For those financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing where to look for updates on information about aid programs has proven challenging. But several government agencies have stepped in with resource tools to help homeowners and renters.
The latest comes from mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which launched new initiatives to help homeowners and renters who have been affected by the pandemic.
Fannie Mae launched “Here to Help,” an online resource for owners and renters at knowyouroptions.com, to offer up videos, fact sheets, mortgage loan and apartment rental lookup tools, and more to help owners and renters get the information they need to navigate their options.
“We hope ‘Here to Help’ will bring some clarity, transparency, and assurance to homeowners and renters who are facing job loss, reduction in work hours, illness, or other issues related to COVID-19,” says Hugh R. Frater, Fannie Mae’s CEO.
Freddie Mac launched its own consumer education resource within its MyHome site that provides a guide on owning, renting, and where to find help. It is available in Spanish. Freddie also launched a #HelpStartsHere campaign to try to help spread the message on social media of where consumers can turn to for help.
“While we have taken unprecedented action to help millions of owners and renters struggling due to this pandemic, our efforts cannot be fully effective without widespread awareness,” said David Brickman, Freddie Mac’s CEO. “Our online tools are designed to ensure those affected are aware of their options so they can get the help they need now.”
Earlier this month, four federal agencies joined forces to launch a new mortgage and housing assistance website to protect the economic security of homeowners and renters. The website, created in partnership with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, consolidates their existing resources and new extensive CARES Act assistance offered by all of the agencies into one location. Consumers can access information from the federal government on mortgage relief and protection for renters, tips on avoiding COVID-19–related scams, and search tools for homeowners to determine whether their mortgage is federally backed.