certified housing counseling agencies. Maine 211 can help as well.
As mentioned in homeownership below, any tenants in Federal Government financed buildings by USDA, FHA/HUD, or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac have an eviciton moratorium. Most evictions in Maine are on hold anyway, and the MaineHousing Rental Assistance Program is now open.
- [OPEN NOW] MaineHousing Emergency Rental Relief Program is open again, can cover up to 12 months’ of rent and utilities as far back as March 2020 and pay for up to 3 months’ rent in advance. You must work closely with your landlord. Maine’s Community Action agencies, like Penquis, are helping with the distribution of these funds. You can sign up for email updates at the bottom of the MaineHousing page.
- call MaineHousing at 1-800-452-4668
- contact your local CAP agency: MECAP.org/our-network
- The US CDC rental eviction moratorium is extended to June 30, 2021. See this site for a Declaration Form that you can file with your landlord.
- State of Maine Eviction Court – Eviction court proceedings are somewhat open now, but there is quite a backlog and not fully in person like before. There is testing of court proceedings online. There are some exceptions for extreme cases of tenant/landlord issues.
As of 2/16/21, all direct government agencies, FHA/HUD, VA, and USDA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (through FHFA on 2/25/21) have extended their deadlines to apply for mortgage forbearance/deferrals to June 30, 2021 – there is also a foreclosure moratorium through June 30. You can find more at the White House Fact Sheet on Forbearance and Foreclosures, this CFPB housing relief page, and the National Fair Housing Alliance Summary Sheet. Not sure who your loan is with? You can look it up here at the CFPB website.
- State of Maine Foreclosure Mediation Court – foreclosure mediation and court proceedings are effectively closed now. There is testing of mediation and court proceedings online but is not active.
- FHA Loan foreclosure (and rental) eviction moratorium is extended through June 30, 2021.
- FHA forbearance/deferral requests are extended to June 30, 2021 as well.
- Fannie Mae/FNMA and Freddie Mac (under FHFA)
- FannieMae/Freddie Mac have extended the foreclosure (and eviction) moratorium to June 30, 2021.
- They did not address a forbearance/deferral request deadline, but requests can still be made until further notice.
- USDA’s loan foreclosure (and eviction) moratorium is extended to June 30, 2021.
- USDA’s loan forbearance/deferral request deadline is extended to June 30, 2021.
- VA’s loan foreclosure moratorium is extended to June 30, 2021.
- VA’s loan forbearance/deferral request deadline is June 30, 2021 (Update) 31.
More Support Coming – March Federal Relief Package
- It will be several months, but there is $10 billion in assistance to homeowners in trouble of default or foreclosure
- an additional $21.5 billion in rental assistance in addition to the program running now with MaineHousing
If you need help with your housing situation, contact one of our Penquis housing counselors here or email us at MSFInfo@penquis.org.