WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced that his administration will halt foreclosures and evictions on mortgages.
The announcement was made during the White House briefing on Wednesday when Trump said he had directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend all evictions and foreclosures on properties until the end of April.
"The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April," Trump said during the White House briefing. "So we’re working very closely with [HUD Secretary] Dr. Ben Carson and everybody from HUD."
It's unclear at this time how many U.S. homeowners and renters would be impacted by this decision.
The announcement was made as the American economy is feeling the impacts of the coronavirus. Restaurants, bars, venues and workplaces across the country have closed for weeks or possibly months to stop the outbreak.
Several states have already taken steps to slow the impacts of foreclosures and evictions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order Monday to temporarily allow local governments to stop evictions and it directed the state's Department of Business Oversight and Housing to collaborate on efforts to help Californians avoid foreclosure.
Congress members have also taken steps to help the American people during this serious time. Sen. Warner and Sen. Brown wrote a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday urging it to provide servicers with guidance to help facilitate access to affordable mortgage credit to affected borrowers, consistent with safety and soundness of the housing finance system.
During the press briefing Wednesday, Trump also announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act to marshal the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus has infected 207,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,200. More than 82,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.
The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems.