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 GCRA Relief Funds

 

 

     The Greater Cincinnati Realtist Association is dedicated to immediate relief efforts in times of disaster or tragedy. We understand that unfortunate events happen and we work to try to help the individuals and communities that have been affected. This page is updated during these hardships and we come together to show our support.  

 

See below for Information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):

 

 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources: All in One

HOUSING, MORTGAGES & EVICTIONS

The two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced unprecedented steps to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19 remain in their homes. Fannie and Freddie announced immediate suspensions of foreclosures and evictions for any borrower affected by the fallout of the virus crisis and unable to make their mortgage payment, not limited to homeowners who contracted COVID-19. HUD announced a similar policy. In addition, the GSEs will expand forbearance options for borrowers that could extend for at least 12 months. Borrowers utilizing forbearance will not face negative consequences at credit rating agencies.

FAIR HOUSING & DISCRIMINATION

HUD is still conducting intake for housing discrimination complaints on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and familial status. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against on any of these bases, they can contact their local fair housing centerlocal FHAP or the human relations commission for help and guidance. You can also file an online complaint with HUD. If you have concerns about housing discrimination or additional resources to add here, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

List of Local Fair Housing Organizations

State List – HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program Agencies

Submit A Complaint to HUD

HOUSING COUNSELING  

Presidential Declaration Of Disaster

If and when individual/public assistance money is approved for a disaster, it will be displayed here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/3416. Information is updated every 24 hours.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many cities and states are taking additional precautions to protect residents and stop the spread of this virus. In many areas, this includes the closure of restaurants (for dine-in services), gyms, universities, K-12 schools and several local businesses. Due to these closures, many consumers find themselves out of work, causing a financial hardship on their households. If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please check with your local city and county government regarding financial resources that may be available to you during this time.

For Consumers

On March 18, 2020, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD suspended all foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. This foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners whose single-family mortgage is backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Borrowers that are not in foreclosure but are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak have other options including a payment forbearance. This forbearance would allow affected borrowers to suspend their mortgage payment for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus. You can find additional details on this moratorium here.

Here’s what the moratorium means for consumers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans:

Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer

Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days

Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months

Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended

Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees

After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification

For Consumers who are not familiar with a forbearance, please review information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on forbearance options and what this will mean for your loan.

Recommended Steps:

Contact a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency.

Any actions following this step can be done independently or your housing counselor can act on your behalf with your authorization.

Contact your lender to disclose the recent change in your employment. *We promise, this part isn’t as scary as it may seem*

Ask your lender about the assistance options they have for customers impacted by COVID-19. *Don’t let them skip over any details when discussing modification and forbearance options*

Do you have private mortgage insurance or mortgage protection insurance? Does it cover employment loss? Unsure? A housing counselor can assist you with determining this information.

Contact your local representative and tell them what you need to maintain your housing! *Laws should be update with you id mind, government officials can’t do it(well) without hearing from you*

Borrowers concerned about paying their mortgage due to this current crisis should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss loss mitigation options. Many employees have experienced a loss of income because their employers were forced to close (i.e. restaurants, movie theaters, etc.) which has caused a hardship. The sooner you inform your lender of your hardship, the sooner they can offer you solutions to avoid mortgage delinquency. You should be prepared to provide documentation of your hardship and follow up with your lender regularly until you reach a resolution.

While many housing counseling agencies have transitioned to virtual and telephone counseling in accordance with “social distancing” guidelines, these agencies are still available to help guide you through your housing questions. You can locate a housing counseling agency in your area by clicking here.

For Housing Counseling Agencies

Housing Counseling Agencies should take the necessary precautions to protect their staff as well as their clients to prevent the spread of this virus. Many agencies have shifted to remote working for staff and are now offering virtual and telephone counseling in order to continue to meet the needs of clients. There are a number of free video conferencing websites that you may find helpful and that may make this adjustment more manageable.

We recognize that this is a new space for many agencies and guidance is needed to avoid  disruption of services. If your organization loses the ability to provide housing counseling services, contact your Regional Coordinator.

Helpful links

Preparing for Disaster

Continuity of Operations Plan

Emergency Response Plan Guidance

Overview of Housing Counseling Disaster Recovery Services

Partners for Disaster Recovery

https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/OHC-DR-Toolkit-Emergency-Response-Plan-Guidance.pdf

https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/OHC-DR-Toolkit-COOP-Instructions-and-Template.docx

SMALL BUSINESS

Both the Administration and Congress have announced that they want to make credit available to small business owners to help them weather this storm.

If you believe that you have experienced discrimination in accessing capital on the basis of: race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender), age, marital status, receipt of income from any public assistance program, or exercising in good faith your rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, you can submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

While we know many of you are facing many challenges, we want to affirm our commitment to provide you with support services and resources as they come available. Here are some additional resources:

Emergency Loan Providers

SBA Disaster Loan

Kiva

Capital One

CitiBank

Additional Resources

Hook Hall Helps

U.S. Department of Labor

Meal Locations for All DC Students

TELEWORK & TECHNOLOGY 

Many organizations have shifted to work-from-home for their employees. Here’s a list of free and low-cost software and services that may help.

