PROVIDENCE, RI - As the calendar turns to the first of the month and rent checks and mortgage payments come due for many households who have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today issued the following statement:

“Rent and mortgage payments are due today, but nobody in Rhode Island should be getting evicted at this critical moment, and there are tools, resources, and options for people who are struggling.   We are in a critical shelter-in-place mode where people need to stay home without fear of losing their homes.  Too many Rhode Islanders have already lost their jobs to this pandemic, and we can’t afford for families to lose the roofs over their heads too.  I will continue working to provide additional eviction prevention and foreclosure prevention for those in need,” said Senator Reed, who helped push for the inclusion of eviction and foreclosure protection language in the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act.  “Banks, borrowers, landlords, communities, and regulators must all work together because it is in everyone’s interest to keep this public health crisis from turning into a housing crisis.”

During her daily coronavirus briefing, Governor Gina M. Raimondo stated: “If you’re a landlord listen to me.  You are not evicting anyone until April 17.  If you are a renter and you’re stressed out and you can’t pay rent because you’ve lost your job and you get an eviction notice, ignore it.”

Reed noted that the CARES Act includes $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs to help vulnerable populations avoid evictions and minimize any impacts caused by loss of employment, and child care, or other unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19, and support additional assistance to prevent eviction and for people experiencing homelessness.  The law also grants forbearance and protection against foreclosure to borrowers with loans insured or guaranteed by FHA, VA, or USDA or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Senator Reed says he plans to introduce legislation as soon as Congress returns that would build on the Hardest Hit Fund, to help struggling homeowners, stabilize neighborhoods, and provide all states with at least $125 million to prevent evictions and foreclosures and to keep current on utility payments.