Federal bans on foreclosures and residential evictions are set to expire on June 30, 2021, but Salt Lake City residents can still tap into pandemic-related financial assistance to help them stay in their homes.
Homeowners and renters in Utah and across the U.S. who suffered significant financial hardships due to the unexpected COVID-19 crises had been able to hit pause on mortgage and rent payments over the past year. Those protections end on June 30, meaning borrowers and renters who have fallen behind must restart or make-up full or partial payments.
At a news conference on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall encouraged city residents to act quickly to find financial help before the moratoriums expire.
“The expiration of the federal moratorium does not mean that the need for housing support has ended — far from it. Fortunately, the City and State still have rent and mortgage relief programs in place to help our residents remain in their homes, giving them needed stability as they get back on their feet,” Mayor Mendenhall said.
According to the U.S. Census, 34 percent of Utahns are at risk for mortgage foreclosure or eviction in the next two months. Four million households are at risk nationwide.
In the past year, Salt Lake City has prioritized housing assistance by committing more than $20 million from its General Fund, CARES Act, and American Rescue Plan Act funding from federal, county and state agencies to support crucial housing programs that lift individuals and families into better lives.
In March, Salt Lake City partnered with NeighborWorks and the Community Development Corporation of Utah to pilot a city-backed Mortgage Assistance Program ahead of the expiration of eviction bans. The program was seeded with a $250,000 general fund allocation from the City Council.
Under the program, income-qualified Salt Lake City residents who can document a COVID-related financial hardship may be eligible for a grant or low-interest loan of up to $5,000 to cover housing costs.
So far, 29 Salt Lake City families have been helped, the Mayor said.
“Mayor Mendenhall and Salt Lake City showed great foresight and leadership by launching this program before the moratoriums expired,” NeighborWorks CEO Maria Garciaz said. “We pride ourself on our ability to adapt to the diverse and changing needs of the community and we are fortunate to have a great partner in Salt Lake City in this effort.”
Tony Milner, Program and Policy Manager for Salt Lake City’s Housing and Neighborhood Development office, echoed the Mayor’s advice to seek help on or before June 30th.
“Don’t delay. Don’t let evictions or foreclosures happen,” he said. “Communicate to your landlords and lenders early about your ability to pay so that you can work together on a plan that makes everyone whole. That’s the best outcome.”
General Assistance Resources:
Salt Lake City Housing and Neighborhood Development
United Way Helpline
Community Development Corporation of Utah
Utah Rent Relief