All-One Suites

Google Apps – Cloud based, include email, doc management, word processing, presentation software.

Microsoft Office 365 – Reliable cloud-based web services, including email, document collaboration, shared calendars, online meetings, and more.

Zoho Docs – It includes three cloud-based apps – the usual spread of word processing, spreadsheet and presentations – as well as document versioning and desktop syncing.

Document Sharing and Storage

Google Drive – Store files in the cloud: 30GB of storage space per account across Gmail and Google Drive.

Box.org – All eligible nonprofits of any size can receive 10 Box Starter Edition licenses. There is no charge for this licensing – there’s only a nominal, one-time administrative fee.

OneDrive– Improve your staff’s ability to access files, collaborate and work smarter with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business file storage, syncing and sharing.

Project Management Tools

Trello– Web-based project management applications that lets you keep track of all the moving pieces of a project with visual organizational tools. This application takes some time to learn.

Asana – Free project management tool (for teams up to 15) that integrates nicely with Google Drive.

Basecamp – Low cost project management tool.

Smartsheet – Provides easy, scalable work management for businesses of all sizes, and offers discount for nonprofits

Airtable – all-in-one collaboration platform. Calendar Views. Workflow Blocks. 200+ Templates. Flexible Views. Realtime Collaboration.

Communications Tools

Slack – A messaging app for teams. It’s specially built for team-based communication; teams just like us. You can access it from the web, but there are also apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows.

FreeConference.com is the most popular international conference call services provider available in 2019.

Uberconference –Low cost conferencing, great for google apps users. Simple, visual and free to use, you can easily set up and join free conference calls without PINS.

Jitsi – open source free video conferencing software.

Zoom – video and web conferencing software. Have multiple plans including a free one.

Other Tech Resources

Techsoup – Nonprofit international network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provides technical support and technological tools to nonprofits.

npCloud – Provides cloud-based technology products and services to nonprofits. A service of Tech Impact, npCloud is a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure all nonprofits can use cloud-based technology to better serve their communities.

interconnection.org – Charitable computer reuse and recycling.

GOOD360– Nonprofit that connects companies who have goods, with nonprofits in need and individuals who want to help them.

POLICY

On March 6th, H.R.6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 was enacted, which provides $8.3 billion in all new funding including $950 million for state and local health agencies to conduct vital public health activities, including surveillance, laboratory testing, infection control, contact tracing and mitigation. The bill also  enables the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide about $7 billion in disaster loans. A fact sheet on the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 can be found at this link.

On March 18th, the President signed H.R. 6201, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law which will enhance the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This legislation will ensure that:

All individuals, including those with private insurance, Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE, as well as the uninsured, will have access to COVID-19 tests at no cost.

There more than $1 billion to provide nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, help food banks, and provide meals to seniors. It also protects students’ access to school meals in the event of school closures.

States have the resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid off and furloughed workers, as well as to those workers who exhaust their allotted paid leave.

An emergency paid leave program is established that replaces a significant share of lost wages so that those who take leave to avoid spreading the virus or due to illness or caregiving responsibilities can pay their bills.

For more information about this legislation please visit this link.

While the full economic implications of the disease are still unknown, what we do know is that the people who will face the biggest financial impacts of COVID-19 are the same people who are already financially strapped. For more information about COVID-19, as well as COVID-19 resources for small business and community and faith based organizations, please visit CDC.gov

COMMUNICATIONS

Helpful Links

Planning for a COVID-19 Outbreak in Your Community

Welcome to the first social media pandemic. Here are 8 ways you can stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation.

HEALTH & OLDER ADULTS

In addition to low- and moderate-income older adults, many individuals impacted by this global pandemic are people who are negatively affected by social determinants of health. While social distancing is being emphasized and practiced at all levels of government, significant barriers to safe practices affect many workers and marginalized people, creating an increased risk to their health and public health at large. Those individuals at risk include people with disabilities, workers who do not have paid leave, those who do not have the option to work at home, people who lack affordable and healthy homes and those who lack access to adequate care.

The recent passage of H.R. 6201 provides some relief in the form of emergency paid leave, increased food security appropriations and more. However, housing still needs to be adequately addressed and more relief may be needed at both the federal and local levels.

Helpful Links

For our members who focus on older adults, one of the most vulnerable groups affected by the coronavirus, as well as other vulnerable populations, we offer the following resources, information and links.

COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know

Here’s how to help protect elderly from coronavirus

Affordable Housing Providers and the Coronavirus

Millions of U.S. grandparents care for young kids — and are high risk for covid-19

Low-Income Seniors Face Food Insecurity in the Wake of the COVID-19

COVID-19 Resources for Senior Centers

Protect yourself financially from the impact of the coronavirus

Protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic

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